Oh, the in-law visit. There has to have been several movies about this subject—hasn’t Chevy Chase, Will Farrell, Adam Sandler or the late John Candy done like five of these each?
In any case, you need to have a
battle plan strategy for when they arrive, so you don’t strangle each other to make things run smoothly. Here are a few tips for a harmonious visit from the in-laws:
1. Discuss Your Space and Sleeping Arrangements BEFORE The Doorbell Rings
Key concept. If you haven’t discussed it before they arrive, it will become an issue faster than you can say “We don’t want to be a burden.” If, as this Lifehacker article suggests, you can try to “make it work” even though there’s no way you can fit a potted plant in your apartment much less two additional humans—discuss a hotel or Airbnb. Offer to split the cost. Do it, and save your sanity… and possibly your inheritance.
2. Make A (Tentative) Schedule, But Don’t Pack It Wall-To-Wall
Highlights of your city are the obvious pick. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, places like Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge or a ferry ride around the Bay are all good choices. Or ask ahead of time what your visitors would like to see. Key words, “Ahead. Of. Time.” Don’t pack the day full, though. Allow for some schedule flexibility and spontaneity. Which leads us to..
3. Build In A Little Downtime
Remember this one, especially when you factor in how old your in-laws are. Let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger. (Why, you’re older now than when you started reading this article. It happens.) While doing something is always back of mind when you’re entertaining out of town guests—a little nothing never hurts. Just to balance things out!
4. Have A List Of Possible Restaurants Ready
This is a big one. “What do you feel like eating?” “Oh, I dunno… whatever you like…” That will not end well. Have a list, cover all the bases, and make sure you know whether you need to make reservations! Another key concept.