Does the idea of hosting overnight guests stress you out? It doesn't have to with a little forethought and preparation. Here are a handful of must-haves that will ensure your home provides a relaxing, memorable stay.

  • Room amenities -- Start with a spot to stow luggage, and make sure hangers and an empty drawer or shelf are available. Place a bottle of water on the bedside table and give lamps fresh light bulbs. Also consider adding age-friendly provisions like children's books for little ones.
  • Prepped bed - Outfitting the bed with clean sheets is a given, but you can heighten the experience by making them perfectly crisp, hotel style.. Add a spare blanket and extra pillows to accommodate a range of sleep preferences.
  • Stocked bathroom -- You may not have a dedicated bath for guests, but you want the one they'll use to be nice and clean. Polish fixtures, mop floors, top off the hand soap and empty the trash. Then set out fresh towels and new rolls of toilet paper, including a prominent spare to avoid awkward requests.
  • Accessible pantry -- You may feel pressure to deliver elaborate breakfasts, but not everyone has the same morning routine. Instead, stock the kitchen with an array of available options, like coffee, tea, yogurt and fresh fruit so guests can help themselves.
  • List of household resources -- Put together a kit of essentials, including a phone charger and a spare key if appropriate. Also prepare a one-sheeter complete with your Wi-Fi password, important phone numbers, any household instructions and a list of local spots they may need or want to visit, like a pharmacy or neighborhood cafe.

While you don't have to live up to hotel standards, a bit of advance work will make sure your overnight houseguests feel welcome.