19 Things Your Guests Wish You Had in Your Guest Room

Get your guest room ready with these guest room essentials! Most of these things don’t cost much, but they will make your overnight guests feel more comfortable and at home. You don’t have to be a hospitality guru to have a welcoming guest room.This is a great list of things to include in a guest room to make it warm and welcoming! When I have overnight guests, I like to make sure the guest room has everything they might need during their stay. #GuestRoom #GuestRoomChecklist #Hospitality

Guest room essentials: What to put in your guest bedroom and guest bath

If you’re expecting overnight guests during the holidays, this is the perfect opportunity to spruce up your guest room and ensure it has all the essentials your guests might want during their stay. Whether they’re traveling from across the country or just over a few states, your guests will be grateful if you’re able to anticipate their needs.

Growing up, I watched my parents practice hospitality often. They were really good at knowing how to make our guests feel comfortable and welcome, and I’ve taken their example with me into adulthood. But if you didn’t grow up with a model of hospitality, preparing a guest room can seem daunting and stressful.

I have a suggestion for you: think about what you’d find in a hotel room, and make that your template for your own guest room! Hotels make it their business to practice good hospitality, so why not take a page from their book?

If you feel at a loss when it comes to hosting guests in your home overnight, copy what the good hotels do and you’ll have a four-star guest room by Christmas!

Whether you have a whole guest suite to offer or just a re-purposed child’s bedroom, make your guest space a haven. If your guests feel like they have a space of their own–a comfortable “home base” within your home–they will be more relaxed during their stay. (And you will, too, since you’ll know you’ve taken care of them so well!)

[question]Are you the guest, not the host? Find a home away from home next time you’re traveling! I recommend Airbnb. If you’re new to the site, you can get $65 off your first booking! [/question]

Here are 19 things that every guest room needs:

1. A place for guests to set their suitcase

You might not have an actual suitcase rack, but you could clear off a low dresser or end table. Or if nothing else, have some furniture-free floor space along a wall.

2. An empty (or relatively empty) closet with extra hangers

Getting rid of junk will make your home more comfortable for people, and here’s a prime example! Instead of cramming the guest room closet with stored stuff, leave space for your guests to hang up their clothes and stash shoes and extra bags. You might also want to clear out a few dresser drawers for their use.

3. Instructions for accessing the internet

Put the WiFi password on an index card, and let guests know how much you’ll charge per day for internet use. (Just kidding! Don’t charge.)

4. Hot drink options

Make it easy for guests to access the coffee and hot water pots in the kitchen, with teabags and coffee or cocoa supplies nearby. (You could even put an electric kettle and tea supplies in the bedroom, if there’s room for them!)

5. Plenty of clean towels

Include a bath towel, hand/face towel, and washcloth for each person, even if you don’t personally use all those sizes.

Soap and shampoo

6. Toiletries

It’s a nice touch to have some neutral shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, and toothpaste on hand, in case guests forget to bring something.

7. Cleared-off bathroom counters

Simplify your bathroom so that there’s extra space for guests to pull out their toiletries.

8. Extra toilet paper

You don’t want anyone to run out at the wrong moment(:

9. Hair dryer

Put this in a bathroom drawer. A guest probably wouldn’t think to bring one, but might want it!

10. Trashcan

This isn’t as obvious as you might think. You’d be surprised how many people forget to put a trashcan in a guest bedroom or bathroom if that room isn’t in normal use.

Ultimate Guest Room Checklist

You can get everything on this list, plus much, MUCH more, in a handy printable! Subscribe to my newsletter to get the Ultimate Guest Room Checklist printable:

11. A dark room

Put up some heavy curtains or shades so your guests get better sleep.

12. Extra blankets or throws

Spread one across the foot of the bed or stack some in the closet.

13. Alarm clock

Not that anyone wants to wake up early on vacation, but who knows? Maybe they want to get a jump on you and make breakfast for everyone.(: I have a small clock similar to this one which I like because the light doesn’t stay on continually. You can check the time at night with the push of a button, but you don’t have to worry about the light blaring in your face all night!

14. Tissue box

Put a pretty one on the bedside table.

15. Fan

This is good for white noise and so your guests have a little more control over the temperature.

16. Small flashlight or night light

Guests don’t know their way around your house in the dark, so save their shins.

17. Multiple lighting options

The overhead light shouldn’t be the only light source in the room. Add some floor lamps or bedside reading lights to create a more cozy atmosphere.

