Tag Archives: books

Do You Know What “Hygge” Really Means?

Flag of Denmark, The Hygge Game, colorful buildings in Denmark

 

Do you know what “hygge” really means? “Hygge” is a Scandinavian (specifically Danish) word for enjoying the good things in life. It evokes an atmosphere of coziness accompanied by a feeling of contentment and well-being. There is nothing more “hygge” than spending quality time with the people you love.

 

The board game Hygge has over 300 thought-provoking questions designed to spark meaningful discussions. Cozy conversation in pleasant company.

Responses will allow the others to better get to know each participant’s:

  • character
  • desires
  • emotions
  • interests
  • motivations
  • opinions
  • personality traits
  • values

25 of my favorite questions:

  • How would you define intelligence?
  • In what ways to you make other people’s lives better?
  • If you could be guaranteed an honest answer, what would you ask and to whom?
  • If you could have one million of anything (except money), what would you choose?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?
  • If you had enough money to retire tomorrow, what would you do with the rest of your life?
  • If you had the whole world’s attention for thirty seconds, what would you say or do?
  • Name one thing most people don’t know about you?
  • Should students get to grade their teachers?
  • What actor/actress would play you in the movie version of your life?
  • What book changed your life?
  • What can we learn from children?
  • What compliment have you received and never forgotten?
  • What does the world need more of?
  • What do you do differently than most people?
  • What is the best song ever written?
  • What is the best television show of all time?
  • What is the most meaningful gift you ever received?
  • What is the one key trait that makes people successful?
  • What is your greatest wish for the upcoming year?
  • What kind of people do you most admire?
  • What movie do you wish they would make a sequel to?
  • What personal quality do people appreciate about you?
  • What quality do you appreciate the most in a friend?
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?

What board games, if any, do your guests play during their stay with you? Do you offer them a library of books to read during their stay? Guests appreciate the extras, such as access to games and books, that you offer them during their stay.

On a personal note, my daughter participated in a high school student exchange program a few years back. We hosted a Dane (someone from Denmark) and then she stayed with another Danish student during her time in Copenhagen, Denmark. This was her first international trip and it was a very memorable experience. She understands what hygge really means.

You are welcome you to share related comments about any of the following below:

  • The name of the most popular board game your guests play
  • A meaningful experience hosting guests from Denmark
  • If you are an innkeeper of a B&B or guest house in Denmark

 

The Perfect Bed and Breakfast Books For Your Happy Guests

bed and breakfast books

 

Offer the perfect bed and breakfast books for your happy guests who love to read. Your bed and breakfast may house a small library or even a parlor or study with a large selection of books on your shelves.  If you are wondering what kind of books to make available, the following are some great suggestions:

 

  • Architecture: for readers interested in building and architectural styles

 

  • Arts and Photography: people love to look at art and photography, including books from your local museum

 

  • Biographies: especially of any legends about the people who live in your town or former tenants of your home or anyone famous in your area

 

  • Business: business travelers will appreciate books on business topics such as leadership

 

  • Computers and Technology:  including books about social media

 

  • Cooking: people may be looking for a new recipe–especially if it is your cookbook (that you have for sale)!

 

  • Crafts and Hobbies: scrapbooking enthusiasts as well as those who have other hobbies will like these types of books

 

  • Fiction: particularly if the setting in the book is in your local area or at a bed and breakfast inn, novels may really be attractive to your guests

 

  • Flora and fauna: for the garden lovers, horticultural experts, biologists, and green thumbs

 

  • Guidebooks: for guests who want to get to know your area and its attractions

 

  • Health and fitness: this could include books about eating and exercising

 

  • History books: many people love to read about history (especially the history of your location)

 

  • Home decorating: people who stay in bed and breakfasts usually appreciate home decor, art, and antiques

 

  • Humor and entertainment: these include humorous books by comedy professionals

 

  • Literature: classic literature lovers will be delighted to see books by Shakespeare or Jane Austen

 

  • Mystery, thriller, and suspense: Mary Daheim has a series of bed and breakfast mysteries that could interest your guests

 

  • Relationships: such as improving communication skills

 

  • Romance: keys to keeping the romance alive

 

  • Science fiction and fantasy: including time travel and virtual worlds

 

  • Sports and outdoors: books based on what guests can do at your inn such as fishing, hunting, golfing, skiing, and more

 

  • Success books: people love reading about having success, achieving more, and reaching their dreams

 

  • Travel:  books specific to your local area or your state will help guests make choices on what to do during their stay

 

You need not spend a lot of money if you do not already have a wide collection of books.There are plenty of good used bookstores and even yard sales that sell them.

