How to Turn Your Guest Room into a Haven (Tips from an Experienced Traveler)
How to turn your guest room into a haven – guest post by Andrea Hamilton
My family has just completed a three-month road trip. We are missionaries on deputation to start a church in New York City. All of this traveling means we have stayed in a lot of hotels, guest rooms, and “Prophet’s Chambers” (guest housing at the church). The Lord has been truly good to us and we haven’t stayed in any bad or yucky places, but we HAVE learned a few things about what makes an exceptional guest room.
Romans 12:13 tells us to we are to distribute to the necessity of saints, and be given to hospitality. 1 Peter 4:9 says, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” And Hebrews 13:2 reminds us to “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
I am so thankful for God’s people all across this country who have lived these verses to my family. They opened their homes in gracious hospitality, and welcomed us even though we were strangers to them. They have shown us what a comfortable guest room looks like, and I can’t wait to get settled into our field (New York City) and hopefully have my own guest room to share with others!
Would you like to turn your guest room into a haven for weary travelers? Here are some tips that come from my experience of living on the road. A few simple things can really make your guest room stand out and show your guests an extra welcome – like family!
- Invest in a good mattress. Don’t just throw a really old mattress into the guest room. When someone has been traveling all day (or all week, or all month), their body is road weary. Nothing feels better than a really comfortable night's sleep, and nothing is worse than lying there all night trying to get comfortable. One less expensive way to give an old mattress a boost is to use a memory foam topper.
- If possible, give the guests their own designated bathroom. If you have to share, make it clear when your family members normally bathe so there’s no conflict. Let them know where extra towels are located. Make a space in the tub for the guest’s toiletries so they don’t feel like they are invading. (It also keeps guest children from using the wrong product by accident).
- Use nightlights liberally. If nightlights are in place, the guest can always unplug them if they want more darkness. But if there is no nightlight ready to go (in the bedroom, hallway, and bathroom), the guest has to search around for the outlet. Even if they find an outlet, it only works if they have their own nightlight along! This is particularly helpful if there are children in your guest party. It really makes them feel more comfortable in a strange place!
- Make sure there is plenty of bedding – blankets and pillows. Sometimes we come in as a family of six, and there are only pillows for four of us. Sometimes I’m feeling congested and wish I could grab another pillow to prop up. Sometimes I just get a little cold and want to throw another layer on the bed. It’s always a blessing when the hostess has placed extra pillows and blankets in the closet, or has shown us where to find them.
- Make space in the closet. I know that if you have a spare bedroom with an entire empty closet, you want to use it for storage. And that’s great – but leave a space for the guest to hang their clothes. If there is no closet available in your guest room, consider placing a hook over the door. We travel with a clothes bar in the van, so all of our clothing is on hangers, but sometimes its hard to find a place to hang them inside the guest room.
To be continued next week…
Have you ever stayed overnight somewhere that was extremely comfortable? What were some of the things that made it that way for you?