How to Make Family and Friends Feel at Home When Staying Overnight at Your Apartment

When you have friends and/or family coming into town, they’re likely to stay in a nearby hotel for comfort and convenience. And that’s perfectly OK. But, what if you want them to stay with you at your place? Even if you live in an apartment with one bedroom, it’s possible to create a comfortable atmosphere for your incoming guests if you’re open to hosting.

If you’re thinking about accommodating loved ones at your apartment home, why not look to the experts whose main purpose is to provide a satisfying stay? According to Rory Peska, senior director of eCommerce at Interstate Hotels, there are certain amenities guests have come to expect when they seek a comfortable place to slumber while on a business or leisure getaway.

Here are some of those expectations and how you can apply these to loved ones staying with you in your humble abode:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi: Everyone wants to connect to the web. Before your visitors arrive, write down your Wi-Fi log-in information for them to access immediately. You may have to hunt it down yourself, so having it handy for your visitors will save time and frustration for future guests. It’s wise that your Wi-Fi password is not the same password you use for all of your online accounts.


  • Airport Shuttle Service/Parking: While you may not be able to pick up your guests from the airport, it’s still important to give them information on their best transportation options with very specific directions to your apartment – especially if your community is gated.


  • Breakfast Options: Even if you don’t follow the mantra that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, your guests might. Avoid awkward morning conversations by having plenty of options ready – especially the coffee. To be an even better host, ask them beforehand about any specific dietary needs or restrictions. It’s might be helpful to show them where to get water or soft drinks while staying with you. That way they don’t feel like they have to ask you every time they need a drink.


  • Fitness Center/Pools: While your apartment may have limits on the number of visitors allowed at these facilities, there is still opportunity to afford your family or friends access to these amenities to enhance their stay with you. Just be sure they understand and follow all of the rules of your community and to respect the rights of other residents. You don’t want to make your neighbors mad by splashing around in the pool after hours.


  • Location: Put some effort into informing your guests about nearby attractions and restaurants based on their unique interests in case you can’t spend every waking moment with them. If they have never been to your city or state before, help them decide what the must-see attractions are in your area - especially if you live in one of the best places to vacation.


  • Easy Access: Have you thought about how their schedule may or may not align with yours? It may be smart to give them a spare key to get in and out when you’re off at work or elsewhere. Don’t forget to include a fob for the community’s gate if you have one. Nothing could be worse than sitting idle outside a gate while waiting for a resident to enter.

Taking Care of Toiletries

Towels in apartment bathroom

While it’s likely that your guests will be bringing some of their own toiletries, this might be one of the most important aspects of being a successful host. From making sure the bathroom doesn’t run out of toilet paper to providing fresh towels, prepping for this part of the overnight or more stay is a necessity.

Here are some additional things to think about before you consider becoming a host everyone will appreciate:

  • Is the toilet paper in plain sight to restock?
  • Do you have enough towels to last them through their stay? Have you provided beach towels, if needed?
  • Are you providing shampoo, conditioner and soap to suit the needs of your guests?
  • Do you have additional toiletries such as extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, razors, tissues and feminine products and a basket to store them in?
  • Is there a hair dryer set out for them?

Thinking Through the Details

TV remote in front of TV

“Hotels do a great job at evolving,” Peska said. “Allergy-friendly is a big attraction, and hotels are also offering Smart TVs with Netflix access to guests, which will become a standard fairly quickly.”

Just like hotels, it’s important to adapt to the needs and preferences of the people staying with you. In addition to serving your allergy-prone friends by washing the sheets an extra time and showing them how to use your TV, you can also provide them extra chargers for their phones and put extra blankets out. Put yourself in their shoes to think about what you would like if you were staying at their place.

Making the Most of Your Space

Friend welcoming couple into her apartment

The most important thing to decide is where to sleep your guests at your apartment – the sofa, an air mattress or even your room if you’re feeling extra generous. Wherever you decide, it might be helpful to put out a chair that can serve as a makeshift luggage rack. When setting up the sleeping space, add a nightlight, move a lamp next to their sleeping space and provide a box fan to keep them comfortable.

Whatever it takes to prepare for your visitors, let them know they are welcome from the moment they arrive. One easy way to do this is to show them everything you’ve prepared for them. Then you can set expectations with them for plans the following day to avoid any confusion in the morning when everyone needs to get ready. Whether you’ve never hosted before or are simply looking to do it better, a little hospitality can go a long way and may be easier and more rewarding than you anticipated.

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