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happy overnight hosting a handy survival guide for coping with out-of-town guests | 1 2 3
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6 Suppress the temptation to become the tourguide-from-hell.
There’s nothing I find more tiresome than going to visit a friend and watching that friend stress out while he/she tries to plan out every single second of my visit. Chances are good that your guests are there primarily to see you, not to be dragged out to every museum, monument, park, and tourist trap within driving distance. Granted, there are those personalities that just can’t seem to cope with something as non-active as chilling at a café – and for those folks, I recommend you toss ‘em a tourguide, and urge them to go nuts. If they’re playing indecisive, suggest some possible itineraries that include both drop-them-off-and-let-them-wander-alone days (city-centered sightseeing seems most conducive to this) and drive-around-with-them-excursions.

7 You don’t have to cook every meal by yourself.
Really – there’s no need to kill yourself trying to impress guests by concocting elaborate feasts for and each and every meal. Treat your guests to your favorite local restaurants for dinner, and make lunch a simple affair by either grabbing a light meal at a cozy little café, or doing sandwiches at home. Take guests to the supermarket with you so they can pick up their favorite breakfast foods and miscellaneous munchies. If you do decide to make a meal at home, why not make it a communal effort? Have a barbecue, make sushi or dumplings … inviting your guests to pitch in will give them something to do, and you’ll all have fun catching up on gossip and what’s going on in each other’s lives as you sit around in the kitchen working.

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Above all, try not to get too irked by the little things – your friend being indecisive, your Mom’s well-intentioned nagging, your sibling inadvertently wrecking your teflon-coated skillet by scrubbing it with a scouring pad.  Yes, I realize this can be difficult, particularly when it's day 7 of their extended visit and you're just dying to have your space all to yourself again. But remember: these are the people you love, and who knows when you’ll next get a chance to spend quality time with them again? So relax. And have fun.

check out these related articles:
hosting a divine dinner party
secrets of the spontaneous host

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