Bedside reading

18. Reading material

There are all kinds of “bedside companion” books. Coffee table style nature picture books (like the kind you see on sale at Barnes & Noble) are pretty universal. And for something very quirky, this one is a classic! Here are 13 books that are perfect for a guest room.

19. A snack

Your mealtimes might not be when your guest is used to eating. Put some non-messy snacks like granola bars, almonds, or fruit in a small basket on the dresser.

[question]As you get your home ready for overnight guests, I’m sure you’ll think of some things that aren’t on this list. I’d love to know what you would add![/question]

Ultimate Guest Room Checklist

You can get everything on this list, plus a lot more, in a handy printable! Subscribe to my newsletter to get the Ultimate Guest Room Checklist printable:


Other resources:

Here are previous posts I’ve written on hospitality.

For a guide to decluttering your home to prepare for guests, check out my book, Your Simple Home Handbook.

136 Comments

  1. Such a wonderful list of reminders. I have done some of them, but I never thought of including the internet information (what a great suggestion). I am in the middle of overhauling my closet in our guest room right now. It was one of those closets from a sit-com where everything would come tumbling out as you opened the door! It is going to take me a while, but I will be sure to leave some hanging space for guests!

    1. Thank you for your comment, and happy simplifying! I’ve had a closet or two like that(: It feels so good to open it and see it NEAT, although a newly-cleaned closet makes me flinch because I’m still expecting stuff to crash down on me!

    2. I love the ideas. I would add to leave a pretty bowl or basket on a bedside table for the guest to put rings, watch, jewelry.

  2. I keep current catalogs (pottery barn, Williams Sonoma, Pier One, etc) on the bedside table, and a pretty notebook with a pen/pencil. You never know, they may find an item they want to jot down and call to order when they get home. :). I always send each guest to bed with one of those small “mini” bottles of water (Zephyrhills) in case they need to take medications/or just need a few sips during the night. A little bowl of mints, and little chocolates on the table. A daily devotional, is always nice. A freshly washed robe hanging in the guest bath is a nice touch! Maybe a few daisies or some flower without a lot of fragrance, in a small vase. A few feminine products in the drawer in the bathroom. Just a few things they’ll appreciate if they need them. :).

  3. My friend in Idaho does something I really love. Every time she has a guest stay in her guests room, she will put a picture of that guest in a picture frame and hang the frame as you enter the room with a heading that reads. ” KAYS ROOM”. She also adds a nice flower vase with wild flowers.

  4. You left out hooks in the bathroom. Where am I supposed to put my nightgown, bathrobe or change of clothing while undressing or in the shower?
    I’m at the point where I am going to start traveling with command hooks because no one thinks about how their guest changes clothes.

    1. Agreed! So many people, even at Airbnb’s have no hooks in the bathroom area for robes, etc. I ALSO have thought about bringing my own sticky ones!

  5. All of your suggestions are fabulous. One thing I really appreciate as a guest is extra pillows for reading in bed, and also when the bed pillows are really fluffy and fresh and not the old dingy, out-of-service ones from the family. You can get a couple of new pillows from a discount store for $10-15.

    1. This is what I was going to add! Ive hosted many guests but also stayed with others in a busy household and always wished there was a mirror in the guest room to fix my hair and makeup so the bathroom could be left open for others.

  6. I set my guest room up with everything I could ever possibly need, and everything that has made any of my myriad hotel stays (we spent almost three months in the US a couple of years ago, and at 16 different hotels) more pleasant.

    My guest room has a pillow menu (four different styles of pillow to choose from – high loft, medium-firm, low-firm and medium soft, and they’re all right there on the bed and in the closet), bottled water, a kettle with assorted teas, coffees and hot chocolate with shelf-stable milks (we don’t have creamers like the US does) and various sweetening agents (sweetNlow, white sugar, raw sugar, coconut sugar and stevia), a tray so they can nip out to the kitchen and grab breakfast if they’re ultra early risers, bedside lights, a bin, a fan, assorted blankets and quilts (both very light smmer weight and heavier, winter weight ones), drawers and hanging space, a full-length mirror on the back of the door, both a full-size tissue box and individual packets for their pocket/bag, a brand new beeswax/unscented lip balm, n unopened packet of Jila Mints, a packet of Tums, some Panadol (Tylenol) and some ibuprofen, hand wipes and personal size hand sanitiser, a small torch, pen and a small notepad, sunscreen, hand cream, and if I know it, their favourite confectionery and shelf-stable snack. I also switch out the coverlet and scatter cushions for covers in the guest’s favourite colour (a cheap way to change how a room feels) since I use snow-white linens and towels throughout the house. There’s also a 6-bar powerbar, and a multi-country converter, since we have had US guests (and hopefully will again) and will hopefully have a UK guest one day. There’s also a spare iDevice/USB charger (worked well for a friend’s Jawbone, too). I just remembered, there’s a wall clock, and a small, travel LCD clock with temperature (in C and F) gauge, too.

