Almost everyone loves to travel. It’s one of the most popular things to put on your iconic Tinder profile (well, that and dogs). At the end of the day though, we can’t always travel. Instead of writing about traveling and relying on friends to save money during your journey, let’s flip it on its head: what about when you’re the one inviting friends over amidst their travels?
Part of being a good traveler means knowing when to support your traveling friends, too. As your loved ones take the world by storm, offering a comfortable couch (or even a bed) can make all the difference to someone who is tired of sleeping in their car on a cross country road trip. After all, as many as half of all travelers note that the cost of traveling is the most expensive part of the holidays. Even if it isn’t time to swap presents, being a good host should be a year-round goal for a helpful friend. Just like you’d expect your friends to be there for you, it’s important to extend your hand when it’s needed.
Are you ready to be a better host when inviting friends over amidst their travels? Here are some of the best ways to make your traveling friends more comfortable in your home.
Make a great first impression
If this is a friend that you haven’t seen in a while, they’ll appreciate the effort you took to make their step across the threshold memorable. It might seem a little cliche to offer them a welcome basket, but this is a great way to show that their presence isn’t a burden on you, even if you’re the one that invited them. A little basket consisting of snacks and toiletries never hurts. Your friend will feel thankful that you put in the effort to make their stay more comfortable.
You might also want to make space for them in your kitchen. In the event that they brought any food or mugs, they’ll want to feel like they’re not invading your space. This doesn’t mean you have to shell out for an entire kitchen remodel (though this is a popular summer choice for homeowners). Rather, just making space and encouraging your friend to make themselves at home can help them feel more comfortable.
Offer them a ride
If your friend traveled by car, this shouldn’t be an issue. But if you’re inviting friends over that traveled by plane, train, or boat, the best thing you can do is give them freedom.
Few guests want to pester their host for rides, even if you’re the one inviting friends over to your home. While Uber and Lyft have become some of the most popular ways to get around, many areas are still devoid of that luxury. Rather, investing in a sports car rental will make their trip more fun, more independent, and more memorable.
When is the last time that you got to do something so cool? Go on an amazing ride with your friend to the beach or test to see how fast you can go somewhere safe. Just be sure to store the rental behind your garage roll up door to keep it safe from bird droppings, hail, and other factors that might otherwise damage the vehicle. These types of cars are often insured, but any overt damage that you cause will likely have to be paid out of pocket.
In the time of COVID-19, sometimes, all we can do is go for a drive to get out of the house. Investing in a car rental will not only offer your friends freedom, but it will also give the two of you something to do if you’re bored. Your local drive-through eateries don’t stand a chance.
Make sure your home is comfortable
Before you send out that text inviting your friend over, you’ll want to make sure that your home is in tip-top condition. Even if you’ve been friends or family members for years, ensuring that your loved one is comfortable should be one of your top priorities.
In the heat of summer, the one saving grace is air conditioning. Even if you’re not a fan of this wonderful technology, making sure your HVAC services are in working order will help keep your friend more comfortable. After all, they’re traveling; air conditioning might be the one luxury they’ve had on their long journey.
Along with repairing your air conditioner, you should also ensure that the unit and/or ductwork is clean. Allergies are rampant in the summer. Between dust, pollen, and other allergens, your friend might have an allergy attack when you kick the AC on. Ensure that your HVAC is clean since it will circulate the air throughout your home. If you have an air purifier, that’s all the better.
You should also work on cleaning your home in other ways. Ensure that the bathroom is scrubbed to shine, otherwise, your guest might not feel clean. Traveling can take a lot out of you, so making sure that the basic essentials of your house are usable and clean can make all the difference on their trip. Scrub the tub, clean the toilet, and make sure that the sink isn’t clogged with hair. It might be a step too far to invest in sewer cleaning before your friend arrives. But if this is a longstanding issue, inviting friends over is the perfect excuse to stop procrastinating projects like these.
You should also take extra precautions if you have any pets. Of course, this pertains to the aforementioned allergies that your friend might experience. But at the very least, few travelers want to be covered in cat hair when they arrive. If you have a furry friend, be sure to vacuum any and all fabrics, including your couch. Should you own any rodents, ensure that their cages are clean to prevent bad smells. The same can be said for any lizards, birds, or reptiles you house as well. Regular upkeep for your pets can make a world of a difference for your visiting friend and your pet healthcare needs. A clean cage creates a happy pet — and happy guests when you’re inviting friends over.
