Design

A Secret to Hosting Overnight Guests

The Best Luggage Racks for Houseguests

When we were on vacation, we visited my friend Skye in Venice. We stayed at her mom’s house, and they were such lovely hosts — with pasta lunches, fluffy towels and paperbacks on the nightstands.

But one of the sweetest touches was that her mom had set up two luggage racks in the guest bedroom. Instead of throwing our suitcases on the floor, stumbling over them and kneeling down to get clothes, we used the racks and it felt organized and easy. It was such a little thing but felt so good after being on the road!

Alex and I immediately ordered two for our home — and now just need to invite some friends to stay :)

What little things do you do for houseguests? Flowers? Extra toothbrushes? I also like the idea of filling the fridge with meats, cheeses and bread for easy lunches.

P.S. The #1 item to have for house guests, and how to get kids to talk at dinner.

(Photo by Stella Blackmon for Cup of Jo.)

  1. We set up sturdy wood TV trays as luggage racks when we have guests. We also keep a fan in the guest room and an extra blanket because we never know what temperature our guests will prefer. Something I always appreciate as a guest is light-blocking curtains.

  2. I love all the attention to detail in the comments. When hosting guests, I think it’s so important they feel just like they would do in a hotel – I even collect the slippers from hotels and leave them out for our guests when they stay over (set on top of fresh towels at the end of the bed). If only everyone was as like-minded as all the wonderful suggestions in these comments when it comes to hosting – I’ve had so many experiences of staying over at people’s homes and the sheets haven’t even been changed from the previous guests! I find this so shocking that I now have a problem accepting invitations in cases where I’m not quite sure what to expect of my hosts!

  3. Victoria says...

    An Irish friend of mine pops a hot water bottle in the guest bed at some point in the evening – it’s such a lovely surprise to get in to a cosy bed and not chilly sheets. I should say this is in the winter not summer!

  4. Katie says...

    – Ditto on the hotel toiletries and extra toothbrushes. Plus spray deodorant in the bathroom cabinet. It’s the one thing you can’t get in a sample size.
    – A glass/cup sitting in the bathroom with the towels along with a coaster on the nightstand as a silent signal that they can have a glass of water by the bedside.
    – Hairdryer set out on the sink.
    – Spare iPhone charger set up near the bed. No one likes fumbling behind the nightstand/bed looking for a spot to plug in.

    • Good idea on the iPhone charger!!!

  5. Katrina says...

    Yessss, such a great idea. Now to have a home big enough to fit some guests! :)

  6. Vicki says...

    Most soap makers on Etsy sell small ” scrap samples” of the different soaps they make. I keep a basket full of samples in my guest bath. Bonus: they almost always come individually wrapped with a label identifying the scent and a business card. The guests can take the cards and reorder any of the soaps they sampled and loved!

  7. shopgirl says...

    With friends from around the country and from the coast, we often exchange homes for a weekend break. When they come to me, I leave them a list of suggestions about what’s happening right then in the city; concerts, performances, exhibitions, new restaurants and cafes they should visit. I always leave them a city map, network passwords, some board games, in the bathroom small guest soaps and in kitchen some wine, beer and fruit juices for children. We always agree to use each others linen and towels so that there is not too much luggage for these short trips. And we do not exaggerate with pre- cleaning of homes!, I usually only remove perishable food and used lining.

  8. Kristin says...

    One thing I didn’t see mentioned, is to ask if the guests have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. My daughter had a food allergy and I am always so appreciative when friends or family ask us ahead of time so I don’t have to stress so much about bringing extra food with us. I always ask our guests ahead of time if they have any dietary restrictions so I can be prepared!

  9. We always have a toilet plunger and a toilet bowl brush in the bathroom (we only have one bathroom so this is essential) and a mirror in the bedroom. I have found that as a guest, I always appreciate the opportunity to have a quick glance at myself before leaving the room, especially when I’ve just woken up! This also helps us avoid the make-up and hair styling shuffle in the bathroom.

