Author Topic: How to be a good host?  (Read 2011 times)


  • Bristles
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How to be a good host?
« on: November 30, 2017, 09:38:33 AM »
I have two friends coming to visit me, my old college roommates who I haven't seen in years.  We talk occasionally and always enjoy catching up, but I'm an introvert and have next to no hosting experience.  They're visiting me in Italy where I live now, but I have only been here 3 months and moved into my apartment almost a month and a half ago.  I'm still learning the city and have been travelling almost every weekend so I'm practically a visitor here too.  To complicate matters, it will be rainy the first weekend that they are here.  I'm sure they will expect me to know where to go out to dinner, but I cook for myself almost all the time.  They will be staying for a week and one is definitely not mustachian.

I could use some advice for things to have to munch on, things to do on rainy days, and just general hosing etiquette that I might be missing.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: How to be a good host?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2017, 10:41:18 AM »
First, I would say that you're already providing them with a tremendous service in giving them a place to stay, so I would take some of the pressure off yourself. Obviously, they're coming for the locale, if they haven't visited for years before you moved to Italy.

Second, there are guide books and website to find activities, and they will probably have things they want to do. So, approach as an opportunity to explore your new city together. Try out new restaurants, do some sight-seeing, let them pick activities; not everything has to be pre-vetted. Heck, I love going to markets to shop for food in new places. Maybe they'll enjoy that. Everything is exciting when you're in a new place.

As far as hosting, I'd make sure to have a comfortable spot for them to sleep and some food in the apartment for mornings and snacks. I would not feel pressured to cook every night, and they can certainly help out since you're already providing some food and a place to stay.

As an introvert, you also need to take alone time when you need it. You haven't seen these people in years, so you may feel an obligation to be with them every moment and always have something planned. Resist this temptation. You will be burnt out and potentially quite unhappy by the end of the trip, which has the potential to damage your relationship if you start snapping at them (maybe that's just me?). So, build in alone time. Give them time to read books while it's raining. You aren't a tour guide. You're a friend who happens to live a fun place.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: How to be a good host?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 11:29:04 AM »
I love grocery shopping in other countries, and seeing how the locals live. So maybe they'd want to go to the grocery store with you to pick out something to cook--maybe you offer to cook one night for them, and then they can cook another night? And definitely use it as an opportunity to find things nearby to explore--coffee shops, restaurants, etc. If you're in a bigger city, you can use TripAdvisor or even a guidebook for your city to find things to do.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: How to be a good host?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2017, 04:21:45 PM »
A good place to start:
Identify a place to sleep and provide clean bedding and a towel.  Have at least one chair for each person staying in your home.
Have coffee and tea and milk available in the mornings.   Simple breakfast foods (help themselves is fine).   Buy a bottle of wine, and have some basic snacks, like cheese, crackers or bread and fruit on hand.

After that, it is really up to you, because you like to cook, plan a few meals that way,  and suggest it to them as an option -- "I plan to make x tonight, and have fixings for Y and z later this week but the schedule is flexible"..but after the first day, be prepared to be invited out to dinner with them (put cooking plans on hold, willingly).    Plan to go to the local grocery with them, for them to shop for food to keep at your place.

Having a tourist map of your area, maybe a bus card (if you are urban and you need to buy them from a specific office), and a printed list of restaurants from an on-line site would be nice.  Also find out where they can get local SIM cards and internet service and take them there if they want.   Write out your WIFI password.  Show them where to put the garbage when its full and where you keep things to wash dishes and ask them to do so as needed (or any other chore that you don't want to chase after them doing).

Other activities -- a nice walk near your place, showing them an area that you like is nice with a local.   you don't have to go inside to events or museums, just a walking tour outside.  Nature walk is ok too.

Then -- relax and just ask them what they would like to do..  They will certainly have many ideas.


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