Having good reading material for your guest helps them remember their stay at your bed and breakfast even more fondly.  See the B&B Books listed for a great selection of Bed and Breakfast related books!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

B&B Travel Packing List

travel packing list

 

Does your bed and breakfast suggest a B&B Travel Packing List?  Depending upon where you are located, your suggestions of what they should bring will vary.  Location, season, climate, and local attractions and recreation all play a part in determining your recommendations.

 

Keep in mind, your guests may be driving or flying.  You may be hosting international guests.  This B&B Travel Packing List is meant as a suggestion and can be tailored to fit what is appropriate for your guests.

You can put the list up on your own website as a courtesy to your guests.  You also do not have to go into as much detail as we have chosen to do.  There will likely be things that you can think of that are not on this list.  This is a starting point for developing your own travel packing list.

Important Necessities:

  • Addresses of friends and family
  • Airline tickets
  • Calling card
  • Car rental confirmations
  • Cash
  • Contact info for bank and credit card companies
  • Copy of traveler’s insurance policy
  • Credit and ATM cards
  • Directions
  • Driver’s license and photocopies
  • E-tickets
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Gift certificates or giftcards
  • Guidebook(s)
  • House keys
  • Identification
  • Insurance information
  • Itineraries
  • List of medications
  • Lodging information and reservations
  • Maps
  • Medical and vaccination records
  • Membership cards (AAA, frequent flier)
  • Money belt/pouch
  • Passport, visa(s) and photocopies
  • Reservation confirmations
  • Tickets to concerts, events, and games
  • Traveler’s checks

Personal Items and Hygiene

  • Aftershave
  • Body lotion
  • Cologne/perfume
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Cosmetics
  • Cotton swabs/cotton balls
  • Deodorant
  • Eye drops
  • Face wash
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Floss
  • Glasses
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Hair care products
  • Hair styling appliances
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Lotions
  • Makeup
  • Makeup remover
  • Moisturizers
  • Moist towelettes
  • Mouthwash
  • Nail clippers/files
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Shaving supplies
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Tissues/paper towels
  • Toiletry bag
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Towel/wash cloth
  • Tweezers

Clothing and Accessories

  • Belts
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Dresses
  • Dress shoes
  • Exercise clothing
  • Extra hangers
  • Gloves/mittens
  • Hats
  • Hiking boots
  • Jacket/fleece
  • Jeans
  • Jewelry
  • Knit hat
  • Long underwear
  • Pajamas/sleepwear
  • Pants/trousers
  • Rain boots
  • Rainwear
  • Sandals
  • Scarves
  • Shirts (dressy and/or casual)
  • Shorts
  • Shower shoes
  • Skirts
  • Slippers
  • Socks
  • Stockings
  • Suits
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirts
  • Swimsuit/Cover-up
  • Ties
  • T-shirts
  • Undergarments
  • Watch
  • Water shoes
  • Wide-brimmed hat

Medications and Health

  • Allergy pills
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Bandages
  • Cold medicine
  • First-aid kit
  • Herbal supplements
  • Insect repellant
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Nausea and diarrhea remedies
  • Pain relievers
  • Prescriptions
  • Sleep medications
  • Vitamins

Technology

  • Batteries
  • Camera and charger
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Converters and adapters
  • E-books
  • Electronic chargers
  • Extension cord(s)
  • Film
  • GPS
  • Laptop and accessories
  • MP3 player
  • Memory cards
  • PDA
  • Shortwave radio
  • Tablet/e-reader
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Underwater camera
  • Video camera and charger
  • Video player
  • Walkie-talkies

On the Plane

  • Books or magazines
  • Chewing gum
  • Earplugs
  • Eye mask
  • Quart-size bag for liquids/gels
  • Tissues
  • Travel blanket

In the Car

  • Antifreeze
  • Driving directions
  • Ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Keys
  • Maps
  • Motor oil
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Spare tire or donut
  • Windshield wiper fluid

Outdoors

  • Beach bag
  • Beach towel
  • Binoculars
  • Compass/GPS
  • Flashlight
  • Insect repellent
  • Lighter
  • Rain poncho
  • Shortwave radio
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • Umbrella
  • Water bottles

