Small touches of luxury for your visiting guests!
|July 26, 2010||Posted by thefrugalvegan under Easy Ways to Make extra money|
As you know, I have a room listed on Airbnb.com. The price is very low since I like to host backpackers who might be uncomfortable using couchsurfing.org and prefer to pay a small price for a room as a way of bartering. When my guests arrive, I like to make them feel special, just as if they were to have arrived at a nice hotel with little extras. There is a way to make your guests feel like royalty without you having to spend money or put a lot of time in. Here are some of my ideas:
*Mint on the pillow
I can buy a bag of individually wrapped mints for $1 which will last me all year, if not longer. I always place the mints on the bed with the towels, not on the pillow per se. You can certainly use other candies too, just make sure they are wrapped.
*Soap and Shampoo
Just like a hotel, I like to provide soap and shampoo. There are a few ways to go about this. I make my own soap so I use the small scraps cut in pieces which the guests love. Another alternative is using those travel sized bottles from hotels. My partner always brings tons back with him from his business trips and I use them for guests. I also have a bottle of 2-1 organic shampoo and conditioner in the guest shower which I purchased on sale.A bodywash can be made using 2 TBsp of Dr. Bronners Organic Castille Soap (the peppermint is nice!) and a cup or two of water. Squirt into a puff and this stuff is magic and costs pennies to make! It biodegrades in a month too! I use the same stuff for the hand soap foam pump by the sink, a little goes a long way.
Daily Shower Cleaner
Make sure you have one of these in the shower. I make my own (see post in Green living Section). The travelers do use it after each shower and it minimizes cleaning as well. I used a recycled spray bottle and labeled it with instructions asking guests to use it after each shower.
Snacks in the room
I always have a small bowl of snacks in the room. Usually the snacks consist of things I have gotten for free (like granola bar samples for example) or snacks I received but didn’t want. The dollarstore has packaged cookies and bars though I don’t like the ones they sell at mine.
Coffee machine in the room
Maybe it’s just me, but having a coffee machine in the room makes it seem hotel-ish. I opted for a mini keurig machine but these aren’t cheap, so perhaps get a thrift coffee machine or a new cheap one for $10. No need to provide coffee but the option is there for them to use it for hot water (some backpackers have made noodles with coffee machines before!). I include tea bags (usually acquired free) as well.
I only do this in the summer when I have access to free flowers from my garden (mostly just wild flowers and weeds!). I replace the flowers once a week. This gives a nice homey feeling to the room. I always have plants in there year round as well. In the winter you can prepare a bowl of pine cones and needles! Use nature as your guide.
Since I do provide breakfast for my paying guests, I set up the table for them and use my reusable napkins. I either bake homemade bread in my machine, or offer up some homemade granola. Homemade is KEY here. Granola can be made way in advance so no need for morning preparation. I don’t always want to make muffins so this rarely happens but certainly a good alternative. I set the table up with homemade jam & glasses for juice or water. For granola I may put the soy milk in a bowl of ice so it keeps cold and also place a bowl of fresh fruit (from my garden) on the table.
Because of these small touches, I have had rave reviews from guests which means other guests will come! This is good especially if you are hosting through Airbnb.com and getting income for it. I’ve been very lucky, even paying guests have left me presents like bottles of wine, jewelry and other nice things because they were happy. I am thankful for the hotel training I received while living and working in Germany for a year. It’s amazing how just a few small touches can make a world of difference!
Airbnb.com is a great way to earn extra income on the side. Even if you only have a couch or floorspace for someone, you can sign up! Easy as pie!