Now that our guest room is complete, I can spend some time getting it ready for guests. Since we don't live in the same state (or even region) as our relatives, I am always excited to host an out of town visitor. It's a special occasion.
Thankfully, my mother and Granny were excellent hostesses and I learned a great deal by watching them. Having grown up living in five states, I learned from an early age having out of town guests, even relatives, was event to prepare for.
Provide guests with towels in their room so they know which ones they can use (see photo above). I've also let guests know about a stash of clean towels in the linen closet or bathroom, but leaving the fresh towels on the bed or nearby gives an inviting feel.
Do you collect small toiletries from samples or hotels? I love having a little stash of travel-sized toiletries I can offer guests, in case they forgot something. By leaving a little basket of toiletries, it makes guests feel welcome and they can ask for something if they forgot it.
When guest are new to an area, they may be curious about local history or sites. It's no secret I love Boston, and I love showing off maps and transit info in our guest room. I am trying to collect a few Boston prints and other locally-inspired images to display in the room as well.
On the bookshelf, I continued the theme of showcasing local flavor with books and movies set in New England. I need to work on building up our movie collection (Good Will Hunting and The Town are still on my wishlist) to feature a few more Beantown favorites.
If you're not one for having your own collection of movies and books of nearby tourist destinations, you may want to pick up a few library books that your guests would enjoy. Whether, they feature local stories or something all together different, if they would appeal to the guest, it's a gesture that is sure to make him/her welcome and at home. My mom used to always pickup several western books for my grandfather from the library before he visited.
There are plenty of other things you can do to make a guest feel welcome in your home. Do you have a favorite thing you do when hosting an out of town visitor on your couch or guest room?