Even if your friend hopes to have a relaxing vacation on their travels, you should still find activities that get your body moving. This might be especially hard in the time of COVID-19, so planning ahead is vital to the success of your trip.
Going to the beach is always a fun way to pass the time, especially in summer. Unfortunately, many people have the same idea, so it’s vital that you practice social distancing when you go outdoors. Hiking, on the other hand, is usually more isolated. Just be sure to pack up on bug spray and snacks before you hit the trails.
If you want to experience something more exciting, dirt biking can be a memorable experience. Since most businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 have started opening up again, you and your friend should have no problems selecting the right dirt bike equipment at your local haunt. Load up with the proper gear and take some classes before navigating trails. Depending on where you live, you might also need the necessary licensing before you even sit on a dirt bike. Do your research, ask yourself if your friend would find this fun, and make some calls before committing.
The best way to stay active while traveling is to combine cool experiences with your physical activity, like dirt biking. But if you want something more mellow or educational, visiting a museum or aquarium can be a great way to pass the time. You’ll stretch your legs by walking around a big building and you’ll stretch your mind when you learn more about the world around you. Nature tours via hiking or kayaking can be another great way to flex your muscles as you learn something new. Many people think that vacations aren’t a time for learning but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Those who try to learn something new during their travels will often have fonder memories of their trip.
If your friend is uncomfortable venturing outdoors because of the coronavirus pandemic, there are also plenty of things to do at home. If you have a lawn, ensure that it’s not too wet from the rain. You might want to invest in dewatering services before you bring your friend over. But if your lawn is in good condition, you can have a lot of safe fun outdoors. Playing lawn games like Kan Jam and cornhole are simple ways to get active that don’t require too much effort or experience. Just about everyone can have fun playing these simple games. Be sure to schedule in some fun activities when you’re inviting friends over on their travels.
Plan fun events
Many people hope to de-stress when they’re going on vacation or traveling. When you’re inviting friends over, you’ll want to ensure their schedule is a mix of relaxation and fun events to keep things interesting. If you happen to live in a legal state, investing in cannabis delivery services can make your time together more fun.
As long as you both know about the effects that pot can have on the body, the two of you will have a blast trying new foods, relaxing, or even trying out different activities. There are countless medical benefits to marijuana and CBD alike. As long as you weigh the risks and rewards, smoking can be a safe, fun experience for the both of you. Just keep in mind that activities like this won’t be fun for someone recovering from opioid addiction or a similar issue. Even the slightest temptation can set them back, even if you think pot won’t have that effect. Talk to your friend openly and honestly about what to expect from the weekend and if there’s anything you can do to respect their needs when they arrive.
Even if you don’t have some of the devil’s lettuce, planning fun events is key. Maybe you can host a socially distant meet-up with some friends of yours. You can also plan a movie night or a game night to give the two of you something to look forward to. This, of course, will vary from person to person since everyone has differing interests. Consider the things that you and your friend used to do together to add a dash of nostalgia to the mix. The two of you will become closer over shared experiences and good memories.
Help them plan for the next step of their journey
Inviting friends over is fun, but it also takes a bit of work. Before your friend leaves, they will likely need to restock on shampoo, snacks, and maybe even a good book to pass the time on the train or plane. The last day of their trip should be used to help make the next step of their journey all the easier.
The best way to ensure that they have everything is by creating a checklist. Organize their goods and what they need into multiple categories, like toiletries, snacks, clothing, and more. That way, they’ll be sure to pack up all the stuff that they brought to your place, along with any new materials that they need to buy for the trip. It might be tempting to make that list online or on their phone, but physically writing it down on a piece of paper will help them remember what they need later.
Inviting friends over
Inviting your traveling friends over for a while can be a great way to have fun. If you’re not thinking about how to make their trip better, however, you shouldn’t offer up your home in the first place! Rely on these important tips when you’re inviting friends over. That way, you’ll be able to make the most of your friend’s journey.