Miss Party’s Overnight Guest’s Arrival Checklist

1. Way in advance, go over Miss Party’s “Overnight Guest Checklist” to be sure you have the essentials at hand and/or nearby, ready to go. Try to add a few little luxuries that make your guests even more comfortable if you have time and the inclination.

2. Two weeks out, check in with your guests. Review the following:

a. Double check the visit dates and get detailed transportation plans. Misunderstandings do happen and you don’t want them to happen to you or them. Make pickup arrangements, give directions or provide home address. Let guests know about parking restrictions or best places to park overnight.

b. Have a quick conversation about what guests would like to do while visiting and let them know of any activities you have in mind so they will come with appropriate clothing or footwear (for ex., swimming, hiking or running). Give them a general idea for outerwear. Also, keep on top of any potential weather issues in your area over the time your guests will visit.

c. Ask about key issues you need to know ahead –environmental allergies, food allergies and severity of same, dietary or physical concerns? What are your guests preferences for snacks, beverages and alcohol, children’s food likes or dislikes? Is a rental car needed? Is any baby gear needed that you might be able to borrow? If you have a guest with severe allergies, know where your closest urgent care facility or hospital is located.

3. Now that you’ve spoken with your guests, grab a notepad and do a rough itinerary for each day. Block morning, afternoon and evening time periods so you can get a handle on meals you want to eat out (restaurant reservations?), prepare at home or do ‘take out’. Pencil in sightseeing and activities. Schedule in lots of downtime, too. Of course, this schedule will flex once it’s happening but at least it gives you something to wrap your head around.

4. Plan home cooked meals now so you can cook some ahead (freeze portions). Go grocery shopping to be ready for the first couple of days. Do you know how to cook for a specific food issue?

As a side note, a larger part of the population now has diet restrictions, allergies, personal preferences, etc. At times, it can be mind-boggling to prepare one meal that will accommodate everyone. Sometimes, the simplest solution really is to eat out at dinnertime. It’s okay, you’re not running a restaurant. Concentrate on breakfast and lunch, they are much easier to work around.

5. Freshen up your home and guest room/space (dust, vacuum, tidy guest bathroom, get out fresh linens and towels). If bedroom is also used by a family member, declutter the bedroom and clear off surfaces. Declutter the bathroom, too.

Tip: Get ready for guests in a snap, by preparing a ‘guest only’ bin of clean bedding and 2 towel sets. Wash and replace everything in the bin after guests leave, so you’re ready for the next time.

6. Prepare your home ahead of your guests’ arrival for a warm welcome. Put out a vase of fresh flowers and turn on indoor and outdoor lights just before dusk. Put a small basket with late night munchies and bottled water where guests will be staying.

7. When guests arrive they are likely to be tired from traveling. Offer a hot or cold beverage and snack right away. Soon afterwards, show guests to their room or where they should put their luggage. If they will be staying in a bedroom, explain any quirks, such as plumbing or window treatments. Give them a little time to unwind.

8. To help guests feel more at ease, give them permission to help themselves in the kitchen at any time. Give them a quick ‘lay of the land’. Have a well-stocked fruit bowl and a variety of snack bars available for anytime snacks.

9. Before everyone retires for the evening, get on the same page regarding plans for the next day and/or their entire visit. Generally, agree on breakfast time and when they can expect coffee will be made, household up and around, good time for showers, etc.

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