Entertainment

  • CD’s/DVD’s
  • Playing cards
  • Portable DVD player
  • Travel games
  • Video games

Miscellaneous

  • Cooler
  • Drinks
  • Double-sided/duct tape
  • Highlighters
  • Laundry (bag, soap, stain remover)
  • Journal
  • Pen(s)
  • Pet items (if traveling to pet-friendly bed and breakfast)
  • Plastic bags
  • Puzzles (crosswords, jigsaw, word search)
  • Safety pins
  • Sewing kit
  • Snacks
  • Swiss army knife
  • Toys (if traveling with children)

Guests will be bringing purses, tote bags, carry-ons, suitcases, and other luggage.  Thanks to your handy packing list, guests will be less likely to forget bringing something they wanted to have during their stay at your lovely bed and breakfast.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

You Can Do Pinterest

you can do Pinterest

 

You can do Pinterest!  As promised when I started our series of blog posts on using Pinterest, I will share with you some of my Pinterest boards and how I organized them.  This is for you to get some inspiration when you pin on your boards!  It gets exciting when you grow more followers. You can see which pins get repinned the most.

 

Of course, food is a big deal for a bed and breakfast so I have more than one board for food.  Perhaps I will have enough pins to have a separate board for eggs (including omelets and frittatas).  I did have enough pins to have separate boards for crepes, French toast, pancakes, and waffles–even desserts!  Currently, I have the following boards:

Bed and Breakfast Cooking

Bed and Breakfast Crepes

Bed and Breakfast French Toast

Bed and Breakfast Pancakes

Bed and Breakfast Waffles

Bed and Breakfast Desserts

I also have a board for cookbooks and for other books, including fiction related to bed and breakfasts and nonfiction about running bed and breakfasts.

B&B  Cookbooks

Bed and Breakfast Books

Then I have few boards featuring bed and breakfast in the United States, bed and breakfasts in the world, and award-winning bed and breakfasts.

Bed and Breakfasts USA

Bed and Breakfasts World

B&B Award Winners

In case you are wondering why sometimes I spell out Bed and Breakfast and sometimes I shorten the name of the board to say “B&B”–it is so that the name of the whole board fits on the screen.  Otherwise, if the name you give your board is too long, it will show a … after it to show that there are more letters, but not enough room.  To me, it makes sense to name my boards short enough so that everyone can read its entire title.

I also name my boards with titles that are appropriate. For example, if it is a specific area of the house, I include that in the name of the board.

Bed and Breakfast Bathrooms

Bed and Breakfast Bedrooms

Bed and Breakfast Dining

Bed and Breakfast Kitchens

I also feature less thought of areas that can really look special in a bed and breakfast.

Bed and Breakfast Stairs

Bed and Breakfast Fireplaces

Bed and Breakfast Lights

B&B Stained Glass

Since so much of the visual appeal for a bed and breakfast comes from its outside, I put together the following boards:

Bed and Breakfast Entrances

Bed and Breakfast Porches

Bed and Breakfast Gazebos

Bed and Breakfast Gardening

There are some bed and breakfasts that specialize in an area.  They could offer weddings, be located on a farm, have a spa, and/or a restaurant.

Bed and Breakfast Weddings

Bed and Breakfast Farms

Bed and Breakfast Spas

B&B Restaurants

Some bed and breakfasts are unique because they are located in a registered historic home or even located in a lovely castle!

B&B’s with History

Bed and Breakfast Castles

Because of what services I provide, I have a board for social media and one specifically for Pinterest.  

B&B Social Media Success

Promote with Pinterest

Of course, I have not listed every board I have nor do you need to have the same boards as me.  It is really deciding what you think visitors would like best about your bed and breakfast and featuring those in pins as well as pinning other B&B’s from non-competing parts of the country or those of your innkeeper friends and fellow association members.

Be sure to use the name of your bed and breakfast (or a shortened version of it) on your boards and in your pins as often as possible. This is key so when your pins get repinned they will know it was from your bed and breakfast.

What do guests say they like about your B&B?  Start with that.  You can also offer tips such as home organization, kitchen gadgets, decorating advice, etc.  The sky is the limit. Whatever your strengths are as an innkeeper (ex: cooking, decorating, gardening, etc.) you can feature that in your pins.