  10. I’ve always tried to put myself in the guests’ place and think “what would I be too embarrassed to ask for?” Now I place (discreetly) a plunger under the sink, some scented candles & matches around, some snacks, a sheet of paper with the wifi password, some TV channels, and any funny things about our house (jiggle the front door just so to get in etc.) And if they’re staying for very long, I usually loan them a key! That way they don’t have to worry about working around our schedule.

    xx

  11. for guests i have luggage racks at the end of each bed, multiple blankets on each bed for accommodating cooler/hotter sleeping guests, multiple pillows – as well as diff firm/softness, for the ladies i have black face towels for removing make-up without worry of staining lighter towels (highly recommend this!), multiple bath towels so guests aren’t limited to one, two usb/iPhone/laptop chargers in the room and a full length mirror – which is often overlooked – and necessary! in the bath i have an extra hair dryer and curling iron and lots and lots of toilet paper so no-one is ever left in a lurch!

  12. Madesyn Mackenzie says...

    Always have a toilet plunger accessible in the bathroom!

  13. Alecia Denny says...

    We have the wifi network and password framed on the nightstand, earplugs (read loud twin boys) , water, new magazines, nuts and candies for our guests.

  14. Emily says...

    Recently my brother in law and his family came through. They arrived after dinner with three little kids. I put a G&T in his hand, a cup of hot herbal tea in hers and whisked their kids out for some ice cream so they could have some quiet time after a long day of driving. I got a many thank yous for that one… not only from the parents but the kids too!

    • Gill says...

      That is the most thoughtful idea! I love it

    • Wow this is so thoughtful! Will definitely try!!!

    • Stefanie says...

      lovely idea! i’ll be stealing this one.

  15. Christina Lourens says...

    Love love this!!!! Another great tip I once heard, was to pack a bag and stay over in your own guest room for a night or two!
    That way, you’ll quickly figure out what works, what’s missing and what can be improved!

  16. Courtney says...

    My best friend’s mom always leaves a bar of chocolate on the bed. (Usually from Trader Joe’s!) I used to stay with her from time to time and always loved this gesture. Her daughter, my best friend, often leaves chocolate and books now, too, whenever I visit. It’s always a sweet gesture. :)

  17. Char says...

    Neither my husband or I drink coffee, but many of the guests we host do. I always make sure to get some good beans from a local roaster and put them out on the counter by our kettle with a grinder, French press, a mug for each person, sugar and spoons; coffee cream stocked in the fridge.

  18. Vava says...

    This has been a fun article to read. We have a detached guest house here at our place and I want to make visitors feel at home. Definitely have luggage racks! I also have a dresser where they can unload their suitcases, and plenty of closet hangers. There is a fully functioning kitchen so I try to stock the fridge. Our visitors make their own breakfasts/coffee, sometimes lunch, and they have dinner with us. I’ve got to get some of these makeup washcloths though!!! My goodness – that is brilliant! I’ve had a lot of colored towels ruined, both from stains, but also bleaching toothpaste and facial products. I only use white towels in my guest house now because of that, my pretty sage green towels didn’t make it…….. I suppose the black makeup wash cloths might also get bleached from the facial washing products that some teens use, but I’m going to give it a shot!

  19. That is so awesome! I made sure to stock the bathroom with extra towels within reach, including washcloths as well as toothpaste and travel soaps (left over from our Disney trip!).

  20. I stay in apartments a lot and the things that bother me the most are lack of good pillows and lack of bed side lights. I’ve lost count of the amount of places I’ve stayed with pancakes for pillows and only 2 of them, so nothing to prop you up when reading. And so many places don’t have bedside lights. There’s nothing more annoying than having to get out of bed to turn off the light when you want to sleep.

    • Miruska says...

      I totally agree with you. May Aribnbs were ruined for me because I had to get up to turn off the light after reading in bed. Now I make sure to bring one of those book lights just in case.

    • Katie says...

      Agreed! My parents have the flattest pillows in the guest room. I finally broke down and told my mom I was buying new ones. Sadly, that was 10 years ago and I think those are the ones still in the room today, now flat as pancakes. (Sigh)

      Also, have down alternative pillows.

  21. Those little things are so important.

    It’s all about toiletries in my case. I always go overboard with soaps, toothpaste, shampoo, Kleenex, towels, skin care and so on.

  22. Michelle says...

    We had eight family members visit at the same time when we lived in Belgium plus our four.
    Loofa for each person and shower gel in the shower- no soap to share. I put up suction hooks in the bathroom with a
    name tag and hung towels for everyone. Also made it clear that there were more towels in the cupboard. We also told guests to use the washing machine for dirty laundry so they moved onto their next destination with clean clothes.
    Also left out little manicure and pedicure sets since family had been on the road already for four weeks.
    Boiled eggs, cereal, warm crossaints or rolls with cheese and cold meats in the kitchen for breakfast to help themselves.
    Four adults and four teens did amazing job washing up and clearing up.
    I also tell guests not to strip the bed so l can wash sheets at my leisure. One family of four stripped all the beds and I felt I needed to wash them as soon as they left.

