preparing for long stay house guests.

roarahJuly 27, 2014

I am wondering and looking for some tips for how to host house guests for more than 2 weeks. My husband's family and many of my friends are from abroad and thus have loads of holiday time. We have often had friends come to the US for two weeks but they always stay first with us then go off alone for a week and come back for a day or two thus giving me time to regroup, clean and shop.

This month my guests will be staying for the whole duration of their travels and I am wondering how you handle long stays. IE, I wash sheets once per week , should I strip their beds midstay, etc? I have planned out all meals, with slots for eating out and I have cleaned and organized inside and out and have loads of extra pool and beach towels, sunscreen, flip flops and kids toys but what other things should I consider when hosting a family for a couple of weeks. Thanks.

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Olychick

I don't know where you live and what there is in the way of "touristy" kinds of activities, but I'd make arrangements for them to do something of interest without you. Some kind of tour that includes transportation and guides, etc. if you don't think they'd be comfortable driving. Or if they are golfers, arrange a day of golf that you don't have to go with...anything like that to give you a day at home without them.

Hopefully, they will have expressed some things in your area that they find of interest to them, to help in your planning

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 1:54PM
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Fun2BHere

I wash sheets and clean bathrooms once per week. I would let your guests know which day is laundry day and which day is cleaning day. Show them where to bring their sheets, towels and clothes and how to use the washer and dryer. Do they have a dedicated bathroom? If so, put together a set of cleaning materials for that bathroom that can be stored in the bathroom or closet and show your guests where they are. You can show them where the vacuum cleaner is and the dusting cloths.

Alternatively, you can do everything for them, but most long-term guests would not expect that, I don't think.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:36PM
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kswl2

Will they be renting a car for their stay? I would encourage that, otherwise you will become a chauffeur for the duration.

When we have guests staying I print out my planned menus and note what is available for do it yourself breakfasts and lunches. It's easier than being asked multiple times by different people.

I would also put a tv or movie screen in their room(s) so they could retreat and watch something alone or late at night if they wanted to.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:37PM
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teacats

Check out the releases of the latest summer blockbuster movies -- always a hit with my long-term guests! :)

Also -- yes -- do check out local activities in-and-around town -- museum shows etc.

Yes -- stock up on DVDs -- and gather them in an a basket -- and check what is available on Demand for your cable too .....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:45PM
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roarah

Oh great tips thanks! We have a no tv rule for upstairs bedrooms but I will leave a laptop with our password for Hulu and we have two staying in the den which has a tv/bluray and video games but I love the DVD basket idea!

We have planned to have a couple of outdoor movies for my inlaws weather does not allow for such things and the kids are so excited to see movies outside and take night swims.

Love the printed menu idea! I have a personal page I keep in my desk to keep on target with meals but never thought to leave a copy in the guestrooms too.

One set of guests has a private bath the other set share so I will just mention what days we have the house cleaned and if they wish not to have their bath cleaned to just let us know.

My DH's family never rent cars so we always have to pick up and drop off at the airport. Even for our wedding we were expected to do so, but I have never received a lift to or from an airport from any of them. We are always directed to the train or bus, maybe it is high time we do the same:). We are less than a half mile from shoreline east which runs into Metronorth so even with out a car I think a NYC map and train schedule will atleast give them an opportunity to be out of the house without us one day is a great idea!

Would you allow your children to go to their scheduled classes while family were visiting or not. My DH thinks they should be skipped while they are here but my seven year old will miss 4 tennis lessons and 2 gymnastics classes. If they were here a week or less I would agree with him but six classes is alot to miss I think.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:45PM
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maddielee

I would have my kids attend their scheduled activities as long as nothing extra special was scheduled with your guests at the same time.

Since these are your inlaws, maybe they would enjoy watching their grandchild at the lessons?

Good luck.

ML

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:26PM
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palimpsest

I think at some point, if they are there for a long period of time the household resumes going about its business. I would have the kids attend their regularly scheduled events unless there is some special occasion and even though the guests are not off on their own elsewhere, they can be on their on even though they are staying at your house.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:33PM
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martinca_gw

This is reminiscent of MTN's thread, where we were all pretty vocal ......opinionated group that we are! So here I go:
FIRST! Do not suggest.....TELL them that due to scheduling problems,and so they won't be frequently stuck in the house, they will need to rent a car. (and turn about is FairPlay here, for sure!)
I'd display delight with their visit . I'd have a wonderful, big welcoming, celebratory family dinner shortly after they arrive.
Yes. Most certainly the children should maintain their schedules. Not to include play dates with friends, of course. ( unless the age difference is far too great for them to always engage with the guest kids.)
***Meals: breakfast on their own, with easy things stocked : cereal, fruit, breads, coffee.
Lunch: ditto( lunch meats, salad stuff, chips, etc.)
Dinners: oh my. Here we go. I cannot imagine guests expecting me to prepare nightly meals for them for two weeks!...and a family, not just a couple... Wow!
I would tell them they are also on their own for dinners except for the nights when your day isn't overly busy. Give them the days that they can expect dinner ( a max of 6), and ask them to let you know if they'll be joining you the day of, so you'll know how much to prepare.
Hopefully, they will pick up after themselves. Not much you can do if they
don't but grit your teeth and want to bash them.
Ignore their bath and bedroom. It's their private domain . Show them the laundry room.... The place to use if they need fresh linens, towels. Period.
I know you received some good ideas for outings. Over a two week period, three or four should be enough.....those that you participate in, too, that is.
*** if this menu differs from your normal family meals, tell DH and children that special times demands a temporary change.
Good luck!
Marti

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:41PM
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hhireno

When my sister and her family visit me they stay for a month. My mother always gives them her car to use.

