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How to Host Holiday Out-of-Towners Without a Guest Room

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December 19, 2018

The holidays are upon us, which means family and friends will travel far and wide to be together during the festive season. In the spirit of giving, many families open up their homes to out-of-town loved ones to not only save them the cost of a hotel but also ensure everyone gets to spend some quality time together during their stay.

As we know, the holidays don’t happen just for those with spare bedrooms — which means you often have to improvise to make your guests feel comfortable and cared for while they stay. Whether that means shuffling your own family around or converting your sofa into a bed, you do what you can to make the visit a good one.

Make do with what you have

If all your bedrooms are spoken for, you will need to work with the space you do have. If you entertain overnight guests a lot, investing in a pullout couch or futon is worth it. You can also get blow-up mattresses, which are easy to store when you don’t need them but so convenient (and fairly comfortable) for guests.

If you have a finished basement, this is the ideal place for guests to bunk, so that they have some separation from the rest of the house. But if privacy is a concern, use privacy screens or room dividers to section off the room.

Provide linens

It’s a nice gesture to welcome your holiday guests with fresh sheets and pillows, a clean set of towels and extra blankets. You can make up the bed, or leave a neat stack of everything near the pullout couch. The extra blankets are a nice touch, especially if you have them staying in a basement, where it could be colder than the rest of the house.

Have a welcome basket waiting

Nothing says “Happy holidays!” like a welcoming gift. Your welcome basket can include practical items, such as slippers, toothbrushes, body wash, soap and a sleep mask and ear plugs. You can add some holiday bonus items, such as festive pajamas, chocolates, a candy cane and hot chocolate mix (complete with mini marshmallows). This is helpful in case they forget any toiletries at home, while also saying “We’re glad you came.”

Guest bath

Maybe you’re all out of bedrooms, but perhaps you have another bathroom that you can designate for your out-of-town guests. Set it up with fresh, fluffy towels, holiday-scented hand soap, and everything they need to start and finish each day! Your guests will feel like they’re staying in a nice hotel and not sleeping on your couch in the basement.

Celebrate the season together

The most important part of hosting loved ones over the holidays is being together. Be sure to include them in some festive fun, such as baking cookies, holiday shopping or decorating. Share your traditions with each other and create new ones together. Having holiday guests doesn’t have to be an inconvenience. If you’re organized, prepared and ready with open arms, it will be a joyous experience for all.

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