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Easing the stress of hosting guests during the holiday season

Whether it’s for the holidays or another big occasion, hosting people in your home can be both gratifying and stressful. It can be especially tricky when you’re entertaining out of town guests for days at a time. By planning ahead, you can avoid some of the common pitfalls that can cause a gathering to go south in a hurry and ensure that both you and your guests have such a great time that everyone will be looking forward to the next get-together once it’s all over.

Here are some common challenges of hosting guests at your home and solutions for getting around them:

Problem: Overcrowding. Sharing space – particularly bathrooms and bedrooms – can cause conflict.
Solution: Organize the chaos by setting out towels and mini bathroom toiletries in guests’ rooms. You can develop a bathroom schedule for the morning so everyone has time to get ready for the day and no one ends up going without a shower.

Don’t be ashamed to admit that you don’t have the space to host overnight guests in your own home. Your guests will thank you for pointing them in the direction of a comfortable hotel that feels like a home away from home, so they can spread out and have their own space. Consider an all-suites hotel brand like Embassy Suites Hotels, where guests get two-room suites with separate living and sleeping areas, free cooked-to-order breakfast and a free, nightly Manager’s Reception.

Problem: Cabin fever. Guests become bored or restless at your home.
Solution: No matter how much you love your friends and family, being crammed together in one house can make everyone a little stir crazy. If your guests are in town for a few days, consider a planned activity like bowling or visiting a local museum. These activities will offer some variety, as well as promote interaction and conversation among guests. It’s also a good idea to allow your guests some time to explore on their own. Providing maps and brochures on local attractions is a nice touch.

Problem: Meals. Feeding multiple mouths can be a challenge.
Solution: Don’t feel obliged to provide every meal while your guests are in town. It’s a good idea to have easy snacks, beverages and fixings for sandwiches on hand should your guests want something simple and easy. Check with guests in advance to determine if anyone has a food allergy or alternately, a favorite snack you can stock up on.

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