The holiday season is just around the corner which means your friends or relatives are coming to visit. Make their visit more enjoyable by thinking ahead and offering them your gracious home. You don’t have to get them fruit baskets or floral arrangements, just a bit of thoughtfulness and good planning. You want to make sure they feel at home. The following steps will give you what you need to know to make your next hosting experience a great one for everyone.

Valet Parking – Be sure to reserve some off-street spots for your guests if parking in your neighborhood is limited. Or if you live in a city, find them a convenient street spot close to your building so that your guests don’t spend their first moments at your place looking for a parking space.

Arrange your Porch – Your porch is the first thing your guests will see when they drive up to your home. Make sure it is well lit, freshly swept and outfitted with clean cushions and fresh plants.

Grab-and-Go – Keep it simple by having fresh fruit, breakfast cereals, coffee and other essentials together on the counter for early risers. Make sure you give your guests a quick tour of your kitchen the night before so they can get their morning coffee and breakfast started without waiting for you in the morning.

Keep it Casual – You should always clean your home before guests arrive. However, you should keep the feeling around the house as close to normal as possible to help guests stay at ease.

Stock the essentials – You should have certain basics to make your visitors comfortable. The essentials include fresh sheets, pillows and blankets on the bed, window coverings, a working light, bath towels, a wastebasket and a cleared shelf and hanging area in the closet.

Allow for Downtime – Don’t over-plan activities for holiday guests. It’s helpful to have a few tentative outings or other visitors on the agenda, but try not to fill every last minute. Your guests will appreciate some unstructured time to relax, chat, read, nap or even venture out on their own.

Jump In – Feel free to have guests pitch in at dinnertime with a few simple responsibilities in the kitchen. They could set the table, pour the wine, choose the music, or prep a salad.