5 Tips For Being An Awesome NYC Hostess

Last week we hashed out the 5 commandments 5 gracious tips to remember if you’re staying in someone’s home as a guest in NYC.  I thought it only fair that we come full circle on the topic and set some guidelines for being a rockstar hostess as well.

Here’s my tips for being known all around the world Manhattan as the hostess with the mostess!

1. Stock Up On Food/Snacks Your Guest Will Enjoy

If your grocery shopping regime is anything like mine, chances are you may only have exactly enough food in your fridge and cabinets for what you plan to eat for the week (or less!), cause space!  Besides my bag of almonds I’m pretty guilty of not having stuff for noshing on around the house, which is totally ok when it’s just the hubs and I, but not cool for guests.

Before you run off and start stocking up on Doritos and Dr. Pepper, take into account what your guests enjoy.  Do they have any dietary restrictions (gluten, dairy, vegetarian, vegan?)  Are they a health food nut or not so much?  Do they prefer sweet or salty snacks?  Coffee or tea?  Regular or decaf?  Asking your guest ahead of time will ensure you stock up on the right stuff they’ll actually enjoy.

Also, make it very clear that your guest is free to help themselves to anything they find, anytime (now is the time to hide that expensive bottle of wine!;-)  This takes out any of the awkwardness of the 2am munchies.


2. Wi-Fi Password

Pretty self explanatory.  Much like it’s the first thing I ask for when checking into a hotel, it’s probably one of the first things your guest will want to know, too.  Make it easy by jotting it down ahead of time…(or be ridiculously cute and make one of these little signs…!)


3. Bathroom + Sleeping Essentials (i.e. THE PLUNGER)

Yes, the obvious things such as shampoo and towels, but also the not so obvious things that come in REALLY handy when the situation calls: contact lens solution and a case, toothpaste, tampons, Advil, extra toilet paper, and a plunger.  In order to avoid any awkward situations for your guest, maybe just have it out by the toilet, just in case;-)

And for sleeping accommodations, do your best to make your guest feel as welcome and comfy as possible, even if they are only crashing on your couch.  Also, if they are staying in the middle of the living room, make it clear what you would like for them to do with the air mattress/couch during the day…is it ok to leave it set up for the weekend or would you prefer blankets and pillows folded and out of sight each morning?  I’ve found for me this is one of the most stressful things about hosting…having suitcases/sleepware/and just STUFF all over the living room for days at a time feels a bit chaotic, so I prefer it to go in the bedroom during the day so the living space is still enjoyable.

4. Plan Some Activities

Chat with them ahead of time and see what they would like to do/see throughout their trip/weekend with you, and then plan accordingly.  Restaurant rezzies fill up fast, and the cheap show tickets sell out quickly!  Planing activities ahead of time will not only save a lot of stress day of, but will also allow your guest to see a flow of the weekend: i.e. maybe they can expect to hang out with you Saturday morning for breakfast, then go off by themselves for the afternoon to explore the MET, and then reconvene with you in the evening for a show.  This also ensures that you as a hostess has time to get your errands/r&r caught up on.

5. Transportation Issues

One problem that is a bit unique to NYC (and other large cities too, I imagine) is that since most of us don’t have cars, it’s a bit dodgy trying to arrange for pickup/drop-off from airports/train/bus stations.  If your guest is a seasoned visitor, this clearly won’t be such an issue, but if they are new to the city, you want to do your best to make this part as pain-free as possible.  

Give them options: Would you be willing to meet them at the airport/station?  Would they want to take a cab (also provide an estimate of the cost of this so they’re prepared)?  Would they be comfortable giving public transportation a try (provide DETAILED directions in this case)?  If they are driving into the city, is there street parking by your apartment or would they be better off at a garage (and again, give them an idea of how much this will cost)?

During the duration of their stay, I think you get extra karma points for letting them use your unlimited Metrocard if you have one, just saying:-)


What are your tips for being the hostess with the mostess in NYC?  Share below!

By: Jessica Tiare Bowen

Photo Credit: 1/2/3


  • Aras Androck says:

    That’s a very loooong wi-fi password. LOL
    Aras Androck recently posted..Abonnement 1turf Sans RisqueMy Profile

  • Marco says:

    All these are great!

    This might just apply for international visitors (which I get a lot) but I always have a spare phone for them. I have a simple $30 LG non-smartphone ready for my visitors, this comes handy because they won’t have service on their phones, and buying a SIM card for some phones (except Apple maybe) can be a little tricky. It’s always easier to have a 2 minute call and explain how to get to 22nd and 5th Av to meet (trust me, it sounds easy but it’s not for people that have never been here) than wait until they find a Starbucks and check their iMessages or WhatsApp over the Wi-Fi.

    Also I think it’s convenient and reasonable to set the rules for A/C or heat use, sometimes the bills can go up like crazy so that would be also a good subject to touch.

    Oh and of course the MoMA membership! I have one so as long as there’s a male among the visitors, they can use it to get a discount ticket. I’ve found out that everyone wants to go to the museums but it’s expensive when you add them up, just for the major ones are an easy $100 dollars per person!

    • Used York City says:

      These are FANTASTIC tips, Marco! (Haha, I do the same thing with my MOMA membership card too, might as well get one’s dues worth, right?!)

      And love the idea of the phone, especially if you have a lot of international visitors this can make a WORLD of difference!

      I am totally with you on AC/heat…I guess I’m more on the conservative side when it comes to AC (almost prefer windows open unless it’s super sweltering), but if you’re not use to NYC summer heat it can be a bit much:-)

  • Mike says:

    I would definitely wanted my host/hostess to take me around New York or I would be lost!! I would also be very grateful if they did. As far as snacks for noshing….please do not leave Pringles or Crunchy Cheetos out. Frankly don’t even bother buying them…because once they catch my eye you will never see them again lol! I don’t even buy them here for me at home. It’s pistachios, almonds or peanuts…all unsalted for this kid. I hope you are having a great week, Jessica! 🙂
    Mike recently posted..Getting On An Airplane For The First Time In 20 YearsMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Haha, I keep the boring almonds in our house too, but really WANT the Pringles! Actually haven’t had Crunchy Cheetos in years, but those sound SO good!!!!

  • Tamara says:

    My mom would love this post – I have to send it. As a mother of five, she has had her share of staying with all of us! The Wi-Fi password was an error for us when she was here last babysitting for my kids.
    My brother NEVER leaves her any food! WTH? Anyway, I love this thoughtful list.
    Tamara recently posted..This Mouse Has a House and This Kid Has a Heart!My Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Aww yay! I’m so glad she’ll enjoy it, she sounds like my kind of mom! (Hi Tamara’s mom!:-)

  • Great post, Wi-Fi password is essential! 🙂
    Becky Padmore recently posted..Unspoilt places to visit in Turkey for travel snobsMy Profile

  • Lydia says:

    These are great ideas – that WiFi sign is so cute!

    It might not be for everyone, but I’ve found that having an extra set of keys cut is a good idea for easy management of guests. If you’re at work or have different plans from each other, it saves them hanging out in the rain or waking you up in the middle of the night. I have a lot of guests visiting from the UK and their phones don’t always work over here – so the extra key trick is a savior!
    Lydia recently posted..The best festive activities in NYCMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Such a great tip, Lydia! I’ve been meaning to have my super make an extra set, so this is a GREAT reminder!;-)

Comments are closed.