During my trips, I often had bad hostes. It was not always bad will but just a lack of know-how. Here is a guide which you will use if you host knowledges, couchsurfers or if you want to let a room on AirBnb.
1. Prepare the stay :
Help him to prepare his luggage :
– What is the forecast temperature during his stay ?
– Should he plan particular clothes for activities who you have planned together (dress/suit, swimsuit, running shoes) ?
– Should he bring a sleeping bag, a towel, an hair dryer, shower gel, plug adapter. Generally, I supply all these things to my guests, so I tell it them in order to they don’t have to take charge of pointlessly.
– What have he planned to do ?
– Has he some questions on the town, activities ?
– Should he buy train or bus tickets for excursion ?Help him to prepare his luggage :
2. Prepare the arrival :
Notice to the guest how to precisely give up until your home. I always suggest the simplest way to my guests noticing them where is the subway change in order to they don’t getting lost. Confirm the arrival hour, the adress, the door code, the floor and the door to knock at.
The reception is very important, it is the first impression which will give the feeling of the stay. Generally, the guest is tired, disoriented and sometimes jetlagged. It will be your role, in a known place, to reassure and make him feel well. Show him where tu put his luggage, where are the restrooms, make hime sat, offer him some water or another drink (it is usual to have a water thirst, or a hot tea if the weather is cold). When he is getting relax, ask him how his trip was and explain to him how the flat « works », like the key process if you have let a bunch. Generally, I write my adress, the subway station, the door code, my last name and the floor on a paper and I tell them to keep it in their pocket. I had too many guests who had phone batterie problems so a paper is safer.
Your guest will quickly be hungry. The meal is not always included in the accomodation. It is better to make him the first meal of the stay because the first day, we are tired and we need to recover. After that, you are free to suggest them to go shopping with you, or to ask him to cook something for the day after. If you can, go to the supermaket with him if he does not speak the local language. It’s complicated not to be lost in a supermarket in a foreign country.
5. Communicate !
If you speak another language, it makes the communication harder but nevertheless essential. We quickly walk over ourself in a little space, so let your guest know he could improve your sharing (like being tidy, not making noise) and also listen to what he wants to say. All these things have to be done with courtesy and of course, smile.
Offer regularly something to eat or to drink. As easy as it is to snack when you are at home, it is equally to make a tea when you are in a someone else’s home.
6. Respect his privacy
Communicate is good, but not too much. The fact that you know better each other, there is no need to be too intrusive. Let him breathe because after his field days, he should be tired. If he sleeps on your couch, go to your bedroom when you feel he’s starting to be tired. Don’t squat the sofa until the end of the night. There will be sufficient time to go on the conversation during the breakfast.
If you take your host to a party, mainly if he doesn’t speak the language, make you sure he is not sat in the corner gazing at the ceiling when you are telling jokes, he could not understand, to your friends. It is not easy to become integrated in a party where you don’t know anybody and it is more difficult when you don’t control the language.
Take the advantage of his presence to rediscover your city and see something you should not have seen alone.
8. The departure
Check with your guest he doesn’t forgot anything. It will avoid to send it later. Foresee the best initenary for his departure. Does he need you to drop him somewhere.
Help him to get his luggage down until the cab or subway station if he is loaded. Check what he brought to you and thank him. If you want to see him again, tell it 🙂
9. Keep in touch
Keep in touch is not always a natural initiative but it is like that I build my network all around the world.
I keep in touch with a nepalese friend by WhatsApp, with a friend who lives in Austin by iMessage (thanks Apple for this beautiful invention), with a balinese friend by Facebook messages and with a filipino friend by mail. I send them some pictures of Paris under the snow and I receive beautiful pictures from where they are. Add someone on Facebook is great but it is often complicated to get back in touch with somebody one or two years later without keeping in touch before.
10. Become someone’s guest in return
Now that you have been an amazing host, one or several times, you have a lot of old guests who are expecting to you in many parts of the world !