    In the bathroom there’s a full complement of towels and face washers, hairdryer, a clean, sanitised brush and comb, sealed toothbrushes, paste, floss, shampoo, conditioner, unscented deodorant, female hygiene products, disposable razors and shaving cream, unscented natural face moisturiser, hand cream, cotton tips and pads, hooks on the door, soaps and body wash and a brand new body puff (sealed in its packet) for anyone who wants to use and take it with them, and there’s also bath salts and bubblebath if they would like a bath. I also pop in a small glass covered with a cupcake liner, for those who prefer not to use their hands to scoop water for rinsing their mouth. Oh, and an empty shower caddy in the shower for their own items, along with a wide-tooth comb for wet hair.

    The toilet has ample paper refills (and they get the gentlest, best quality paper I can get), hand sanitiser and wet wipes (bottoms and hands) and disinfecting wipes, toilet cleaner and air freshener, just in case of accidents (kids can be messy, and an upset tum can strike at any time – Bali Belly doesn’t just strike in Bali. Many guests feel very embarrassed at having to ask for cleaning paraphernalia if they need it, preferring to take care of it themselves).

    Pretty much the only thing we don’t supply is reading material (that’s going to change), and somewhere to put suitcases (there isn’t enough room yet, but in the future there should be), especially if they’ve more than one. I also really like the idea of a personalised sign on the door for each guest, too – and using command velcro strips means it can easily be swapped out for each guest!

    All I need now is a few more guests πŸ˜‰

    1. I offer most of your list, love shopping for small things the visitor loves and place a small gift as a thank you to take home. The winner being small bird paperweights in their original box for travel. I include a new back brush to take home. Also have a clothes basket so they may do laundry prior to heading to another leg of their travel. The stack laundry is outside their door. Include a bed tray with stationary, a pen and small candies (wrapped). Loved your list, it is a winner. Headed out to plump up my next family visitor experience.

  7. Extra blankets and pillows for sure. I love the hot drink idea, too. Now, if only I had a guest room. For now, making a guest room means kicking one of my kids out of their own bed.

  8. I already do most of these things. I also have a bunch of Dollar Store slippers packed away and put a pair for each guest beside the bed. I love having guests and want them to feel as comfortable as possible.

    1. That’s brilliant! And I love that it’s a low-cost but really impactful touch. We’ve really tried to make our guest room comfortable (and, according to our guests, have rather succeeded!) but it had to be done on a tough budget and in a small room. So I especially appreciate ideas like that!

  9. Have lamps on either side of bed or attached to headboard for reading so guests don’t have to get out of bed to turn off the overhead light.

  10. Thank you for this wonderful list! When we were planning our guest room most of the lists I found were decidedly geared to a more … fiscally gifted bracket than we’re in. So this is fabulous with all the smaller details that are more attainable. There’s not exactly room or budget for a coffee bar in the room but we can make sure there’s extra toilet paper – and, really, guests want the latter far more.

    1. Thank you! I am definitely coming from a budget-conscious background! I think you can spoil your guests in small, thoughtful ways, without having to have a large paycheck.

  11. I Also put Tums and a small bottle of mouthwash in the bathroom. I put a copy of Phoenix Magazine on bed stand which has articles regarding local culture and things to do.

    1. That’s a good idea! I remember wedding advice was to give your guests info on local culture and places to visit. Works even if they’re not in town for that kind of gathering!

  12. Sadly, I have found that the more I offered ‘hotel quality’ hospitality the more certain guests acted as though they were in a hotel and not in my home! I hold to the maxim ‘Always make a guest feel at home…even when you wish they were’ but there are so many articles on how to be a good host which involve a lot of expense or unnecessary effort and they all overlook one simple fact. A true friend comes to see you and enjoy your company, not your designer toiletries. If all your budget will allow is to offer them your sofa for the night and your undivided attention then that should be enough. Perhaps it’s time for an article on how to be a good guest!

      1. You remind me so much of my cousin Brooke. Always so sweet and kind, always a pleasant reply. May you always see the good in people.

    1. I agree Maisie. All the people that stay at our place are made to feel comfortable with really comfy bed, spotless white towels etc and all the comforts of home but they come to see us not all the luxury of a hotel and would be more than comfortable sleeping on the sofas. As luxurious as it is, there is a lot of expense in supplying everything on PK’s list. I think good food, wine and relaxing company are priority on my list. I suppose it depends on the guests visiting and what their expectations are.

