“I’m the hostess, I’m always the hostess”.
“Friends” fans will remember this line. It’s from that episode when Monica looses a bet with the guys and has to move into a new messy, boy’s apartment that still smells of stale spaghetti.
Three types of hosts
If you can relate to Monica’s words, you belong to the first group of hosts – it’s the people who love having guests over and planning parties. They love every minute of thinking of new ways to dazzle the people and make the experience unforgettable.
Most of us belong to the second group – we love having guest over (most of the time) but we’re not huge fans of everything that goes with it. Especially if you’re having someone over for the first time and want to keep up appearances.
This type of host will love a relaxing weekend with their cousins from Utah, when you don’t have think whether there’s dust on the table or the remote is greasy. Having your boss over for the first time ever….well, not so much.
There’s almost always that one family member that belongs to the third group – people who are frustrated and overwhelmed. These are the people that will say stuff like, “Do we have to have the Mike and Mary over for dinner, why can’t we just catch a beer?”
Whatever the group of hosts describes you, you will be faced with organizing a weekend sleepover sooner or later. The tips we’ll provide below will be a joy to read for the first group, useful for the second and minimize the frustration for the third.
First things first – sleeping arrangements
This part of planning a sleepover will depend on the kind of space you’re working with. If you have a 3-bedroom house with two guest rooms, you can probably skip it altogether.
If you’re working with limited sleeping space (and most of us are), you’ll want to pay close attention.
It’s not the space, it’s the bed
We can’t control how much space we have available. That part is out of our hands.
What we can control when working with a limited space is the way we use the space and the choice of the portable bed we’ll likely need.
When it comes to portable beds, there’s no better choice than a good air mattress
Airbeds are a God-sent for sleepovers. The alternatives among portable beds don’t really come close in terms of versatility and practicality.
The best air mattresses out there inflate to the height and size of a real bed. If you’re a 90s kid and remember the fiasco that was the inflatable furniture than, you can forget it. You’ve missed a lot in the meantime.
Best airbeds available today are nothing like what a 90s kid might remember. The technology has changed, the materials have changed. Some of the inflatable mattresses that you can find today could easily fool you there’s a real bed underneath.
Sleeping arrangement are the foundation of a well-crafted sleepover plan, so let’s make sure you get this part right.
Below are 5 basic tips for choosing the best air mattress for the occasion:
- Material – you’ll want to look for an airbed that will not leak air. The last thing you want is your guest waking up aching on a half-deflated bubble. Now, when do start researching, it might be confusing because every top air mattress brand will claim their product to be leak-proof. Ignore the advertising claims and look for specifics. In terms of material, these specifics might be “layered-vinyl”, “thicker material” (usually listing the specifics), reinforced or “encased” vinyl.
- The height and size – a common issue with blow up mattresses is that they are often not true to size. For example, even the best queen air mattress might a few inches shorter or narrower than the real thing. Read the reviews of people using them and look for answered questions about the bed being true to size.
- Air mattress with frame and legs aka. an EZ bed – if you can afford it, an EZ bed will probably be your best choice and safest bet. They are on the more expensive end of the price range, but are worth every buck. If an EZ bed is dressed in nice set of fitted sheets, there’s a good chance your guests won’t be able to tell the difference. The choice is limited to a few models from Insta, Serta, Frontgate and handful of other companies.
- Pump – if you don’t want to think about the airbed deflating, you’ll go with what’s called a smart pump. Only a handful of blow up mattresses come with one. What’s better about it is the fact that it keeps the bed inflated if it starts to leak. The good news is most of the EZ beds we mentioned come with one.
Conclusion – an EZ bed is obviously the best choice for guests among air mattresses. For more specific tips, we recommend this guide about choosing a good air mattress.
Now that we go the choice of temporary guest bed down, it’s time to look at a few ways to make the weekend memorable with the least frustration possible.
Lists are your friend
Who doesn’t love lists?
Every single one of us can remember a time when they heard the sentence, Let’s make a list!”
It’s a great way to put our thoughts into mental boxes and make sure we don’t forget anything.
In the case of sleepover, you’ll probably be listing a lot of stuff. From the list of guests if you have a fun night planned, to the supplies, drinks, food…
Make a list of food and drink and then add 20 % to it
It’s great to wake your guests up with the smell of freshly made waffles that you made from scratch. With that said, things tend to go south when you’re trying your best. So, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan for meals, especially breakfast. An “emergency” ready-made pancake mix in the back of your fridge will do it.
A list of movies
We do know that, depending on your guests, you probably have something more special than a movie night in your living room. After all, your cousins could’ve watched “Die Hard” back in Utah, right?
We’re talking about a list of movies as backup plan. If your primary plan for the evening falls through, you’ll want to be prepared. If a movie night is what it comes down to, the right flick is what will make or break the evening.
Keeping the kids busy
If you are welcoming your family with kids, you’ll want a weekend that will give the adults some breathing room to relax and catch up.
If you live in a house and have a backyard, renting a bouncy castle for the weekend, no matter how small it is a great idea. Even if it’s not impressive, it will be new to the kids and will keep them interested for the two days.
There’s a good chance that you’ll get a big “THANK YOU” for the idea from the parents because, let’s face it, every parent will cherish a trip where they can take some time for themselves.
One big thing that makes the day
For the weekend to be memorable, you’ll want to give your guest san experience that will stick. Something they wouldn’t do on their own, especially if they are from out of town.
Think of the local attractions, what is it that your town or area is known for?
It might be a theme or a water park, it might be a hike to that amazing view your local hill is know for. If you can’t think of one, use technology, there are phone apps that can help you find a local attraction.
The choice will depend on your guests. You don’t want to make somebody feel obligated to walk for 20 miles if you know they’re not an outdoorsy person.
Choose one activity that will be the “landmark” of the day. If you try to “stuff” to many things into a day, it will all become a blur to be forgotten.
A bonus tip – avoid things that you’re not familiar with. You want to go with something that you did before and you know what to expect.
Outline each day and put it on paper
Back to the list, we said that it’s our friend and we meant it…
Once you’re done with the specifics, put a fresh piece of paper in front of you and make a short out line of each day and how it would ideally go.
It might sound like an overkill, but trust us, it’s best if things appear random and fun but there’s a plan behind it.
It’s not because you’ll forget to give your guests a breakfast, it’s for your own sake. We’re visual creatures and a list like this will give you the feeling that you have it all planned out, you know what you’re doing and you can relax.
We’re ready for you, Utah.