You truly are free to make it what you want it to be!  Once you get started, you may not realize how fast the time goes by!  So starting pinning so you will be winning more business!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

All in the Details

all in the details

 

Do you ever notice that it is the little things that make a big difference?  Sometimes it is all in the details.  For example, when I stay at a bed and breakfast and they include free use of their washer and dryer (and even supply the detergent and dryer sheets) that is an added bonus to me.

 

Other little details can include:

  • Friendly phone conversation
  • A professional hand carved sign to see as you approach
  • A warm greeting when you come in
  • A welcome note when you enter your room
  • Specific promotional package for your special occasion
  • Fresh flowers in your room
  • A guest book to write comments in
  • A guidebook to the local area and its attractions
  • A wide selection of books to read
  • Board games to play
  • Chilled wine bottle and wine glasses near the private hot tub
  • Filled basket of various snacks to choose from

The list of details can also be custom tailored to your bed and breakfast.  Perhaps you offer weddings or workshops.  The point is to get creative so that guests appreciate the little details you put into making their stay a happy and memorable experience they will fondly recall.  

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

What Motivates You?

what motivates you

 

 

What motivates you?  What inspires you?  If you know the answer to those two questions, it can give you the strength and energy you need to persevere day in and day out.

 

 

 

How did you come to be bed and breakfast owners?  Whether you are new to inn-keeping or have been hosting guests for years, we all need to remind ourselves why we do what it is we do.

Your reasons can include:

  • Like to have your own business
  • Love entertaining guests
  • Enjoy cooking gourmet breakfasts
  • Get to tend a beautiful and fruitful garden
  • Appreciate meeting new people
  • Skilled at managing the books
  • Having fun decorating and remodeling
  • Have a vision for its growth

When you remember why, then it becomes easier to tackle daily chores and responsibilities. You are building your future and allowing your guests to have a wonderful experience they will always remember.

When your guests have a great experience, they are likely to let their friends know all about it and to return at a later date. Some of your best visits will be from returning guests to which you had a special connection.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Hospitality of Hosting

hospitality of hosting

A gracious host is very welcoming and immediately sets you at ease when you arrive. Hospitality is the relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. This includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. It is important, as bed and breakfast owners and innkeepers, that guests feel at home in your home.

Hospitality is associated with etiquette and entertainment. It involves showing respect for one’s guests, providing for their needs, and treating them as equals. The word hospitality derives from the Latin hospes, meaning “host”, “guest”, or “stranger”.

 

Hospitable Things To Say

  • “Make yourself at home.”
  • “What brings you here to stay with us?”
  • “Do you need more fresh towels or pillows?”
  • “Can I get you anything else?”
  • “Feel free to select from our DVDs and books to take back to your room during your stay here.”
  • “Would you like to know about some fun things to do in our area?”
  • “Your homemade fresh-cooked breakfast will be ready at….”
  • “Would you care for some tea this afternoon?”

As an innkeeper, you will need to know the fine art of how much to interact with your guests. Be available to answer their questions, but also be sensitive to their need for privacy.  Take your cue from the guests themselves since each person is different.  This way you tailor your hospitality to match the needs and wants of your guests. That is the hospitality of hosting!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Why You Need to Use Pinterest

use Pinterest

 

Pinterest may be the perfect tool for letting potential guests know about your bed and breakfast.  Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra co-founded this website in March 2010. Millions of people use Pinterest to pick up new hobbies, find their style, and plan life’s important projects.

 

Pinterest has pins that are like handsome little bookmarks. Whenever you find something on the web that you want to keep, add it to Pinterest. Your newly minted Pin will be here whenever you need it, and will always link back to the site it came from.

Boards are where you organize your Pins, and you get to decide what your boards will be all about. This is a great way for bed and breakfast owners to get ideas about cooking, decorating, gardening, hospitality, and more! Plus this is your chance to post pictures of your bed and breakfast, including:

  • The outside of your B&B
  • Your rooms and bathrooms
  • Your delicious breakfasts and recipes
  • Your garden, pool, hot tub, or any other amenity
  • Events such as weddings and music performances
  • Your library of books, DVD collection, etc.

Really the sky is the limit as far as how many pins you want to post. The point is that potential guests will see your bed and breakfast and click to find out more about you from your website.

This is a huge and free marketing opportunity to use Pinterest!  All it costs is the time it takes to share the pictures (your own and the millions of other pictures already on the Pinterest website)! Be sure to check out Bed and Breakfast Blogging’s very own Pinterest website!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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