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How to welcome unexpected guests

Kristina Marquez, BSN, MPH has been in the fitness and medical field for over 12 years and is an outdoor and endurance enthusiast residing in Buffalo, New York.

How to... be a 5-star hostess

Have you ever had unexpected guests arrive from out of town and have you in a panic because you weren't prepared for overnight visitors? Fortunately, there are a few key preparations that are easy to make even before your friends or family decide to drop in on you unannounced. Even better, they will feel especially welcomed and be memorably impressed with your hospitality.

Welcome Mat
Make the most of a planned or unplanned visit from family or friends with these helpful tips to welcome guests as if they were staying in a 5-star hotel.

Step 1: Put Towels in the bathroom

Keep a few extra towels in the bathroom so your company doesn't have to ask or hunt for them. Even better, you can easily turn your every bathroom of your home into a spa-style escape with some plush towels and a few other essentials.

Step 2: Get Spa-scentual toiletries

Be sure to stock up on miniature bottles of body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and lotions when Bath and Body Works or The Body Shop have in-store or online sales. You can always buy larger bottles, but the smaller ones just seem to add that extra personal touch.

Step 3: Have a sleeping area

You don't have to have a guesthouse to give your company an inviting place to sleep comfortably. However, a planned sleeping arrangement is a must. Make sure you keep clean sheets and appropriate bedding in your guest bedrooms or on the foldout sofa. For the ultimate sleeping experience, you can even feng shui every one of your bedrooms to show your guests and yourself a restful haven.

Step 4: Plan a mouthwatering - but simple - meal

Unless your visitors are dying to sample the local cuisine or have made reservations at some chic eatery downtown, having a leisure meal with you can be equally as delicious, not to mention more economical. Surprise them with a hearty brunch dish or fire up the grill for an evening barbecue after a long day of sightseeing for a relaxing end to a busy day.

Sound like a lot of work? It won't be if you keep a fresh stock of eggs and cheese in your refrigerator as well as chicken breasts, ground beef or turkey, and fish fillets in your freezer. Stop by the Farmer's Market on your sight seeing adventures and pick up some locally grown veggies and fruit to healthfully round out your meals.

Step 5: Be a top-notch tourist guide

Take a large envelope or folder with you to your local chamber of commerce office and stock up on the many cultural and recreational brochures of events in your area. You can create a generic itinerary of some local hot spots so you're not left stumbling over places to go and things to do to show your guests a fun time. If money is tight, try a few of these money saving travel tips.

Your guests will be more than surprised at your near effortless 5-star accommodations. More importantly, they will leave your home feeling rested, refreshed and ready to plan your visit to their home!

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For more info on this topic...Get tips for when you're the one visiting friends or family, see:
How to be a good houseguest when traveling with kids

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