Tis the season to get the air mattress out, or is it? Here are five money-wise ways to ensure your holiday guests have the best time staying over.
Ditch the bad beds
It’s ever so tempting, and somewhat inexpensive, to just use a blow-up mattress and hope for the best. But holidays aren’t meant to be for bad backs and creaky bones. Rather, if your family is a regular host, think carefully about how you’ll accommodate guests now and in the future.
It’s a good idea to invest in comfortable beds and linen. You can’t offer everyone a hotel-like experience, but simply upping the thread count on the linen you buy is an inexpensive way to inject a little luxury into holiday life.
Bonus: this is an investment for your family too, as they’ll enjoy the luxury linen experience all year round too. Linen with a higher thread count generally lasts longer and that saves you money in the long run. We’d also suggest investing in a foam or similar topper for your guest room bed too, as this will help lengthen your mattress’ lifespan, and provide your guests with an extra layer of comfort while they’re asleep.
Declutter and pass down
If there’s one thing your home needs during guest season it’s: extra space. While you’re preparing to have friends and family over, take a little time to clear out the clutter. Don’t forget to make three piles: one for items to donate, another for items to sell, and another for items to keep. It’s also a great time to save your extended family some money, so arrange a clear-out of your children’s cupboards too. Any clothing or toys they’ve outgrown can be handed down to younger siblings, cousins, or friends.
Guest room goodness
If your guest room doubles as a study, remove all computers and office equipment, and repurpose the desk as a dressing table. Spruce up the decor if your budget allows, or add a few indoor plants to brighten up the room. Make sure the cupboards are clear for your guests to easily store their clothes and belongings, and give the carpet a deep clean. Don’t forget to leave extra blankets and pillows in the room, just in case.
Sharing a bathroom with your family is enough to drive you stir crazy on any given day, but adding guests to the mix can really up the ante. Temper the stress of bathroom-sharing by reorganising the room and ensuring there’s enough space for everyone’s toiletries and essentials. Invest in small baskets or containers so that everyone gets their own little storage solution, and buy a few extra toothbrushes too. That way, nobody ends up having to share in an emergency.
Scale back the itinerary
Having foreign guests or faraway cousins visiting for the festive season can tempt you into thinking that they’d enjoy the more popular tourist-type pursuits while on holiday. But, during peak holiday season, everyone knows that’s where you’ll find the craziest crowds. Instead, focus on spending quality time together, cooking a feast, or selecting activities that aren’t your typical tourist pursuits. Use your well-won knowledge of your city to find unique places to visit and sightsee, and you’ll soon find sweet opportunities to make real memories, with no crowds necessary.
Read more: How to do Christmas on a budget