How to Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home When They Visit You

Hotel-quality meets college apartment.

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Having guests in college: How to make overnight guests feel at home when they stay over, overnight guest tips

Chances are your high school friends didn’t all go to the same college. Or, if you’ve been in college a few years, you’ve made friends across the country from internships, study abroad, etc. Instead of never seeing these people again, it’s great to invite them to visit you. After all, who doesn’t enjoy showing someone around and feeling like the cool, hip local?

But if you’re inviting someone to come stay with you, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Below are some overnight guest tips to follow when you’re having guests in college. 

Just because you’re letting someone crash on your futon, couch, or even the floor doesn’t mean that they can’t have a great stay!

1. Consider Sleeping Accommodations

I’ve experienced both good and bad sleeping accommodations when visiting friends. The best involved people kind enough to make up a futon and provide extra sheets, blankets, etc. The worst? Well, let’s just say it was me, a pillow, and the floor.

Even if you’re in a small dorm room and don’t have any extra room in your bed or space for a futon, you can still try to help your guests out. Ask around to see if anyone has an air mattress – this can be a major lifesaver. (Or consider investing in one yourself if you have guests often! This $75 one has amazing reviews and is self-inflating.) You can also grab an extra comforter as this makes for a softer surface than the floor.

If you have an extra bed or sofa, make sure to get an extra set of sheets and a blanket for whoever is visiting. Nothing sucks more than arriving and realizing you have to spend a winter night with no top layer. Just the basics are necessary, but an extra pillow (your bedding set probably already came with two) goes a long way.

2. Plan Ahead for Food & Snacks

Bagel with cream cheese

Ask your visitors before they arrive what they want to do about food. If they prefer to eat out, let them. If they’re trying to save money, offer to get a couple of things they enjoy before they arrive. Breakfast is a great thing to make at home — consider grabbing a six pack of bagels or your guests’ favorite cereal. Little touches like these make a visit a lot more smooth.

Likewise, let your guest know what foods are yours and available for them to share (as well as noting what food is your roommates so they don’t accidentally eat something they shouldn’t have).

3. Think of Some Activities

You’re there to show your friend a great time! It’s nice to ask them what they’re most interested in seeing, and come up with a potential itinerary for the weekend.

Also, be okay feeling like a tourist. Even if you’ve done something a hundred times, it’s okay to do it once more. I walked the Brooklyn Bridge when my friend came to visit a few weeks ago, something that I had already done and swore to never do again (way too packed during the weekend). But letting someone else experience things for the first time is a pleasure in itself.

Also, be open to new experiences. My least favorite visits to friends involved wanting to explore a certain neighborhood and hearing “oh, I never really go that way.” I wanted to say “well then, let’s!” but as a guest you don’t want to dictate a visit. If you see that someone is interested in something, let them have at it. 

4. Alert Your Roommates

Female roommates

If you have roommates and someone comes to visit, please, please introduce your roommates to your guest

Nothing is more awkward then coming out of the bathroom and seeing a stranger who is just as confused as you are. It’s also polite to give your roommates a heads up that you’re having overnight company, as this changes a lot of people’s lounging around habits.

And there you go! 

You’re all set to make your guests feel welcome and appreciated. After all, they made the time and underwent the expense to come see you.

Do you have any go-to tips when it comes to guests? Let me know in the comments!

1 thought on “How to Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home When They Visit You”

  1. Great tips! Something I’d like to add, which many people forget, is to explain how your apartment works to your guest as soon as possible, especially if they will be staying for more than one or two nights. That means explaing where they can put down their stuff, where the dirty dishes go, when the best times to shower are, which electronic devices require some coercing to work, where the TV remote is, where the food is, etc. This way your guest will be able to do some things on their own without always having to ask you for stuff, which goes a long way in helping them feel truly at home


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