  23. Joan says...

    What great ideas in all these comments! I remember reading somewhere that Jackie Kennedy always had fresh flowers in her guests’ rooms, so along with big dark sunglasses I follow that rule as best I can, with flowers when possible from my own garden–sometimes a little sad-looking but appreciated nonetheless. The other thing that seems to surprise my guests is a picture of them, sometimes an old or funny one, framed and on the bed-side table. Not sure where I got that idea, but I’m sticking with it!

    • Sara says...

      A picture of them is the cutest, funniest idea!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, i love the picture idea! :) :) :)

  24. Lisa B says...

    My mother-in-law collects the unused toiletries from her stays in hotels and puts them in a pretty basket in her guest bathroom. So nice not to be facing a communal bar of soap in the shower last used by God knows who!

  25. Debbie Godowsky says...

    One more thing: A magnified mirror on a stand for putting on make up, finding those stray hairs…

  26. Debbie Godowsky says...

    We, too are AirBnb hosts, so I have tried to think of everything possible need and comfort. I second what everyone has posted above. In addition:
    * Small flat screen TV. Pretty reasonable these days, don’t take up any room, and people who love to watch TV in bed will appreciate it. I also include a laminated listing of the channels.
    * Wifi PW in a small frame so it doesn’t get misplaced
    * Electric water kettle with mugs, teas for bedtime
    * A dorm size frig in the closet (they do hum!)
    * Ironing board & iron in closet
    * Sound machine, ear plugs
    * Basket of brochures of things to do in the area.
    * Full length mirror on back of door
    * Spare umbrellas
    * LL Bean canvas tote bags for shopping/sightseeing while they are here
    * Small bowl of wrapped candies
    * In the bathroom: Removable tub gripper for older folks
    * Among the toiletry samples not mentioned above: tampons, pads, elastic hair bands, Bandaids, packet of Tide
    * Our guests love this. I am ready to put one in our own shower: https://www.amazon.com/Better-Living-71450-4-Chamber-Dispenser/dp/B00004TUBO/ref=sr_1_8?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1501065193&sr=1-8&keywords=soap+shower+dispenser
    * bathroom spray (saves a lot of embarrassment!)
    * basket filled with some clean-up supplies. Not that we expect our guests to clean up after themselves, but if they should spill something, they’d much rather touch up themselves than ask you for the Resolve carpet cleaner!
    * Loofahs in addition to facecloths
    * And if you really want to go that extra mile, find out what they like to drink first thing in the AM, and leave a tray outside their door. (Carafe, mugs, milk, sugar). Our guests feel so pampered!

    • Sara says...

      Loads of good ideas here!

    • Lisa says...

      Oh gosh! Now I want to rent your Airbnb! 😂

  27. Abigail Atkins says...

    I always have a nice pitcher of water ready for them and freshly cut flowers. The water helps because it’s so embarrassing waking up parched and exhausted and in fear of waking everyone with your footsteps searching through an unfamiliar kitchen.

  28. Rez says...

    I buy fresh orchids from Trader Joe’s and place in guest room. Looks fancy and I can enjoy it after they go!
    Also, easy access bedside lighting so guests don’t have to get out of bed to switch off a light.
    Finally, snacks! Lots and lots of snacks. Piles of fruit, sliced cheese, crackers and variety of booze options that are easily visible.

  29. The first time I ever considered a luggage rack in a home was last year when I went on a “sketchcation” painting my way down the California coast, and every airbnb I stayed in had one! It makes so much sense! They also each had a carafe with water and a glass, along with some snack options, waiting for me in my room. Genius.

    Ramblingsketcher.com

  30. I love a beautiful tray (just bought one on sale at Home Goods) with a nice candle, water bottles, and other small luxury items to make our guests feel like they’re at a resort and less like a small apartment. The little details really do matter!

  31. mia says...

    This is kind of a reverse-hosting story: My friend asked me to periodically check on her apartment/water plants/collect mail etc while she was overseas. The day before she came home, I aired out the house, fluffed up the bed and made sure her fridge was stocked with eggs, milk, bread, cheese, olives, chocolate, seasonal fruit and some bright fresh flowers in a vase so that she could get by for the first day or two while being jet lagged. Cue emotional thank you text from her in the early hours of the morning :)

    • Sara says...

