This is a topic I have lots of expertise in. I ran a bed & breakfast for thirteen years. Are you nervous about having guests stay with you? There are some easy, inexpensive thing you can do to make their stay better. Follow these 10 guest bedroom essentials.
1.) Soft, Clean Bedding
This may sound like an obvious suggestion, but there is nothing worse than getting into a bed that you suspect is not clean. I stayed at a B&B once where there was dog hair on the bed. I’m a dog person, but that’s nasty. I found the easiest way to ensure that bedding looks clean and fresh is to use white sheets and a white coverlet.
The beauty of white is that no matter how dirty it gets, red wine, chocolate, etc. you can bleach it back to white.
I like to use a white coverlet because it can also be washed fairly easily vs. a bulky bed spread. It can also pair with almost any style bedroom. This may sound boring at first, but you can layer in lots of color and texture in other ways. You can add colorful throw blankets and accent pillows.
My favorite places to get white coverlets on a budget are the Company Store or Wayfair. I only buy 100% cotton because it washes best. My favorite place for sheets is Tuesday Morning because you can get name brand, high thread-count sheets without the high price tag.
2.) Empty Surfaces or Luggage Rack
You want your guest to have a good place for a suitcase and stuff. If you have a dresser that can withstand having luggage on top, that’s fine as long as it’s cleared off. You can also use a luggage rack like this one on Amazon.
This looks empty, but this is my son’s room before guests come. The dresser is Ikea and luggage on top can’t really do any damage.
It nice for guests not to have to put their suitcase on the floor because there is no other option. I often put a pair of stools at the foot of the bed.
3.) A light You can Turn On/Off from Bed
Do you ever have that feeling when you first wake up on vacation, like “where am I?” It can take a minute for your mind to realize you aren’t at home. Also, if you need get up in the night in an unfamiliar place, it’s really nice to have a light. Many people also like to read in bed or surf their phone and it’s nice to have a light you can turn off without getting out of bed.
Lamps don’t have to be expensive. See this post about how to find deals on lamps. It isn’t necessary that the lamps be a matching set.
4.) Charging Station And WIFI Code
My mother in law stays with us very often and she has every electronic device known to man. She needs to charge her computer, phone, watch… These days we can’t live without fully charged devices and internet speed so we can stream.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but I recommend a power strip that is accessible and a card with the WIFI code next to the bed.
I have a good friend that always hangs two clean robes in the guest room. I never travel with a robe, but I LOVE to wear one on vacation. It makes me feel like I’m at a spa. Robes really add that extra touch of hospitality.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but buy white robes. There is a reason why hotels do this. They can be cleaned no matter what gets on them. There are inexpensive white robes on Amazon for only $17.
6.) Bedside Table (or TWO)
It’s a must to have someplace to set a drink, book or phone by your bed. These don’t have to be large space, even a small stool or table will do. If it’s a nice piece of furniture add a coaster to the top.
Here are four inexpensive options for a night stand from Ikea. These are all fairly small and portable. They come in multiple colors and can adapt to just about any style. I love Ikea for small furniture that can serve multiple purposes.
7.) New Soap and Small Toiletries
This is really outside the bedroom, but it can make you feel very welcome if your host has provided the basic necessities in case you forgot toothpaste or shampoo. These can even be freebies from your own travels.
The icing on the cake is a new bar of soap, that your guest knows is just for them. I found this seller on Etsy, ArcadiaNatural, who sells guest soaps that are incredible. For $16 you get 12 soaps in a scent you choose with your name on them, for an extra $4.
8.) Room Darkening Curtains or Shades
This is perhaps the most expensive item on the list. Curtains can be pricey, but they are necessary if you have guests regularly. I like to use shades for privacy and light. I like the curtains to stay put and just look nice.
Read more about how to choose window shades and where to get them here.
9.) Tidy Plunger in the Bathroom
You may laugh at this, but I had to plunge many toilets in my inn-keeping days. In fact, I once had to plunge a toilet for a one-armed man. True story. It’s 10x more embarrassing if you have to ask your host, who is a friend or relative for a plunger.
I like to keep one in both bathrooms that sits in a stand, so it looks nice and tidy. This plunger with a cover comes in two different finishes.
10.) Space to Hang Clothes and Extra Hangers
It can really make guests feel at home when they see that you have made a bit of room in the closet and left a few hangers for them.
11.) White Noise Machine (Bonus)
This isn’t in my top 10 because it isn’t necessary in every household. My house is small and I live in a fairly busy street. We are white noise fanatics. It really helps you get a good night sleep if you are in any place where there is lots of noise.
I’ve tried every free app when traveling and they stink. You can hear the repeat, which makes your brain listen. The white noise machine we like is the Marpac Dohm. We have one in every room, this is not a sponsored post. It doesn’t make thunder or rain, it truly a noise blocker.
What if you Don’t Have A Guest Room?
If you are like me and you don’t have a separate “guest room” you can still make guests feel at home. You just need to modify the essentials slightly.
Instead of white bedding, just be sure the bedding you have is freshly laundered so it smells clean. I like to use Dr. Bronners’ soap in the wash with a lavender or citrus scent.
Instead of an empty dresser top set a stool or chair in the room that they can use for luggage. It’s also a good idea to put away what’s on the dresser to make them feel like they aren’t taking over someone’s room. You can temporarily put a few things in a box or bin in the closet.
The rest of the tips can be applied to any room. You just want your guest to feel like you spent some time preparing for their visit. I hope these suggestions work for you. If you are looking for more tips, here’s a great article full of tips for preparing for overnight guests by Tamra at Better Buyer Savvy Seller.