When Friends Come To BC: 8 Tips for Making The Most of Their Visit

Last weekend, one of my best friends from Nashville came to visit Boston for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. While I was recovering on Monday morning, it got me thinking about the best things you can do to make the experience of having friends in town as fun as possible! With Marathon Monday, spring birthdays, and Easter coming up, there are plenty of chances for friends to come visit you at BC. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the most of their visit!

1. Don’t forget to ask your roommates. No one likes it when someone’s friends just show up for a weekend. Ask your roommates if they are okay with the extra people, and then make sure that your friends keep down the noise, ask before taking things in the fridge, and wake up at reasonable hours.

2. Do ask what they want to do in advance. Maybe your friend is an art buff and wants to go to the MFA. Maybe they just want to spend time on campus and try Hillside and meet your school friends. Maybe they want to walk the Freedom Trail and eat dinner in the North End. Whatever it is, make sure you know in advance so you can plan ahead for the weather and traffic.

3. Don’t ignore your homework. Do homework in advance so that whether you want to go into the city or to the Mods, you don’t have to consult your planner for what’s due on Monday. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends that you need to take a break to hit the library—the worst thing you can do is have a test hanging over your head all weekend!

4. Do take advantage of the meal plan. If you have a dining plan, eating on campus for breakfast, lunch, and snacks can help save money. Although the dining hall is expensive, it’s easier to grab food to go with your Eagle ID than it is with your wallet.

5. Do prepare them for the differences. This weekend, my friends learned that Uber is the best way to get to the airport, that BC is a lot different than their schools, and that the people up here are a lot different from those in the South. But they also got to eat fresh lobster rolls at Quincy Market, hear Irish music blasting from every window in Southie, and experience the joys and horrors of the T.  People travel to see different ways of life, so showing them those differences is part of the experience!

6. Don’t try to pack everything into a weekend. Your friends aren’t here for a long time, so pick and choose the sites you want to hit. You don’t want to burn out and then be too tired or hangry to go on, so try and keep a balance of high energy touring and low energy activities like sit-down restaurants and strolling through the Common.

7. Do take lots of pictures. Your friends are tourists in Boston, so it’s OK if you act like one too! This weekend, my friend Elizabeth and I toured the Sam Adams Brewery, attended the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Southie, and ate dinner at Sonsie on Newbury Street—three things that I had never done before! Touring with friends who have fresh eyes is a cool way to see your city. There is always something new to discover.

8. Don’t be inflexible. The weekend will undoubtedly change shape as different plans come up. The restaurant you had set your mind on for brunch might not take reservations, or there could be bad weather. The best mindset you can have when hosting company is an attitude of flexibility. 

Next time you have friends in town, keep these eight tips in mind. We promise that you will have a fun and memorable weekend catching up with friends!