      That was so thoughtful! Love it.

    • Pernille says...

      This is the sweetest thing! What a great friend you are :)

    • Luna GC says...

      How thoughtful of you. My neighbour did this too for another neighbour who holidayed in Europe for 2 months & was returning on the eve of a Public Holiday (closed shops).

    • Rashmi.k says...

      You are awarded the Friend of the Year pin!!!! I would have wept for joy if someone did this for me!

    • Sasha says...

      That’s so kind and thoughtful.

    • Talia says...

      You are the sweetest and most thoughtful friend. I would have been emotional too!

    • Geraldine says...

      Seriously that is just the sweetest gesture. Your friend will never forget you for that thoughtfulness. You are a genuine gem.

  32. I was just planning for the house guests we will have next month! Our guests are often my in-laws-to-be, so I know by now besides the standard forgotten toothbrush and toothpaste, to stock up on contact lens solution and lactaid for under their sink. I had just ordered a luggage rack off Amazon because she asked for one her last visit. I grew up in a family that didn’t use them, so I didn’t even realize what we had to have!

    When we do have house guests, it’s often dozens of people, many of them kids, for a few weeks. I parcel out individual bedding bundles ahead of time in those zipping fabric bins, so it’s easy to make couch beds every night and clean up the next morning. I also plan on ordering dinner delivery at least two nights that week, and stock up on fresh fruit and sandwich fixings. Besides stocking up on snacks, I buy big pallets of still and sparkling water so I can give everyone a bottle of each every night.

    I also curate the books based on who’s visiting. If it’s my father-in-law, it’s short stories and Nabokov. If it’s children, my Calvin and Hobbes collections get left on the side tables.

    My mother-in-law always does the dishes when she visits, and I appreciate it so much!

  33. Jean says...

    Hooks installed on the back of bedroom and bathroom doors!

    • Liza says...

      This! I don’t know why there aren’t hooks on all bathroom and bedroom doors. They’re great to hang up clothes that need to be aired out, a place to stash your purses, in season coats, necklaces, belts, scarves, towels, and shower caps. All of the grab and go things you need can be more accessible if they’re out in the open, but still corralled on the door.

    • Jean says...

      Agree 100%, Liza!

    • Katie says...

      Agreed although I bought the over the door hooks because I’m in a rental.

  34. Lauren says...

    We are hosting friends from Australia (my home country) in our adopted home outside of Philadelphia for a week this coming Thursday. Although we host overseas guests often our guest room “set up” has always been somewhat sparse. Thanks to the wonderful suggestions, I’ve added a number of things to our guest room. Hopefully our guests will have an extra comfortable stay this time around.

  35. Lauren says...

    Couldn’t agree more about the luggage rack. I just picked up a vintage one for the guest room. I also like a basket of toiletries and other little essentials ready to go, a travel crib and basket of books and toys for guests with littles, and blackout curtains that can be pulled for a good night’s sleep.

  36. Kate says...

    THIS POST is exactly why I read Cup of Jo. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but your post strikes a perfect balance, then sparks a conversation among a group of strangers that feel like friends. Just wanted to voice my appreciation!

  37. Faith says...

    Does anyone have tips for hosting an overnight guest in your living room? We converted our guest room to a bedroom 11-month-old son, and my hubby refuses to switch up the arrangements (i.e. move the baby into our bedroom) when we have company. :\ I am a little embarrassed!

    • KL says...

      Yes! I cut a memory foam mattress topper in half and put that on the couch. I take the pillows off the back of the couch and “wrap” the topper plus cushions in a fitted sheet. Add a pillow or two, some blankets, and you’re good to go!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, KL, that’s a brilliant solution!

    • Emily says...

      I bought the LUCID folding foam mattress about a year ago and it’s amazing! It does take up quite a bit space in our closet when not being used, but it’s amazingly comfortable for something that folds up. It’s been great for guests (we set it up in our living room), and we have also brought it on some camping trips (used a plastic mattress protector so it wouldn’t get gross). It is so so much better than an air mattress, which I consider a form of torture.

    • Loribeth says...

      We only have a 1 bedroom apartment and frequently have guests and our only option for them to stay is the couch! I love KL’s suggestion, that’s genius. If we have one guest, I just take the back cushions off the couch and make up the seat cushions like a bed with sheets. If we have two guests, I bring the memory foam mattress off the daybed on our front porch, unwrap it from its waterproof cover and make it up like a bed on the floor.

