I'm originally from Montana, but have been in New York for 5 years. I've often traveled with only a backpack, but I recently had a son, so my lifestyle (both for travel and hosting) is pretty family friendly.
As a guest, I'm looking for a home-base that my family and I can go back back to and relax in the evening. Other than that, we are out early and exploring.
As a host, we won't be there, but we'll leave you with a clean apartment, and a list of local restaurants, bars, venues, kid-friendly businesses, museums, etc.