The Etiquette of Overnight Hosting & Guesting 🏡

A Guide by Life School

This guide is 1,277 words, a 5 min and 6 second reading time. Subscribe here

📍 Introduction: 

An overnight invitation - whether with a friend, family member, or new romantic prospect - is an honor, and responsibility! Both hosting and guesting can lead to awkward or uncomfortable interactions. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, "Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." Whether hosting or guesting, a little etiquette know-how can go a long way towards receiving that coveted return invite. Let's dive in. 

Part I: Hosting

✅ Instructions:

  1. Invite your guest(s) & set the dates.

  2. Ask about dietary restrictions.

  3. Share your address & relevant instructions (e.g., gate code). 

  4. Prepare the guest room (e.g., wash linens, make the bed).

  5. Stock the kitchen & bathroom (see reference guides below).

  6. Host with style! 

📝 Notes, Tips & Tricks:  

Before & Upon Arrival

  • If a guest is flying in, ask for arrival & departure information so you can track easily. If your home is in a remote area, offer to help your guests figure out transportation.

  • Seek to make your guests feel welcome (e.g., ask about any special requirements or needs, show excitement for their visit).

  • Upon arrival, greet your guests and show them to the room and bathroom they will use. Show them how to adjust the heating or air conditioning and where the light switches are. Give them a moment to relax and get settled. 

  • Share your routine with your guests and give them a heads up on any absences. (e.g., "Monday evening I have a work dinner, but let's plan on getting dinner together on Tuesday.”)

  • The more comfortable the bedding, the happier your guest will be. While it's tempting to skimp on guest pillows & sheets, provide bedding you would be excited to sleep in. 

  • Want to provide next-level sleeping arrangements? Provide a couple of different types of pillows (e.g., soft, medium). 

During the Stay:

  • Aim to make your guests feel as comfortable as possible by being attuned to their needs. 

  • Instruct your guests to help themselves to the kitchen or bar. If there is anything you don't want to share, tuck it away. 

  • Have some activities in mind to do with your guests, but also leave them time to relax or explore independently. 

  • Share with them some of your favorite restaurants, hikes, local museums, or other activities in the area. 

After the Stay: 

  • Assist your guests with their departure. (e.g., help them figure out transportation, see them to the door).

  • Thank them for any gifts or contributions and for the time together.

  • Take a moment to relax! 

📓 Kitchen Stocking Reference Guide 

  • Morning Beverage (highly recommended): Coffee or black tea; milk (or dairy-free alternative), sugar/honey

  • Breakfast (recommended): Bread & butter/jam, granola, yogurt, fruit (e.g., bananas, berries, apples); eggs

  • Snacks (optional): fruit, crackers, cheese, nuts, olives, chocolate

  • Afternoon/evening beverage (recommended): wine, beer, sparkling water, juice, herbal tea

  • Information (highly recommended): Wifi login (ideally written or printed)

📓 Bedroom Stocking Reference Guide 

  • Bedding (recommended): comfortable pillows, extra blanket, fresh sheets  

  • Closet (recommended): Hangers and space, 1-2 empty drawers 

  • Other (optional): a carafe of water and drinking glasses, reading material (a newspaper or magazine), extra phone charger, a snack. 

📓 Bathroom Stocking Reference Guide  

  • Shower (recommended): shampoo, conditioner, soap (e.g., liquid, wrapped/fresh bar) 

    Sink (optional): toothpaste, extra toothbrush, sunscreen, body lotion

  • Misc (recommended): hairdryer, feminine supplies, toilet paper, plunger, toilet brush 

Part II: Guesting 

✅ Instructions:

  1. Receive invitation graciously (e.g., "thank you so much!") 

  2. Accept or politely decline.

  3. Schedule transportation & other relevant logistics (e.g., cat sitter). 

  4. Procure host(ess) gift.

  5. Pack. 

  6. Travel.

  7. Arrive & enjoy! 

📝 Notes, Tips & Tricks:  

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