Today we have a post from my new staff writer, Sarah. She blogs at Life [Comma] Etc.
One of the best things about the city you live in is being able to show it off when friends and family members come to visit!
Now, the good news is that you have friends. The bad news, if you’re anything like me, is finding a way to counter the expense that comes along with being a good host.
Instead of worrying about who will be paying for what and planning to go over your budget, why not show them a good time that won’t leave everyone involved over budget?
Image via Flickr - TheCulinaryGeek
Party it Up at Home on a Theme
It doesn’t get much cheaper than staying indoors on your own turf! We’ve covered a few ways to host a party on-the-cheap, but you also create a small budget for a fun themed event. Using your Netflix, cable, or personal DVD collection, choose a popular TV show or movie to theme an event around. Try a cocktail party with details based on The Great Gatsby, or a supernatural party with a viewing of the Buffy TV series or the Twilight films. Dim the lights, light a few candles, and catch up with old friends in a fun new way.
Plan in Advance with Online Coupons
While being on the coupon list for daily deals can ruin your budget when you’re flying solo, it can be a prudent move to sign up for local coupons a few weeks before you expect guests. LivingSocial, Groupon, and other daily deals sites offer exclusive restaurant and “experience” gift cards at steep discounts (think: mani/pedi, massage, photography class). Score discounts on group activities as your treat, or see a fun event coming and alert the crew to each pick up their own coupon for the upcoming visit.
Seek Out Local Events
Seasonal celebrations can often be cheap or at least reduced compared to a big night out on the town. Summer celebrations, fall festivals, winter lights -- depending on the season you’re expecting guests, there should be a plethora of activities you can indulge in that will be low cost or free! Start with your local Chamber of Commerce or city tourism website for a list of events, then branch out into local papers and blogs for the details.
Do you struggle to find low-cost ways to entertain out of town guests? What have you tried with success?