Enjoy your guests and still have time for yourself by Harriet Cochran Murray
Most of us have experienced the thrill of being able to share our new second or retirement home with our friends who live elsewhere. We sometimes overdo trying to make their stay as great as we possibly can. The problem is that we can do too much and then find that on subsequent trips our guest are too dependent upon us and we enjoy them less. If we can form a plan and follow it, we can enjoy our guests and still have time left for ourselves.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Create a personal book for your home. Customize it with lots of information and maps to give out. Include emergency phone numbers, a map customized with cab and bus information. Make this book available in the living room or kitchen. Talk about it as part of the fun and adventure of being able to be independent while visiting. Go through it with your guests as you start a conversation between them and yourself – include recommended doctors, hospitals, hairdressers, masseuse, facialists, etc.
2. Create a little visitor kit and include these items:
Buy debit cards for to your guests to use from pay phones. Explain how they work. Make a call while you are out so they are comfortable with the use of these cards. If your guests have cell phones which work in Mexico, you can teach them out to use them to call local numbers. There are lots of little books with primary Spanish phrases to use while shopping, dining, and using transportation. Include one of these or make one from the Internet.
Copy or create a good map showing your home and main areas or places of interest for your guests.
Include in the kit a distinctive key chain (not with your street address or name of the condo) so that they can easily find the house key. Also include phonetic and Spanish spelling of the address of where they are staying, and directions if necessary.
3. Ask your guests to plan an activity or night out for all of you. Let them be the “hosts” and organizers of this.
4. Introduce your guests to people who live here full time, perhaps the owner of your favorite restaurant, a local business owner. There are charities, which look for volunteers, groups that need a fourth for bridge.
5. Give your guests a disposable camera if they don’t carry one with them and show them how your computer works for email or give them a card for a few free trips to a good local net house.
6. Teach them how to make long distance, local and cell phone calls from your home phone and from a pay phone. Demonstrate to them how to use the television and have written instructions near the set itself.
You make want to show them how to use the washer and dryer for their personal use.
If you introduce the participation and involvement of your guests from the beginning of their stay, they will become more proactive and independent while still enjoying themselves.
7. You should be able to teach your guests to go and come from the airport on their own.
Get a cab and send your guests back to the airport for their return trip home. As you say goodbye, discuss your pleasure and excitement of having them return again.
The map you give them and the written directions to your home in proper and phonetic Spanish, will be for them to keep and use on their return.
These exercises and suggestions should be done as a normal part of the visit and incorporated into your own personality type. We hope these suggestions make it more enjoyable and less work for you to enjoy your friends when they visit.
Remember: a book with lots of information and cards of favorite restaurants, shops and services is great to have out. Include a space for comments from guests on their recommendations, as well.
A PV Survival Kit: Telmex telephone debit card, pertinent maps, Spanish phrase guide, Puerto Vallarta home address and telephone number, camera and key chain with your house key, bottled water, whatever else you want to add.
Harriet Cochran Murray, Director of Cochran Real Estate, is a seasoned Real Estate professional both here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and in the United States. Harriet has served in many capacities as a board member for the local Real Estate Association AMPI (AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals). She is also a member of FIABCI, NAR in the United States and a proud member of CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist), a designation of NAR. Harriet’s expertise and experience in the Real Estate and especially in the Mexican market makes her Viewpoint blog articles both informational and intriguing. Harriet is a Buyer’s Agent who specializes in getting the best deal on the right property for her clients. Visit her website at www.CasasandVillas.com and Check out her Real Estate Listings.