The countdown to the late-fall through the new year festivities is on. If airline ticket prices remain as high as they are currently, traveling to gramma’s house will be a challenge.
In fact, according to a recent NerdWallet survey, 37% of Americans are choosing to drive instead of fly during the holidays. With gas prices so high, however, that, too, can be challenging.
Where family and friends can save money is by staying with friends and family instead of a hotel and, according to the aforementioned survey, 36% of them plan on doing just that.
If your home will be host to friends and family this holiday season, we suggest you get busy on preparing with the following tips.
1. Are the grandparents coming?
While the majority of grandparents in the U.S. are still relatively young and mobile, if your guest list includes an elderly relative who doesn’t get around very well, start your preparation by ensuring there are no accidents in your home.
- Consider adding motion-activated nightlights to light the path to the bathroom.
- Install better lighting in areas of the home that are currently a bit dim.
- If your floors are hard, such as hardwood, laminate, tile or vinyl, consider purchasing non-skid throw rugs. If you currently use rugs, purchase non-skid backing material for them. You can purchase them online at Amazon.com and HomeDepot.com.
- Add a non-slip mat in the bathtub.
- Give up the downstairs bedroom for Gramma so she won’t have to deal with the stairs. In the bathroom, “… clear out your or your family’s toothbrushes and other bathroom items and relocate them,” suggests the pros at Neighborly.com.
- Place extra blankets on the guest bed and drape one on a comfy chair in the living area to be used while watching TV and chatting with the family.
2. Make the home warm and cozy
When was the last time you changed the HVAC system’s filters? Not only will the system work harder with dirty filters but this added work raises your heating bills.
In addition, “If a filter isn’t working properly, dust and allergens can circulate throughout your home and cause allergies and respiratory illnesses,” cautions the reviews team at ThisOldHouse.com. HVAC specialists recommend that filters should be changed once a month, especially during the heating season.
Another way to ensure the home remains warm and cozy is to fill any gaps or cracks around the doors and windows. You may want to consider replacing worn caulk instead of filling what is already there.
3. Transform the guest room into an oasis of comfort
When thinking of readying the guest bedroom, think of a swanky five-star resort. Check out these photos for inspiration. A lot of this can be done even on a tight budget, using items you have on hand.
Start with the bed, adorning it with crisp linens and two blankets—one light and one heavy.
If you depend solely on an overhead fixture for light, consider adding more, such as a reading lamp next to the bed or wall sconce fixtures on either side of the bed.
Your guests will rave about your hospitality when they want for nothing in the guest quarters. And, again, fulfilling this won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Head to the department store and stock up on travel sizes of the following products:
- A notepad and pen
- A small flashlight (for power outages)
- Disposable razors
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hair spray
- If kids will be sharing the room, stock some coloring books, crayons and small but fun toys and games.
- Pain medications, such as aspirin and acetaminophen
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Shower cap
Write a note to be left in the room that tells your guests how to access the Wi-FI, disable/arm the security system and any other particulars they need to know about your home.
4. The most important thing to ready the home for holiday guests
Cleaning. Yeah, not very many of us like to do it. Cleaning for guests should be the deep kind of cleaning, especially in the guest bedroom and areas in which the family congregates.
If you need inspiration on how to get your guest room ready for the holidays, you’ll find plenty online. Pinterest has lots of brilliant ideas as does HGTV and Elle Décor .