    • Faith says...

      Great ideas! Thanks!

  38. Lexi says...

    I have a basket I keep for guests, and fill it with rolled up face towels, toothbrush, mini deodorant, mini sunscreen, mini bottle of water and try to put other things in there that s/he might like. I also put a carafe of water on the nightstand next to the bed in the guest room (the kind with the cup on top) and have some flowers in a vase. I also buy whatever they might like (my aunt only drinks half-and-half and she likes a certain kind of orange juice, for example).

  39. I have an aunt and uncle who are so cheap, they share pants. Share. Pants. Needless to say they invite themselves to stay with us 6x/ year. They think they pay for their stay by doing the dishes and disciplining our very handsome and well behaved puppy, Ernie. For those houseguests, I hide all the best houseguest stuff – the good liquor, the best sheets, myself if I can…

    https://culturepopsblog.wordpress.com/

    • Andrea says...

      If you were Catholic, I would say it counts as time off in purgatory. Holy money–sharing pants! I hate ungracious guests, or those who you feel are there just because they are cheaping out on something.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha oh man, elizabeth!

    • Rafat says...

      Cant stop laughing… hahaha.. oh man… how you deal with them :)

    • Geraldine says...

      That gave me a great laugh. 6 times a year though!!!! you could start charging them rent!!

    • Sarah says...

      Well at least they do the dishes…. (insert crying laughing emoji)

    • Sadie says...

      I’m still trying to figure out how sharing pants actually saves money. Don’t they just wear out faster????

  40. Water and glass in the guest room and most likely a fresh cut flower or two from my garden. Wifi password, bus schedule, tide table, downtown map, stamped local postcards and a copy of our house key on the desk. We live in a popular place to visit so guests are happy to explore on their own. I tell them to text me by 5 if they’ll be home for dinner by 7. That way I have time to make the meal yet it gives them the freedom to stay out if they’re having fun. I always have a few pints of high-end ice cream in the freezer and make sure they know it.

    • Sara says...

      This sounds amazing. I don’t even know where you live, but I want to visit! :)

    • Maya says...

      I absolutely love your idea to have a few stamped postcards for your guests!

  41. Emily says...

    My sister leaves a bottle of sparkling mineral water next to a vase of fresh flowers in my room when I visit. During my stay with her (she has two little boys!) I make sure to wipe the counters, load the dishwasher and run it every night before bed, and make the coffee in the morning while I unload. Being a good guest is as fun as being a good host! :)

    • Sophie Roland Heiðdal says...

      Couldn’t agree more!!

  42. Catherine says...

    Recently visited my brother and my sister in law set out a couple different varieties of nice granola on the counter the night before and stocked the fridge with berries, yogurt, kefir, and cold brew. Yum! Woke up early with my toddler and everyone else was sleeping but it felt like a little good morning greeting.

  43. Ashley says...

    I also have a luggage rack! We always stock the guest room with bottled water, clean towels, extra blankets, books for all ages, a sound machine, and a pack and play. I usually also set out a basket with (new!) chapstick, Motrin, lotion, chocolate, granola bars, and, of course, the wifi code. My besties get face masks and notes from my kids. :)

  44. Jenna says...

    A box of tissues in the bathroom and bedroom is always appreciated, but I commonly find none. I nearly always have tissues on me or a travel pack, because of allergies, etc., but it isn’t enough for a week.

    And keeping basic medications handy is brilliant. I’m more likely to get an upset stomach while traveling and my husband has horrible reactions to cats. I try to bring travel sizes with me, but sometimes they don’t actually make it in my bag.

  45. Kristen says...

    Oh, and one thing I’ve noticed when staying at people’s houses…so many do not have a mirror in the guest bedroom. This makes me bonkers! I need to see myself to make sure I’m presentable. Hang mirrors people!

  46. Kristen says...

    I too appreciate the luggage rack, and am happy to know you do too! It’s only this year’s travel where I began hoping each room I stayed in would have one. All the reasons you wrote of for your new found appreciation of the luggage rack, echo my own. It’s as if out of the blue, I noticed what a difference they make for me. How does that happen in life? You go about your business ignoring things, not seeing their value, then bam! it’s like you’re seeing it’s valuable use in your life for the first time.

