i don’t know about you, but summer is our busiest
season for overnight guests. colorado is
such an amazing place that our friends love to visit, and of course, we love to
show off our great state. i thought i'd share some
tips on how to make overnight guests feel welcome in your home.
of these tips i've learned through business travel, but before i get to the
tips, i want to first share the most important lesson i've learned from
business travel. the non-traveling spouses/partners of many of my former
colleagues who travel frequently for business seemed to think that business
travel was one big party--five-star hotels, expensive dinners, late nights at
the bars, etc.
it is true that those are components of business travel, i assure you that the majority
of business travel is work, not fun. you constantly are expected to be
"on," there isn't any down time, and no matter how nice the hotel, it
is difficult to sleep in a foreign bed with a used pillow, particularly when
you know thousands have slept there before. with rare exception, most business travelers would much prefer
to be at home, sleeping in their beds with their own pillows, and eating peanut
butter sandwiches for dinner.
now, onto the tips..
tips fall into four basic categories: (i) comfort; (ii) sustenance; (iii)
organization; and (iv) bathroom necessities.
for comfort, start with laundering the bedding the day
of or day before the guest arrives. i used to launder the bedding after the
prior guest left so it would be ready for the next guest, but then i thought
about how much i love getting into freshly laundered sheets and wanted my
guests to have the same experience.
comfort tip is to have a bedside table in your guest room with a reading lamp
and a box of tissues.
course don't forget the reading materials. i keep about a years' worth of a
local magazine called 5280 in our guest room so that our guests can see what
has and is going on in denver.
sustenance. i have been on countless business trips where i've been too busy to
eat during the day and end up in my hotel room starving. room service is
overpriced and creeps me out, so if i am desperate, i start picking through the
mini bar offerings. now, these items are overpriced, too, but usually not as
pricey as room service and generally there are some healthy items in the mini
i create a mini bar in
our guest room that includes bottled water, crystal light single-serving
packages, nuts, mojo bars, and assorted candies, cookies, and crackers. i place
everything on the dresser in a nifty feathergrain wood bin that i purchased at
the container store.
tip: organization. every business traveler knows that there are never enough
conveniently-located outlets in a hotel room for all of the electronics that
are required for a business trip, i.e., laptop, blackberry/iphone, ipad, ipod,
clarisonic, and bluetooth. i have been known to move furniture in my room just
to get easy access to the outlets.
so that my guests can avoid the inconvenience of moving
furniture, i put a 6-outlet surge strip behind the sustenance box for their
addition to providing an item to organize electronic devices, it is important
to also provide items that the guest can use to organize their clothing, shoes,
and other stuff. i purchased this chrome luggage rack at the container store
for $40, and it gets a lot of use.
also is helpful to provide a number of different hanger types for your guests.
don't forget hooks for their purses/bags/belts/robes as well as a full-length
mirror so they can get a head-to-toe view before venturing out for the day.
tip: bathroom necessities. this used to be less important prior to the
post-9/11 carry-on restrictions, but due to our new reality, i stock the
medicine cabinet with toothpaste, dental floss, face wash, eye-makeup remover,
sunscreen, lip balm, lotion, shaving cream, razors, toothbrushes, fingernail
clippers, qtips, cotton balls, ibuprofen, tums, and bandaids.
i also make sure to plug a night light in the bathroom
outlet so that the guest can find the light switch in the middle of the night.
important due to the post-9/11 carry-on restrictions are shampoo, conditioner,
and liquid soap in the shower. ever since i encountered a "situation"
when staying in a corporate apartment in chicago, i have refrained from putting
out bar soap for guests unless it is a new bar. while i won't go into details,
let's just say that the prior occupant had left a piece of himself/herself
behind on the soap bar.
items in this picture have nothing to do with the post-9/11 restrictions, but
nonetheless are important for a guest's comfort--extra toilet paper so they
don't have to ask, matches and a candle when they might need to cover up an
undesireable smell, a hairdryer, and extra washclothes.
course a plunger. i know it doesn't look good, but i guarantee your guest would
rather have it there than have to ask for one.
finally, i stock extra towels, kleenex, toilet paper, soap, and blankets in the
linen closet next to the guest room just in case.
those are my tips. i hope they were helpful.
let me know if your guests get too comfortable, and you need me to give you
some tips on how to get them out of your house. i have some of those, too.