How to make a stayover at your apartment special for your friends at $100 or less


When you’re hosting an out-of-town guest overnight, it’s an opportunity to let your innate penchant for hospitality really shine. But if you’re on a tight budget, it can also be a somewhat stressful undertaking. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide of tips and tricks for the money-conscious host or hostess. Take these steps to welcome your guest (or guests) without breaking the bank:

  • Whip up a welcome cocktail. Chances are you already have some booze in the cabinet, so might as well use it to greet your guest. Craft a few cocktails or a whole pitcher of sangria to celebrate his or her arrival. Have them all ready to go when your visitor arrives and toast to his safe travels. For a summery sip, try this simple Bay Breeze recipe from (all you need are vodka, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice) or this margarita recipe by Real Simple.
  • Make a toiletries basket. Chances are your guest is going to bring his own toothpaste and shampoo, but wouldn’t it be nice to have them on hand if he forgets something? Shop the travel aisle at Target for mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and any other necessities you think your guest might need. The ingredients for your toiletries basket should only be about a dollar each, so even if you fill it to the brim, you shouldn’t be stretching your budget very far. Roll up towels, a wash cloth, and any other extra linens and stick them in the basket hotel-style.
  • Offer a loose itinerary. Depending on whether your guest comes during the workweek out of necessity or on the weekend as a mini vacation, your itinerary will vary slightly. If you’re going to be heading out to work for the day first thing in the morning, leave her a list of things to do in the neighborhood, given that they’re walkable and you’ve also left an extra key. If you’re going to be entertaining your guest on a Saturday or Sunday, then you can keep the itinerary on hand. Just make sure you have something planned, and take your audience into account.
  • Change the sheets. Changing the sheets between each house guest is basically the bare minimum when it comes to guest room maintenance. Even if the sheets on the bed are clean, you might want to consider upgrading to a softer set if the “show sheets” aren’t actually very comfortable. Also make sure that there are plenty of pillows, extra blankets if necessary, and anything else your visitor might need for snoozing.
  • Make snacks and drinks accessible. As a guest in someone else’s home, you probably don’t feel comfortable just barging into the kitchen and grabbing whatever you want. The same is true of someone staying in your home. Grant them unlimited access to snacks like granola bars and fresh fruit by placing some right in the guest room, along with bottled water. Bonus points if you invest in a Keurig and some K cups, too, that sit right alongside the snacks.

6 Sure-Fire Ways to Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home [Apartment Therapy]
Make Your Overnight Guest Feel At Home [Southern Living]
7 Ways to Make Overnight Guests Feel Welcome [One Kings Lane]

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