  47. Maggie says...

    My best friends mom always had one of those at the ready when I would visit them in D.C. It made the stay feel a touch luxurious [and kept living out of a suitcase feel less insane]. She also always had an extra Metro Card and rail map available. Having those and not worrying about driving/parking made visits soooo much easier and still encourages me to look in to a destinations public transit system beforehand.

    • Katie says...

      I live in DC. Great suggestion on the metro card and map.

  48. Susie says...

    A good one I’ve heard that is super appreciated: if the guest also gets use of their own bathroom, make sure there’s a plunger in there! So if needed, they don’t have to go through the embarrassment of asking. And I guess, if it’s only 1 shared bathroom, make sure the plunger is readily available!

  49. Ah, I live in a small apartment in Brooklyn – I can’t even imagine having house guests! That being said, I’m reading all of these comments and day dreaming of having them :)

  50. Amy says...

    We move our toddler to the pack’n’play in our room, upend the crib in the corner of her room so there’s more floor space, and put a real mattress on the floor (IKEA Matrand, firmest version if you’re looking for inexpensive and comfortable – my husband’s parents stay with us the most so we asked if they preferred firm or medium). I empty out a few things so they have the top of the long, low dresser available for unpacking or resting their suitcase and the usually-a-wipes-and-diapers-shelf above it for tissues, water bottles, key if necessary, note with wifi password, towels, etc. I plug in a power bar by the bed and add a lamp, alarm clock, and fan to help block the sounds of our three early-rising kids with plenty of spaces left for chargers etc. The dark curtains are already there because: toddler ;)

    Garbage can and full-size mirror in their room (we only have one bathroom so that helps guests feel presentable before heading down the hall to use the bathroom in the morning and also to finish getting ready since bathroom time is limited!). Light blanket and a pillow of different-firmness on top of the upended crib so they can adjust to their comfort.

    Nightlight in hall and bathroom, extra TP in sight in the bathroom, note on the closet in the bathroom saying to help themselves to extra towels and anything else they need. I don’t have much counter space so I don’t set out extra toiletries, but I do let them know to use what they find and to ask if there’s anything else they need. I save all the free toothbrushes, mini toothpastes, and wrapped flossers from the dentist in case anyone forgets and everything (medications, extra shampoo, teeth products) are in different labeled bins in the bathroom closet so they’re easy to find.

    In the kitchen – fruit and a bowl of nuts on the counter for snacking, muffins if I’m on my game, coffee and tea on an open shelf and cream in the fridge (we’re not coffee drinkers so this is the hardest part for me to remember!) I try to prep meals or at least components of meals in advance so I’m not going crazy cooking, hosting, and taking care of three kids simultaneously. Most of our guests are extended family (the good kind!) so it’s not stressful in general, but even though I like cooking that’s the thing that makes me feel too busy when guests come.

    It’s a lot of little things to remember, so I have a checklist in the Notes app on my phone to run through as I go so I don’t have to think so hard each time!

    • Amy says...

      Dang that’s long. You don’t have to post that monologue – it’s more like a blog post than a comment! I like someone’s idea of individual yogurts in the fridge for easy snacking too!

    • Sasha says...

      So many good ideas here! Thank you, I can tell from your thoughtfulness that you must be a great hostess.

    • Molly says...

      Thanks for this post! lots of great tips in there!! I am sure your guests feel so cared for :)

    • Mandy says...

      This is lovely :) Your home sounds so welcoming and comfortable! I’ll bet everyone sleeps well.

  51. Heather says...

    I like to have an empty laundry hamper available for guests. Guests can stick dirty clothes in a hamper (instead of back in the suitcase or in a pile, which is what I always end up doing… where do people put dirty clothes?) Then they can pack it back up at the end of their stay or, better yet, throw it in our washer and have clean laundry once they get home! We have a folding one that tucks away when no one is staying with us.

    • Mariana says...

      This is a great idea, thank you!

    • Cynthia says...

      I am a seasoned traveler and I always pack an empty plastic bag in my suitcase. I put dirty clothes in it to keep them separated from the rest of my clothes and when I get home I empty it right into the clothes hamper and then fold the bag and put it in my suitcase for the next trip.

    • Debbie Godowsky says...

      On the same idea as a plastic bag, I pack a pillowcase for dirty laundry. That way the dirty clothes get some air, especially if there’s a damp bathing suit or something.

  52. Jacqueline says...

    Since our guest room shares the main bath with ours I recently put in a nice large mirror! I like to make sure I’m presentable when I come out of bed in the am as a houseguest :) also towels, bottles of water, fresh flowers, ear plugs and eye masks!

