Hi! I’m Julia from MyNewPlace — welcome to round two of MyNewPlace Fridays, when one of us here at MNP writes a guest blog post about our own apartment life experiences!
I live right in San Francisco, which is awesome for many reasons, and especially because it means that out-of-town friends like to come visit. Whether it’s someone local who decides to crash because they missed the last train or more far-flung friendies visiting for extended sightseeing, my apartment often plays host to at least one extra body.
It’s not so hard to prepare for planned houseguests, but more often than not these things happen on the fly. I’ve finally learned to keep a small arsenal of guest supplies on hand so I never have to worry about being caught off guard and being a bad hostess (gasp!). Jk, my friends are pretty low maintenance, but I still like to stockpile the following, just in case:
1. Air mattress or camping bedroll (or futon, if you’re feeling fancy). Assuming you don’t have a functioning guest room — if you do, know this: I am VERY jealous — it’s nice to be able to offer your guests something a little cushier than your floor to sleep on. Futons or sleeper sofas are great furniture investments, but air mattresses and camping bedrolls are usually a cheaper way to get the job done. Plus, they’re super small and easy to store, so they won’t take up tons of space in your apartment once your guests are gone. If you go with an air mattress, I strongly recommend one with an electric pump.
2. Extra linens. Specifically blankets or sleeping bags and towels. Even planned houseguests probably won’t be lugging these around with them, and there’s no easier way to make somebody feel at home than to give them a warm bed and some way to wash up.
3. Bottles of wine. A friend of mine and her roommates keep a few decent bottles of house wine in their place at all times, and I think that’s a great idea. It’s nice to be able to welcome someone into your home with a beverage, and you’re always prepared for an impromptu dinner or gathering. If wine isn’t your thing, you could easily swap this out for tasty treats of any kind!
4. Pain relievers. Maybe your guest sleeps funny on your awesome bedroll, or drinks a little too much of your free-flowing house wine. Not to worry, you got it covered — if you keep some aspirin or ibuprofen on hand, no one has to be miserable.
5. A couple of easy, complete meals. I don’t mean you need to be constantly cooking so you can always offer guests a home-cooked meal, I mean something like boxed mac ‘n cheese. It’s easy to grab a couple of these types of meals at the store and then stockpile them so you never find yourself in a hungry-guest bind. This is especially helpful if your guests will be spending any time at your place without you; they can easily help themselves, and you don’t have to worry about them.
6. Directions and information about your neighborhood. Know where your guests can grab a cup of coffee or a quick lunch. It’s also super helpful to tell people where they can park, and give them a heads up about any weird parking restrictions in your area (ahem, everywhere in San Francisco). If your guests are going to be taking public transit anywhere, know a little bit about what bus or train lines run near you.
And last but not least, a ‘sharing is caring’ attitude! If you invite guests into your home, be ready to cover the bases they forgot. Who HASN’T arrived at their destination only to discover their toothpaste has been sucked into the great travel vortex? Letting your guests know it’s cool to use your stuff (within reason, of course), is probably the best way to make them feel comfortable and welcome.
And HAVE FUN! And tell us what we forgot here or on Facebook!