  13. Sunscreen! In Colorado, people don’t realize how much sun they get at altitude, and also how dry they get. We always give bottled water or we also have a cute crystal pitcher and tumbler; they can take the bottles on their excursions but will always have done also y in their room. And moisturizer, if the facial as well as hand/body varieties. I also check them for any allergies before hand; I will spritz the sheets and pillows with some diluted lavender. My guests always tell me how well they sleep!

    1. I always pass on any scents. I am very sensitive to artificial fragrance. I stayed at a beautiful BnB one time, but could not sleep in the bed due to the lavendar on the sheets! I slept on the couch.

      1. Oh, that is good for me to keep in mind as a hostess! You have to know your guests (or take the time to make sure you learn these things).

  14. I always have bottled water on each nightstand and in the guest basket or bathroom drawer the guest will use, these additional things: disposable razors, sample size shaving cream, hand lotion, nail clippers, personal size scissors, travel size tissue pack, small bottle of tylenol, sample size hand sanitizer, sample size men’s and women’s solid deodorants, a few bandaids and a “Ladies only” note with location of extra minipads, tampons and personal wipes.

    1. These are great things to add! It doesn’t take much extra work or money to provide them, but it really shows your guests that you want to take care of them!

  15. Great list! Thanks! We also make sure there is a strip outlet with easy access in the room near the bed – our guests frequently have phones and tablets and stuff to plug in and like being able to do it near the bed without hassle!

  16. I just found your blog on Pinterest and love it! I especially love your series on hospitality. My husband and I have greatly enjoyed hosting people in our home for over 30 years, but you can always teach an old dog new tricks! ? I think I will add the suggestions about the Tums, ibuprofen, and room-darkening curtains to my guest room. Thanks for helping me make my guests a little more comfortable! ?

  17. Great ideas! Never thought of the flashlight! I always leave a basket with some snacks, a few magazines, and… A bottle of pepto bismol. I put that in there because it’s not something people want to have to ask for, or root around in your closets for, especially if your host cooked dinner that night. The bottled water suggestion was good too in one of the comments.

  18. One thing I often wish for and find lacking in guest bedrooms is an easily accessible power point for recharging phones or a laptop. That’s my number one wish for guest rooms!

    1. That’s a great idea! It’s something I haven’t thought about, but probably often looked for when staying in someone’s home. In fact, charging up my phone or laptop is probably the first thing I think about doing when arriving after a journey!

  19. One more thing…and maybe I missed it in some of the responses, but needed is an easy access to to a plug for a phone and computer charger. Often they have their own adaptables… But a table ( night stand) with an easy access plug with efficient lighting is priceless and very comfortable

    1. Great addition to the list! Guests have to have space for what they bring with them–including space (and empty outlets) to plug in their devices. Thank you!

      1. I always have nightlights in the guest bathroom. (I actually travel with one too as hotel rooms are so dark-which I love-except if i need to find the bathroom in the night). πŸ™‚
        It allows my guests to find and use the bathroom without turning on lights that are blinding or running into anything in an unfamiliar place.

  20. As a guest in other people’s home I’ve more than once been displeased? Annoyed? Perturbed by a malfunctioning shower head. It taught me to always test a seldom used shower for low pressure, unusual taps and weird sprays before my guests have to. My downstairs bathroom has a shower (for guests) nobody here uses that has the hot/cold taps backwards. Must remember to leave a little note.

    1. A note is a great idea. Even if there’s nothing wrong with the shower, sometimes unfamiliar showers are just confusing! I’ve been in more than one home where I couldn’t even figure out how to turn the shower on!

      1. They make crayons and markers for the shower (in with the kids’ soaps and shampoos) that wash off easily, that you could use to write instructions for the shower on the shower wall above the knobs.

  21. Great list & great comments!
    We host a lot of people and have all the things you’ve mentioned, plus I keep a small decorative box on the back of the toilet with a variety of feminine products.
    Also, a little less practical and not for everyone – We also have a small fridge guests can use and where we put waters bottles and snacks.
    And a mini-heater in winter because we have chilly stained-concrete floors.