    • Amy says...

      Ear plugs! Definitely putting those out next time.

  53. Heidi says...

    I like putting a little basket or tray of snacks out on the kitchen counter, kind of like a little mini bar. That way if they are up later or earlier than anyone and feeling a little snacky, they can help themselves without feeling like they’re rummaging through your pantry. I stock with granola, nuts, Lara Bars or something similar, something sweet like MnM’s or a dark chocolate bar, and some fresh fruit. If there are kids involved, I’ll add applesauce pouches and goldfish crackers. I will also make sure that I’ve got their favorite beverage on hand (Coffee, tea, La Croix, etc.)

    • Amy says...

      Love the kid snacks idea!

  54. Jac says...

    I have guest towels that feel nice and fresh and fluffy (instead of using the old ones I use. LOL). SPACE is good. I give them space. I need a lot of space while travelling. I always have snacks and different beverages on hand. Earplugs. Eyemask. I make them drink wine with me before we all turn in.

  55. Danielle says...

    My mom does this every time I come to visit her in New York from London- it’s the best! She also has a luggage scale for when I inevitably buy too much. Also water bottles in my room (which is also the guest bedroom at hers now) are lifesavers when I’m post-airplane dehydrated.

    When she comes to stay with me there are loads of tissues because planes make her nose run and a large portable makeup mirror and shower caddy in her room waiting!

  56. I fill a basket with trials of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss (a variety), ear plugs (we have trains that like to go by during the night), body wash and/or soap with bright white wash cloths and white bath towels and leave it on the bed, just in case they forgot any thing. I also leave water bottles on the night stand.

    I will make the bed with white sheets and a colorful duvet.

  57. Emma says...

    When ever I stay at someone else’s home I’m always thinking “when and where is my next meal coming?”. I don’t ever want to overstep if the host/hostess has something planned already, but I also don’t want to be expectant. Something I do for my guests is make it clear what I plan on doing for food ahead of time (and of course check to see if my plans match their needs!). I think it helps everyone to relax!

    • Cecile says...

      Yes!

  58. What a lovely idea! The last time we had my friend in town, I contacted her husband to find our her current favorite snacks and little items she might like for comfort/use daily. It was a fun gesture and surprise to put together for her arrival!

  59. Emily says...

    This is such a good idea!!!!! Love luggage racks – stealing this idea, just like I did the plunger. I like to put a nice scented candle in the room and have coffee set out on the counter so they can make their own if they wake up earlier than I do.

    Meat and cheese is always a crowd pleaser!!!!!!

  60. shannon says...

    I am relieved that we live only a 5 minute walk from Rite Aid. I like to prep nicely for our guests but there is always something that comes up that we forgot…and we can just pop into the store and be back with the needed item in less than 15 minutes :)

  61. Sophie says...

    I’m coming to stay at ALL of your homes! You all sound like the most amazing hosts!

    I have to say I have never given much thought to it, we don’t really have people stay with us. I’m wondering if that’s an Australian thing? I feel like when I read US-based blogs that families are more mobile and move across states compared to here. Or maybe that’s just my family … We are all within an hour drive.

    • I agree there are some great ideas here! But as an introvert, I really prefer to stay in a hotel to have some time to myself. Also, I have two elementary-age boys and a husband, so that’s four of us to host. Most of my friends and family live nearby, so we don’t run into this issue often. But my sister’s family recently moved out-of-state, and even though she has offered her home to us when we visit, we’ll totally stay in a hotel. It’s just easier all the way around.

  62. AliG says...

    I always ask ahead of time what drink (alcoholic or not) they would like, along with any snacks, when they arrive. Most of our guests are driving at least 3 hours (we live in a congested area where the last 15 miles could take you an hour if you don’t plan right!) or flying in. So if you need a refresher (lemon water) or something to take the edge off (G&T) it will be waiting for you. I also like to have some nibbles, as you never know when was the last time was they ate. The trick on that is to have things that easy to repackage and toss back in the fridge or pantry so if no one is hungry it doesn’t go to waste.
    Also a tip: if my visitors have kids I always ask if there are any specific foods they would like us to pick up. We don’t have kids, so I try to make sure they are included in the food planning.
    Last, we have a chalkboard in the kitchen so I always make sure to “welcome” our guests there and provide some space for kids to doodle.

