How to Make an Overnight Guest Feel at Home

I love hosting overnight guests in our home! These are great tips for showing hospitality to overnight guests or visiting family members.

This post is the sixth in a series on hospitality. Begin the series here.

Do you get many opportunities to host guests for overnight stays? I love having guests stay over, usually even more than having them over for just a meal!

When you host guests for a longer stay, you get to know them better.

After initial small talk or “catching up time” over a meal, you have more time to build the relationship over games, dessert (that’s important!), or late-night talks. In the morning and at breakfast (also important), you get to know them even better because they’ve had the chance to settle in and start feeling at home.

My parents literally turn their home into a Bed and Breakfast for overnight guests. Once again, I’m sharing tips I’ve gleaned from their example, as well from other generous hosts I’ve had the pleasure of staying with. (And some of those hosts are reading this blog right now–thank you!)

Here are a few ways that you can show hospitality to your overnight guests:

How to Host an Overnight Guest

1. Anticipate your guests’ needs.

Think about what you might need if you were in their place. In fact, I once heard the suggestion to stay in your own guest room for a night to see if it’s lacking anything. Show guests where they can help themselves to drinking water or snacks. Provide them with towels, show them how to work the shower, etc.

2. Suggest some activities they can do during their stay.

Tell them where they can go for a walk, or introduce them to a historical site. Give them easy access to the internet or a computer so they can check their email.

3. Make their bedroom comfortable.

I don’t know about you, but I like my room dark at night. The darker the better. Put up curtains if need be in your guests’ sleeping area. Beside the bed (or couch, if your set-up is like ours!) put a flashlight, extra blanket, electric fan, alarm clock, tissue box, etc. Make sure the bathroom has shower accessories, hair dryer, and a trash can.

Check out this post for 19 things your guests wish you had in your guest room!

4. Provide a good breakfast in the morning.

(See my menu suggestions from last week’s post.) Have coffee or tea available!

overnight guest

What other ways can you think of to lavish hospitality on your overnight guests? What am I missing from this list?

Posts in this series:
Part 1: What My Mother Taught Me About Hospitality
Part 2: Why Practice Hospitality?
Part 3: 7 People Who Need Your Hospitality
Part 4: How to Host Guests for a Meal
Part 5: Company Menus for Any Occasion
Part 6: How to Make an Overnight Guest Feel At Home
Part 7: Learn to Say Thank You: How to Accept Gifts Graciously

Other resources on hospitality:
My Hospitality Pinterest board
The Joy of Hospitality series @ Young Wife’s Guide
Hospitality posts @ Intentional By Grace
You will find a whole chapter devoted to hospitality in my cookbook, Real Food for the Real Homemaker!

I also recommend the A Heart for Hospitality video eCourse! It has lots of practical information and how-tos, as well as gorgeous printables! Access the course HERE.


  1. These are great tips. We do a decent amount of hosting overnight guests for ministry, and it used to make me terribly nervous! I’m little by little learning that it truly is our heart towards our guests that makes them the most comfortable, and our accommodations for them come after that.

    Hospitality is a lost art. I hope to continue to get better with it!

  2. I love giving overnight guests a “guest basket”. I fill it with toiletries, shower needs, and a book I think they’ll like or a bible. Often times I add a few extra trinkets but I try to tailor it to each guest.

    1. Great idea! I think my mom does that! It’s a really special way to let guests know that you’re thinking of THEM, specifically.

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