What to Keep in Mind when Hosting International Guests

Hosting international guests is exciting but also comes with some challenges! Here's everything you should do to make your guests feel welcome.

Published:
October 5, 2022

Meeting people from all over the world is always exciting! If you're hosting someone from another country, you get to know more about them, their language, and their culture. And, because you're their only contact with locals, you can also help them navigate and experience your city in the right way! However, there are always additional issues when hosting international guests. For example, the differences in cultures can sometimes cause a cultural shock. And there's also the language barrier. Fortunately, these obstacles are simple to overcome if you plan ahead for your visitors. To help you with that, we compiled a list of things to keep in mind when hosting international guests. If you follow our advice, your visitors will feel at ease and welcome in your country and vacation rental!

Be Open-Minded

If you're hosting international guests, step one is to forget all stereotypes you thought you knew about their country and culture. You want to go into this completely open-minded. Think about how you'd feel if you were in a different country. Then, treat your guests the way you want to be treated.

Later during their stay, if you notice anything you don't understand and suspect it's due to a different cultural background, ask them about it. Don't be afraid to speak up and show interest in your guests' customs. Many visitors will be more than eager to share their culture with you. In turn, you will also get to teach them something about your own culture and traditions. And, who knows, in the end, you may even make a friend for life who lives on the opposite side of the world.

Offer A Warm Welcome

The moment your guests arrive is very important. Those first impressions can make a tired traveller feel at ease like they've come home, even if it's only for a night. So, be sure to be warm and welcoming to your guests. Offer them a nice warm/cold beverage (depending on the weather) and consider sticking around for a chat. Of course, nobody expects you to take a note from Ancient Greeks and throw an all-night drinking party for your guests. You also don't want your guests to feel smothered. Allow them time to adjust to the atmosphere of your house by giving them some space and time to settle in.

Person wearing boots standing near a doormat.
Give your guests a warm welcome to make them feel at home.

Try To Overcome the Language Barrier

As we already mentioned, the most challenging obstacle you may confront when hosting guests from a different country is the language barrier. However, there's a simple solution for that - Google Translate! It can provide real-time translations that make your conversation with your guests much more effortless. Furthermore, you can try learning essential conversational phrases in your guests' language. Even if you mispronounce a word or two, your guests will most likely be ecstatic that you even tried to speak to them in their language!

If you want to go the extra mile, you can put up simple signs in your guests' language around your property to signal where they can find things like towels, hairdryers, etc.

Put Together a Welcoming Guide

If you want your international guests to have a completely stress-free stay, make sure you put together a welcoming guide for them. This, along with a welcoming basket of local snacks, is one of the easiest ways to make your guests fall in love with your property. Make sure to add details like the Wi-Fi password, guides, etc. Moreover, you can add information like the location of the nearest exchange office, nearest bus and metro lines, and house rules. You can also provide local suggestions, such as cuisine tours or neighbouring sites. If you can, make sure to translate the guide into your guests' native language. That way, there's a higher chance they'll understand the guide and house rules.

A man unpacking clothes from his luggage.
While it’s important to welcome your guests, don’t forget to give them some space to unpack and settle in.

Additional Amenities

Finally, go above and beyond to make people feel welcome by providing additional amenities. One example is providing guests with electrical adapters to use throughout their stay. This means they won't have to buy adapters they'll only use while they're here. Another example of an amenity most people consider a priority is Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is crucial for those foreign guests who'd like to keep in touch with their friends and family back home. Alternatively, it's a basic necessity for those who have to use Wi-Fi to work when they're not out exploring the city.

Moreover, some people like having a safe space to keep all their belongings secure when they're out. If you can, get a safe for your property and let your guests set their own passwords every time. While your property might already be safe, your guests will probably feel more at ease knowing their most precious belongings are in a locked safe. Similarly, some prefer keeping their valuables in temporary storage space while travelling. People find it helpful to know their most important and/or valuable belongings are in safe hands with professionals.

Introduce Them to the Area

Whether your visitors are here for business or pleasure, a basic awareness of the local culture – the surroundings, what to anticipate, where and what to eat, how to commute, and so on – would be very appreciated. Share the finest of your city's offerings, and don't be afraid to boast a bit! By sharing your experiences or even taking out, you can help them grasp the finest of your local culture. If you prefer a less hands-on approach, leaving the restaurant and bar suggestions in a guide should suffice.

People clinking glasses while having dinner.
A great way to give your guests a taste of your culture and area is to take them out for dinner.

Final Thoughts

The main distinction between hosting international guests and hosting others is that international guests may require more assistance than regular guests. Accepting them into your house is practically the same as welcoming them into your culture and customs. You can help shape their experience visiting your city. It's one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a host.

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