  22. I like to add Tylenol, a few tampons and/ or pads, qtips, new toothbrush in packaging, individual floss picks, to make sure they don’t have to ask. Also keep a plunger in the guest room, calling for assistance as a guest is embarrassing! And air freshener too:)

  23. I had done all the above and would like to add – a map on the wall so you’re guest can get their bearings where they are. I went to All-posters and found a nice map. I also bought a “nose” from India made of wood that holds your guest glasses on the nightstand. Our closets doors are mirrored but that might be a consideration for your guest room To have a full length mirror. In a bottom drawer I have presents to send home with guest. I live in Orlando so I have coffee cups they can chose or other Florida souvenirs.
    I have books and an album showing the construction and history of our home. On my website you can actually see the video of the guest room and the “nose”.

    1. Love the map idea. I just went to check out your guestroom on your website. It’s great! Simple, pretty, very thoughtfully put together! You’ve given me some inspiration!

  24. As missionaries, we have been the guests in many homes–some we enjoyed, some not so much! In addition, we have hosted a great number of people, from just a few to entire youth groups, visiting on a missions trip. Drawing on the good experiences, I always look forward to pampering our guests. No one wants to feel like an inconvenience so I make sure they have everything they need. My biggest pet peeve was never having enough closet space or hangers. I wish more people would think ahead on this one! If nothing else, invest in a few over-the-door hooks to get the guests by on.

    1. Missionaries? That’s awesome! My family served on the mission field in Costa Rica and Chile for two years when I was in high school. We’ve had lots of experience hosting and being hosted during that time and the years on either side. I agree–you do learn a lot about hospitality that way!

  25. In an era of Airbnb, this are very cool ideas that many householders should learn and do.
    If your guests are visiting when you are maybe at your vacation also, you can put an instruction letter on the fridge, about washing machine, dryer etc…
    I always save small stuff to use for my guests, and put a “welcome letter” on the bed…
    and a tip, if your guest is a very messy one in his own house, unfortunately it is not a good idea to have him πŸ™

  26. Lots of good ides. For me, instead of a king or queen bed, I have two single beds. It’s much more comfortable for unrelated parties who can then both stay in the only guest room I have.

  27. Great article and great comments! We live in a lake so most of our guests are coming in the summer! πŸ™‚ We have a walkout and in the bathroom that’s lakeside I have a big glass apothecary jar with small bottles of moisturizer, hair sprays, and little Batiste dry shampoo spray bottles. This is for people who’ve been on the boat all day and might not be staying the night, but would like to freshen up after all the fresh air, sun snd sand. Also, a couple bottle of Tylenol in case someone has a sun headache. Above the toilet we have a “hotel rack” with three fresh towels folded and stacked and a bar for hanging a used towel. Often, our guests spend all day outside and then we might go out for dinner or to a neighborhood party, and I want them to feel freshened up and comfortable at the night time event πŸ™‚

  28. This post is so wonderful! And the comments were more than helpful. As a housewife, nothing gives me greater pleasure than being allowed to dote on overnight guests, especially family. Sadly, we currently live in a trailer with only the master bedroom and a nursery available. But we are looking forward to buying a house soon. And the first thing I’m looking forward to (other than a large kitchen:) is a large, inviting guest room.

    A few extra things that might be added to the list – coasters on the nightstand; maybe a bit obvious, but it can be disconcerting as a guest to keep a water glass nearby during the night and find a nasty water ring under it in the morning. (Been there, done that!)

    Also, I love the idea of a welcome/gift basket, with the addition, if there are children, of little Dollar Store toys/coloring books/etc. with the children’s names on them. My grandmother always had a Dollar Store toy for each other us when we arrived at her house, and it made us feel so special knowing that she had been anticipating our arrival and taken the time to select a gift just for us kids. (This is also helpful when the kids don’t know their hosts well.)

    Lastly (and for me this is entirely a wish for the future when I have some extra money:), I would LOVE to have a landline phone on the nightstand, if only for decoration. The kind that looks like a 1960’s rotary dial phone but actually has buttons to use like a modern phone. It always brings such class. (And talk about a hotel-style luxury!)

    Thanks, again, for the post! I can’t wait to put this list to use in my future home (and even in this little trailer:).

    1. Joanna, thank you for commenting! I love your ideas and additions. And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who loves some old-fashioned charm…I had not thought of a “vintage” telephone, but that is a great way to express it!

  29. These all sound like great ideas. I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but I always appreciate it when I am provided easy access to an iron and ironing board. Oh, and a plunger! πŸ˜‰

    1. Good additions for sure! No one wants to find themselves in a situation without a plunger if the worst happens, rare as that might be!!

  30. I have a framed saying I leave in the guest room. It fits one and all so I don’t have to change it with the newcomers name. It is done in fancy calligraphy and it says, ” I YQ”. One of our guests gave it to us and I loved it immediately.