They do their own laundry, sheets and towels included, and clean their own bathroom.

Luckily for me, both my sister and her husband are wonderful cooks so we all share the cooking duties.

If the guest was an older relative, I would probably offer to launder the sheets and towels. I would stick to my usual dinner schedule and just request that they let me know any nights they didn't plan on being here so I don't prepare food for them.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:14PM
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camlan

This can be kind of tricky, if the visitors are from a culture where guests are treated differently than here in the US. But one of the reasons we travel is to experience new cultures and customs and ideas, so DH should be giving you some pointers on how to handle his family.

As a long-term guest (I stay with my brother and his family for 1-2 weeks every year), I want to know the family's daily schedule, so that I don't interfere with people getting out the door first thing in the morning.

I want to know when and how I should be helping out. Perhaps a guest who is known for their cooking skills could be asked to cook a traditional dinner from their country once or twice?

Kids should go to their usual activities. The guests could even drive them there and back. I usually take my niece to her swimming lessons and then we stop for ice cream on the way home--a special treat, but also a good bonding time.

If the guests are visiting primarily to see your family and not tour the country side, you have to build in times when you can escape them. Even if that is sending them off to view whatever tourist attractions are in your area.

And if the visitors are the kids' grandparents or aunts and uncles, I'd try to schedule time for them all to be together. The grandparents could be asked to babysit so you and DH can get an evening out, and the kids and grandparents could bond.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:00PM
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roarah

Thank you for more great advice! I feel better about my desire to keep lessons scheduled. As far as renting a car I think it might be that they are afraid to drive on the right and since my DH learned to drive on the left it is expected we always provide ourselves with our own transportation so I never push the issue when they come. However, I might let one try driving my car a bit in town so they might consider renting one next time.

My sister and mother in laws are very helpful and the kids are similare ages so I am hoping for a nice time just want to be the best host I can be while not getting so tired out that I forget to enjoy their stay. So all the tips and support should help me maintain a perfect balance, that and some nice wine too:).

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 3:13PM
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roarah

Thank you for more great advice! I feel better about my desire to keep lessons scheduled. As far as renting a car I think it might be that they are afraid to drive on the right and since my DH learned to drive on the left it is expected we always provide ourselves with our own transportation so I never push the issue when they come. However, I might let one try driving my car a bit in town so they might consider renting one next time.

My sister and mother in laws are very helpful and the kids are similare ages so I am hoping for a nice time just want to be the best host I can be while not getting so tired out that I forget to enjoy their stay. So all the tips and support should help me maintain a perfect balance, that and some nice wine too:).

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:48PM
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chispa

People who travel or relocate switch from left-hand-drive to right-hand-drive all the time. It takes a little more concentration but the majority manage just fine. Also driving in the USA is generally more "civilized" than in many parts of the world, so a bit easier for tourist to drive here!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:10AM
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juliekcmo

Having been a recent house guest for a few days, here are some ideas to consider.

Although it is nice to go out to eat a lot, it is overwhelming to eat big meal after big meal over and over. So much rich food can be hard on the digestion after a while. I would prefer to have some fix it yourself breakfast and lunches. A variety of fresh fruits, veggies, breads, beverages, crackers, deli take out items, bagels, etc would be a nice thing to cycle into the meal plans.

If you will be heading to scheduled activities, and especially if you are working and need to be on time, I would make breakfast "on your own" during those days. Guests should get to sleep in, and you shouldn't have to worry about being late.

If there is a small market or convenience store in easy walk/bike ride for them, point it out. They may want to get some junk food or people magazines and wallow on your sofa listening to Pandora. I know I love to do that on vacation.

I would probably let the guests have 1 day a week to have the washer /dryer to themselves so they can attend to their laundry needs. But of course you can always pop in a load if necessary.

Getting in exercise is important too. Can they walk easily in your neighborhood? Is it tricky not to get lost? I will drop a pin at my host's address on my cell phone map when I go on a walk, especially in a culdesac subdivision where many streets have the same name (Maple street, lane, circle, etc.)

I am sure they have the internet. They can check out your area. Ask them what sights you can drop them off to explore on their own. Maybe they want to go to an antique area and window shop and have lunch. Maybe a museum. Maybe a sporting event. You don't necessarily need to do everything together.

Also, would add to have bottled water and canned sodas available, even if your family typically doesn't. It is a nice thing to have available.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:54PM
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