Summer in the northern hemisphere is well under way! For many of us, it’s a time to slow down, enjoy the sunshine, and get together with friends and family. Many people spend quality time together in their homes or cottages on weekends or a weekly vacation. It’s a great way to catch up with loved ones from near and far. This spring, I had several opportunities to help people set up their permanent homes as well as vacation homes for guests. When working on this type of project, I guide people through a few different considerations as we set up the space. If you’re looking for a few ideas to simplify your guest preparations, read on!
A cozy place to sleep
This is, in my opinion, the first and most important thing to consider when hosting guests. If you’re in your permanent home, think about where your guests wouldn’t mind sleeping, and make sure you have enough sheets/blankets/pillows if they’re not bringing their own. Some people will crash anywhere, while others prefer a room of their own. Have a conversation with your guests before they head over, just to make sure they’ll be comfortable in the spots you offer. If you’re renting out an entire house, make sure there are mattress and pillow protectors. It’s not necessary to provide sheets and blankets in this case - most rentals I’ve been in don’t provide them, and guests are responsible for bringing their own.
Coffee, tea, and breakfast options
Personally, I like to wake up with a cup of coffee and breakfast, both at home and while traveling. It feels like a nice way to get ready for the day. If at home, I find it’s polite to offer a light breakfast option, and guests can choose to go out if they want. If renting out your summer home, a coffee maker with filters and tea kettle will do the trick for your guests to enjoy a morning brew. Other than that: a frying pan, toaster, spatula, wooden spoon, and small cooking pot should cover the bases for breakfast cooking supplies.
Setting up bathrooms
There actually isn’t too much preparation involved with setting up a bathroom for guests! Most of the time, travelers bring their own toiletry supplies such as toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, etc. If you’re hosting in your permanent home, you might need to provide towels, especially if guests are flying with just a carry-on. Otherwise, make sure the bathroom is clean, tidy, and stocked with plenty of toilet paper for the duration of their stay. Hooks for toiletry bags and towels are a great idea - they help keep the counters and surfaces uncluttered.
I offer these considerations to people who are renting out their homes. How many people can sleep in the house? If, for example your home can sleep 8, make sure there are enough plates, bowls, mugs, cups, and cutlery to accommodate everyone for a meal. For pots and pans - everything I mentioned above for breakfast plus a larger sauce pan, soup pot, and if you’re hosting in a coastal area - a lobster pot! Providing dish soap, a sponge, brush, paper towels, non toxic cleaner, and trash bags will help your guests keep the kitchen tidy without going overboard. Bonus points for offering a grill outside. A grilled meal tastes like summer, keeps the house cooler, and doesn’t mess up the kitchen so much!
The Living Room
Again, this mostly applies to people who are renting out their homes. Is there enough comfy seating for everyone who is staying over? A deck of cards and a few crowd-pleasing board games can be nice offerings for a family to bond over. The coffee table is where I like to suggest an easy to follow travel guide, such as a little binder of menus to local eateries, activities, and important phone numbers. Some people like to have a TV set up with a DVD player and a few movies for those rainy days.
As I always say, we aren’t striving for perfection! If your guests are staying with you in your home, remember they’re there to see you, and not critique your home. If they’re renting your summer home, they’ll be so happy to be on vacation that they won’t be sweating every single detail.
Are you getting together with family and friends this summer? What are your favorite activities to enjoy together?