  31. One very important item that I think should be added is air freshener (either spray, candles and matches or the automatic ones). I’ve resorted to carrying a small travel-sized febreze spray in my purse because I often cannot enter the bathroom after my fiance πŸ˜‰

    Great list and I will definitely put this to use when we acquire more room for a guest room! (Might even add in our old mini fridge and old Keurig!)

    1. I don’t think anyone’s mentioned air fresheners! Good idea! I would probably do a natural spray or have candles available, so people could have the option to use them (or not, if they’re sensitive to the fragrances).

  32. Love all the ideas! I put a basket on the dresser with many of the items already mentioned. I also add a list of the local television stations,and schedule, how to work the TV, DVD player, and have a short stack of DVD’s I think they will enjoy. If there are children visiting, I have DVD’s,, bubbles, extra pillows. I already own this, but the children Love my little 1 man pop-up tent, it give them a place to cool off from all the excitement and also to sleep.

  33. Maybe someone else suggested this previously, but this is a great idea my sister has done.
    When she travels to motels, she collects the sample size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc, that are leftover from her stays.
    In the cupboard of her guest bathroom in her home she has a small plastic “dresser” with three drawers and in each of the drawers she places the motel shampoos, etc. Her guests then have a choice of whatever toiletry item they may need.

  34. Your 19 idea’s are great, but much more than that is far more than I plan to do. I don’t want my guests that comfortable. They might not want to leave. Lol

  35. Lots of great ideas. I like the wifi code idea best, I hadn’t thought of that. I have a sign in my guest room bath adking guests to put used towels and linens on the shower floor when they’re done. Some guests were rehanging towels so neatly that I couldn’t tell which ones they had used and which ones not. Once in a while somebody even strips the bef for me when they leave! I like that guest best!;)

    1. Good idea with the towels! Lots of hotels do that, so that’s another great strategy to incorporate at home! I like it when guests strip the beds, too, and I try to do that at people’s houses! It’s just a small gesture, but considerate!

  36. I do all of these! Plus I have purchases some one-size-fits-all waffle bathrobes. Nobody wants to pack a bulky robe and I don’t want to see anyone in their underwear running from guest room to bath.

  37. I also put contact lens solution in the bathroom along with new contact lens cases. Loved all of the suggestions!!

    1. Yes! I’ve started keeping those on hand, too, after I was the guest in someone’s house who’d forgotten her contact supplies!! (And thankfully, they were able to supply me!)

  38. I love all the ideas presented here and use a lot of them. Here are some things I do. Besides the extra pillows and blankets in the closet I keep a portable oil filled heater, an ironing board, an iron, a few hangers and an air freshener in the otherwise empty closet. A couple of over the door hooks are handy too. I have a long low farm bench under the double window to put suitcases on and on the night stand by the lamp I keep the tv remote with the channel lineup I downloaded and printed. In the drawer is a USB charger, pen, paper, map, sight
    seeing and things to do guide. The top drawer of the empty chest of drawers has toiletries, towels etc. A small dining table and 2 chairs with table cloth and flowers plus a dorm sized fridge, small microwave and coffee maker with cofffe cups etc. makes it extra convenient if you don’t want to go downstairs to the kitchen to heat a baby bottle during the night or have that first cup of coffee while getting dressed before breakfast.

  39. When visiting I find it helpful to have a night stand on both sides of the bed, even if it is a tv tray, or chair. I use a CPAP and the hose is too short if it sits on the floor. When I set up our guest room, I plan to use antique diningroom chairs.

    1. Thank you, that is a great idea! I like that creative way of thinking…that you can use other furniture for the purpose, like a chair.

  40. Thanks, Elsie.
    Supportive information and good explanation.
    The shower caddy is the best storage tools for bathroom necessary tools like bath shampoo, tissue, towel, conditioner, bathroom cleaning chemical. All tools are well furnished by a corner shower caddy. It increase the beauty of bathroom.

  41. All great ideas.. still getting the final touches on our guest area and bath. I put a large mirror in the bedroom near an outlet so they can use hairdryer if someone is using the bathroom. I keep cleaning supplies including glass cleaner and roll of paper towels with the toiletries under the sink. A bottle of moisturizer or body butter is appreciated as that isn’t something easy to travel with. I include a few extra bags for the garbage can so a guest can just tie up throw away. A nice throw for naptime is appreciated.
    I think someone mentioned a basket for dirty clothes. Picked up baby shampoo/wash for those visiting with kids. A few cups/wine glasses/wine opener is nice. If someone is staying for a week I would put in a 12 pack of water in the room.

