Holidays represent the busiest time of year to travel by far, with approximately one hundred million Americans trekking across the country and beyond to be with their loved ones.
For better or worse, sometimes we end up being the destination for our families rather than having the opportunity to travel ourselves. While you may sulk at the idea of hosting your family for the holidays, you should perhaps see such an occasion as an opportunity to put your parenting skills to the test and become a better host for the long-term.
After all, what better way to incentive being hosted than by hosting your extended family?
If you’ve never had the chance to host relatives or in-laws for the holidays, there are some steps you should take to ensure that you’re prepared well before they arrive. Whether you’re housing one or two guests or an entire family, keep the following tips in mind.
Making The Perfect Bedroom
Coming up with sleeping arrangements for guests can sometimes be a hassle; however, it’s common practice for you to give up your own (or your child’s) bedroom so that your guests aren’t forced to sleep on the sofa. Being a good host is all about accommodating others, so make sure that you do the following to ensure that your guests get enough peace and quiet:
- Clean linens and bedding: while you don’t have to go out and buy a new comforter set, you should at least ensure that any and all bedding is properly washed
- Small comforts such as a bedside fan and solutions such as solar shades to keep pesky light out of the bedroom
- Make sure that the bedroom is in tip-top shape from a cleaning perspective: remove any clutter (such as toys) and vacuum accordingly
Quell Cooking Concerns
Figuring out your food budget while guests are in town is easier said than done. Regardless, you should plan to have a few home-cooked meals to keep money in your pocket and serve as some prime bonding time. After all, going out can get expensive pretty quickly. Consider limiting eating out to once per day, if that, and use the kitchen as a place to socialize over a budget holiday meal.
Make Plenty of Plans
Don’t leave your guests sitting around bored: plan at least one activity per day that will take up multiple hours so you don’t go stir crazy. From a trip to your city’s downtown area to local attractions such as shopping or a movie (considering that the holidays represent blockbuster season), find excuses to get out of the house and also encourage your guests to come up with plans themselves.
Bear in mind how exactly you’re going to get around with your group, especially if your company flew into town. You may have to wind up playing chauffeur or letting your relatives use your second vehicle; however, most reasonable relatives will offer to help chip in for gas or a meal in exchange for such niceties.
Don’t think of hosting your family for the holidays as a headache. Instead, make the proper preparations to spend some quality time with your guests and take your hosting skills to the next level.