How to Be the Absolute BEST Host or Guest!


How to Be the Absolute BEST Host or Guest!  | Ward Realty

Are you the host or the guest this year? 

There are several things to think about if you are hosting overnight guests for the holidays, preparing for a dinner party, attending an event at someone's home or hosting guests of your own. Our team at Ward Realty knows all about hosting ... we do it all year round! As a host, or hosting company, we like to follow these basic commandments: Be respectful, generous, and considerate. 

If you are the guest, the rules are similar. You still want to be respectful, generous and considerate so that your hosts will love having you (and maybe even ask you back next year). 

In today's blog, we will explore some ways you can shine as either a host or guest during the holiday season, or any time of the year. Make sure you read to the end, where we will tell you more about how our vacation home owners feel about hosting guests in their beach homes, hosted by yours truly, Ward Realty. 

Be a great host!

Your Goal: 

Make your guests feel as welcome and comfortable as possible! Here are some tips for hosting people overnight, and also for welcoming guests to your home for a simple get-together. 

woman setting table for dinner with guests | Ward Realty

Hosting Tip #1:  Provide awesome Guest Room basics

As you set up your guest space, think about the basic items you expect when you travel. Here are some of the amenities we see in our favorite Ward Realty rentals, and they are easy additions to your guest room. 

    • Alarm clock
    • Trash can
    • Mirror
    • Space for luggage
    • Comfortable bed with extra blankets
    • A fan or white noise machine
    • Towel hooks


Hosting Tip #2:  Add special touches

Why stop at a trash can and alarm clock? There are so many extra special touches you can add to your guest room that will make your friends and family feel welcome, comfortable and loved. Here are a few we have seen provided by some of our homeowners, as well as some new ideas just for you. 

    • Bottled water
    • Basket of snacks (granola bars, chocolate, mints, fresh fruit)
    • Device charging station
    • Nightlight
    • Magazines or books
    • Toys for little ones
    • Laundry hamper
    • Toiletries (toothpaste, lotion, soap, shampoo, etc)


Hosting Tip #3:  Make their life easy

It can be tricky to stay overnight in a new place (especially if you have kids). Try to think about your guest's needs and how you can make their stay super easy. 

    • Set up a coffee station and show them how to work the machine. 
    • Write down your Wifi password so they don't need to ask. 
    • Tell them house rules to avoid awkward or embarrassing situations (for example, maybe you are a "no shoes" household, or they need to know that the dog isn't allowed upstairs). 

Be a great guest! 

Your Goal: 

Take care of your host's home as if it were your own. Be respectful of their rules and be helpful where appropriate. 

woman giving party host a gift | Ward Realty

Great Guest Tip #1:  Offer to help out

Set the table, care for the little ones, offer to walk the dog, or do the dishes. Try to see where you can be helpful. Your host will thank you. 


Great Guest Tip #2:  Clean up after yourself

Especially if you are staying overnight, try not to leave your things all over the house. Wipe the toothpaste out of the sink, don't leave your shoes in the hallway, and pick up after your kids. 


Great Guest Tip #3:  Follow the house rules

Take off your shoes, put your phone away at mealtime, or make your bed in the morning. Not sure of the house rules? Just ask! 


Great Guest Tip #4:  Never arrive empty-handed

If you are showing up to stay overnight or simply for dinner, it's thoughtful to bring something to show your appreciation. Consider a bottle of wine, some festive soaps or candles, flowers (already in a vase, preferably), a plant, chocolates, a fun game, or a dish to contribute to the meal. If you are traveling from out of town, think of something special that your hosts can't get in their neck of the woods. 

Some fun, beach-themed hostess gifts to consider include ornaments, beach glass art, paintings or photography, tea towels, wine glasses, beach towels, seashells, and photo frames. All of these, and other ideas, can be found at the local shops on Topsail Island. Remember to bring something back for future gift giving needs.

Wondered what it's like to own a vacation home and rent it out? 

Many homeowners LOVE the idea of presenting their home to others to enjoy. They spend tons of time decorating and coming up with cool things to make your stay more enjoyable. Many of our homeowners provide small gifts or amenities, like wine, snacks, extra flip flops, sunglasses, beach wagons, swings, hammocks, grills, and more. They take every one of those special touches seriously (take a look at the photos below to see examples of gifts some homeowners leave for their special guests). 

Some of our Ward Realty vacation rentals have actually belonged to their families for generations, so those homes are more likely to boast personal family photos, eclectic decor, and perhaps some much loved and comfortable furniture.  

Each of these homes is special to the family that owns it.

beautiful ocean view from the deck of Paradise Found | Ward Realty
Ward Realty rental home gift items | Ward Realty
Ward Realty rental home gift items | Ward Realty

One of our goals at Ward Realty is to truly provide you with a "home away from home". A place you can relax, enjoy the beach, and make memories. That being said, it's important to remember that you ARE in someone's home. Someone's investment. So it's important to be a good guest, even on vacation! 

After all, you wouldn't let your grandkids drip red popsicle all over your master bed at home, or allow a big bucket of sandy shells to be dumped into the kitchen sink for rinsing ... so you wouldn't do it here, either. Treating your rental home with respect is part of the contract when you rent, on vacation or otherwise. 

One more point to serve as a gentle reminder is to please not leave windows open during the heat and humidity of the summer. One of the best things about visiting the beach is to listen to the surf and to feel the soft, slightly humid air on your skin, and smell the sea salt. We get it. The shoulder season is the perfect time to enjoy opening a window or door to the ocean air. But when the humidity is high, it causes salt air to penetrate the wood work, flooring, settle into carpets and drapes, and coat the floors and furnishings with salt. It also overworks the AC unit, causing downtime and costly repairs. It will rust appliances, and ruin artwork. 

If you shout "Close the door, we aren't cooling the outside..." at home, remember the same applies on vacation. 

We hope this summary about how to be the best host or guest has helped you strategize the upcoming holiday season, and inspired you to host something yourself. 

Did this post pique your interest in becoming a vacation rental home owner? We can help with that, too. Just contact Ward Realty Sales to start looking at our dreamy beach house listings. 


How to Be the Absolute BEST Host or Guest!  | Ward Realty

Ready to book your next vacation? 

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