    I typed out my WIFI and put in a plastic sleeve, and I included our address/phone numbers and emergency numbers.

  42. Great suggestions! I find that the most important aspect of a guest room is the bed. It is super important to provide clean sheets and a comfortable mattress

  43. Our 9 year olds room doubles as our guest room, so we can only eliminate/make guest worthy to a certain degree.

    When she started getting heavily into reading we changed her nightstand for a bookshelf/cupboard, the bottom portion has two shelves that are concealed behind doors, and the top has three exposed shelves. On the shelves we put towels/washcloths, kleenex, and her alarm clock. On opposite side of bed a trash can. We keep floor in closet clear for them to tuck their suitcase in there, should they want to, we keep top of her dresser cleared for their hairbrushes/etc. We pull out the power bar slightly so it is visible to the eye (as it sits under her bed) we have hooks for guests to hang their towels, and we keep a fan and portable heater in the closet making sure to advise them of such. Extra blankets get plopped at foot of bed and on top bookshelf. For a lack of a guest room we still manage to make it quite cozy and I take great pride in that, also we put ALOT of pillows on the bed, various styles – feather down, medium, soft, extra soft, etc, we place about 4-6 pillows on the bed so that our guests are BOUND to find one they like.

    Also as an added something special, I try to know whom my guests favourite authors are, the week before they come I pop into the library and pick up a few of their favourite author and place on the bookshelf should they want to read something πŸ™‚

    1. That sounds very cozy indeed. We didn’t have a guest room growing up, so my brothers got moved out of their room when the need arose. They had a large cedar chest in their room that could serve as a spot for guests to put their suitcases or spread out their things. I love your idea about knowing your guests’ tastes in books! I’ve been trying to do that more lately, too…providing reading material I know people will like!

  44. I’m getting my house cleaned out and in order so I can start hosting. I’m so glad I found this article because there are so many great ideas and I need them all. One thing I’ll add is a lint roller. I don’t have any pets but I’m obsessed with my roller. Thank you all for sharing. Happy Hosting !!! ☺

    1. Great, I’m so glad you’re gleaning helpful stuff here! I love everyone’s suggestions, and a lint roller is definitely a good addition!

  45. Hi, I’m just starting out (hoping to be ready to rent in June) and not quite sure how all this works. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated and I’ve noted just about everything. Board games and a deck of cards might be a good idea. I also have a gym in the garage but not sure this is wise to offer unless I have a waiver for my guests to sign. Would love your thoughts on this.

    On the business end of this I’d love your advice on the following:

    Should I take out extra home insurance? I’m assuming it would be a wise move

    Does Air B&B do a background check on guests that are coming to your home? Even though they will have their own entrance and not have access to my living space it’s a concern.

    Are we able to write off expenses to provide a proper/comfortable stay for our guests?

    Has anyone every had an undesirable guest and if so how did you handle the situation. It’s just me and my daughter living in the house and my main concern is to keep her safe.

    Your suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa! Congratulations on getting your AirBnB business ready! I hope it will be successful for you. I am not an AirBnB host, but I asked my SuperHost dad to offer his advice on your questions. Here’s what he said (your questions repeated in italics, with his answers following):

      Hi, I’m just starting out (hoping to be ready to rent in June) and not quite sure how all this works. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated and I’ve noted just about everything.

      I’m sure there is a lot online and even books about hosting too. You should check out the help sections of the various hosting platforms.

      Board games and a deck of cards might be a good idea.

      What you’d like as a guest is what you should be offering as a host, and then some. Guests should experience generosity, not frugality. Every surprise should be pleasant, not unpleasant. The goal is to always offer more than is expected, not as much as and certainly not less than. Treat others as you want to be treated, then look for ways to do even more. Fresh flowers and a few breakfast items are greatly appreciated, even if they’re sometimes not used. You might like board games and a deck of cards, but you also need to anticipate what guests unlike you might prefer–like books, TV, internet, a radio, an assortment of CD’s or DVD’s, travel brochures and local menus, a few toys or coloring books. Above all aim for generosity. Generosity is fun for guests and hosts to experience.

      I also have a gym in the garage but not sure this is wise to offer unless I have a waiver for my guests to sign.

      A certain amount of coverage is included by the hosting platform company for hosts who sign up with them. Hosts also can require security deposits to cover damage. Whatever is offered for a guest to use has to be maintained in safe working condition. Rules for use have to be plainly written and clearly posted. Some amenities aren’t appropriate for some ages, and this needs to be made clear. I include our “House Rules” on our platform listings (so they’re known in advance) as well as in a notebook that’s mandatory reading for guests. A host should never feel they have to offer an amenity they’re uncomfortable with. A lawyer will have to give you further advice on how to protect yourself from liability, though.

      Would love your thoughts on this. On the business end of this I’d love your advice on the following: Should I take out extra home insurance? I’m assuming it would be a wise move

      You should check with the company that insures your home. They may advise adding a “rider” that gives coverage to paying guests. You should set your nightly rate carefully so that all expenses are met and you also achieve your income goals. But you should be realistic, researching what other hosts in your area charge for similar accommodations and how full their reservation calendars are. Then you’ll begin to get an idea if you’re going to make the money you’d hoped to to make your venture worthwhile.

      Does Air B&B do a background check on guests that are coming to your home? Even though they will have their own entrance and not have access to my living space it’s a concern.

      Hosting platforms require guests (and hosts) to have certain proofs of their eligibility and identity, such as phone number, email address, bank account, and current credit card. Sometimes hosts can require more or less proof of identity before accepting an inquiry, or only accept guests who’ve been hosted previously (no new, inexperienced guests), or may ask that guests tell something about themselves when they inquire. Different hosting platforms provide varying amounts of information about guests too. As a host with HomeAway I can only give a rating of 1-5 stars in several categories and check off if I would host a guest again or not, while with Airbnb I can do that but also write a narrative review about the guest. When I get an inquiry I like to read some or all of the reviews to make sure the inquiring guest was well-thought-of by previous hosts. If an issue has been brought up by one or two other hosts I ask the prospective guest for their explanation of what had happened before I accept their reservation.

      Are we able to write off expenses to provide a proper/comfortable stay for our guests?

      This is NOT professional tax or legal advice, so you’ll need to do your own research. A portion of furnishing and maintaining/repairing your rented space may be tax-deductable, as would be supplies that guests require for their stay (bathroom products, food items) or that hosts use for cleaning. You should keep receipts and organize the expenses by categories so you can present these to your tax accountant (or to the IRS should you prepare your own taxes and someday face an audit). You should also be aware that there are state and local lodging taxes that must be charged to guests and paid monthly. Different hosting platforms handle this in their own way. Airbnb collects and submits taxes in some states and not others. HomeAway doesn’t. Probably none of the platforms collect and submit local taxes. So hosts have to include taxes they’re required to pay in their nightly rates and pay what’s collected. Research what your local lodging taxes are, apply for a business licence, and have an account with the state for the payment of their tax. Hosting platforms don’t do this for you. Of course a host hopes other competing hosts are also collecting and paying taxes so they’re not being undercut on price, but there’s no way to police that themselves. They just need to decide from the outset to “play by the rules” regardless of what others do.

      Has anyone every had an undesirable guest and if so how did you handle the situation. It’s just me and my daughter living in the house and my main concern is to keep her safe.

      If a host gets an inquiry that seems suspicious they’re not required to rent to the person. It may effect their rating somewhat, but it would be minimal if they only refused a prospective guest occasionally. If a guest arrives and there’s a concern about the person’s reputability they should confer with the hosting platform for advice. No host has to keep a guest that is a threat to their safety or property, or who is violating clearly stated “house rules.” But after hosting hundreds of guests now I personally haven’t had one that damaged our property or was a safety threat. I’ve never had to make a claim and withhold a portion of a security deposit. I’ve had a guest or two take an item (such as a small first aid kit once) that wasn’t intended to be a takeaway, but that’s rare. I don’t charge for an occasional broken glass.

      Your suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.

      Being a good host isn’t easy, and if you’re not a good host you won’t be a host for long. Ask herself if you like entertaining people already, and if you have a personal history of opening your home to overnight guests (or is it a rarity and something you avoid). Ask a couple of close friends or family members what they honestly think of the idea, and enlist them to help get the rooms ready for guests and suggest items.

      Hope this helps!

  46. This article and comments that followed are very helpful. I had thought of many but it was great to read the comments from readers. We are in the homestretch finishing the room over the garage into a guest room. We are fortunate enough that guests will have a bedroom and bathroom to themselves on the 2nd floor. One thing I could suggest is a wall mount 10X magnifying mirror in the bathroom. My eyes aren’t what they used to be and I find it very helpful putting on makeup/plucking eyebrows. Both my husband and myself use it almost daily in our own bathroom.

    We stay at my mother in laws for a few weeks a year and I try to add a few things to make ourselves more comfortable. My husband hung a ceiling fan, full length mirror and towel bar in the bathroom. We hope this makes her other visitors more comfortable as well!

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