  63. Caroline says...

    Not for overnight guests, but I live in New York and often host girlfriends right after work for drinks or dinner. I like to keep a few extra pairs of clean, cozy PJ pants and sweatshirts so people can change out of stuffy work clothes and relax!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a thoughtful gesture, caroline!

    • Annalisa says...

      YES.

    • Talia says...

      Very thoughtful!

  64. Andrea says...

    Can I make a plea for hosts to buy a decent hair dryer (e.g. the highest power one you can get at Target) and make it available if they have guests? It is a one time investment, but it makes such a difference. If your guest’s daily routine involves drying your hair after the shower, they are left with bringing their own or going home unshowered. I’ve done both. I’ve also bought decent hair dryers for places I visit often (Mom…).

    If you don’t use one, it may not occur to you that not having one can be an issue.

    • Jenn says...

      Ha! My mom just bought a hairdryer to leave at my house. I don’t use one so it never crossed my mind.

    • Amanda says...

      so much YES on this one. it’s a game changer as the guest.

    • Sarah says...

      Yes, chiming in, I recently bought a teeny tiny travel hair dryer at Sephora because of how often I’ve stayed somewhere without one available…

  65. Traci says...

    After forgetting my own on so many overnight trips, I always include some inexpensive disposable razors on the little shelf of guest toiletries we keep in our basement guest room. And another thing: a small trash bin in the guest room is so handy and helps people they’ve been given their own space.

  66. Lisa says...

    Our “guest room” is the toddler’s room, so I’m guessing guests get access to as many cuddly toys as they could want and nappies? This is an upgrade though- previously it was a blow up mattress in our living room (the joys of small London flats …). It’s for this reason we basically just host family. And very close friends
    When I went to stay with my parents one time (with the kid), my mom prepared snack baskets for me and the baby. His was bigger (obviously) but it was such a sweet idea.

    • Loribeth says...

      We have a one bedroom/1 bathroom apartment and guests have to stay in our living room. I’ve been surprised how often people have stayed with us and (seemed to) have been totally content with the situation! We probably have more guests now than we did when we had a three bedroom house. I just try to make up for the lack of space with really delicious homemade French toast with bourbon whipped cream for breakfast.

  67. Kate says...

    I visited some very posh New Yorkers and when I got there I just put my suitcase on the bed before going back out and greeting everyone, and by the time I went back to my room my host had put my luggage on the luggage rack! It was very “ahem, this is the proper place for this” and I absolutely loved the touch. (They also iron their sheets, so, par for the course.)
    I like leaving a space heater AND a fan for my guests, in case they’re perpetually cold or always hot!

  68. Julie says...

    Umm I’m just so ready to see your new house!! Like dying!! When do we get to see pictures?? :) xoxo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you are so sweet, julie! i’m excited to share either this week or next! :) :) :)

  69. Ginette says...

    I like to add a basket of travel-size items in the bathroom in case they have forgotten anything. (i.e. toothpaste, lotion, etc.) And I always make sure there is an extra toothbrush!

    • Danna says...

      This! Plus full size body wash, shampoo and conditioner in the shower. A blow dryer, extra tissues and rolls of toilet paper. Plus extra blankets and pillows for the bed.

  70. we are Airbnb hosts so we just prep the guest space the same as we would for a paying guest – in the bedroom: luggage racks, a variety of bed linens, fresh flowers, a sound machine, ear plugs, eye mask, dark curtains, loads of books and good reading lamps; in the mini-fridge: local beer, a pitcher of fresh water, some LaCroix or Pellegrino, milk & cream for coffee; in the kitchenette: freshly ground coffee, sugar, local bread for toast in the morning and whatever fresh fruit is in season.
    in the living room: a binder with info (wi-fi password, etc), remotes, a TV set up with Netflix, Huluplus, Amazon, HBO; a selection of local magazines and a copy of our local weekly newspaper; in the bathroom: shampoo & conditioner, bar of soap, and a big container of spare toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, aspirin, contact solution, tissues, etc.
    I also try to leave some snacks: local chocolate, nuts, baked goods.

    Bottom line: i try to think of everything i might want in a space that isn’t home to make it feel more like home. :) i love hosting people so much!

    • Caro says...

      Wow, you are taking it to a new level!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you guys sound like the most amazing hosts!

    • Lydia says...

      Where do you live? I want to be your Airbnb guest! ;)

    • Amy says...

      Definitely borrowing some of these ideas! I love staying new places and getting more ideas for hosting :)

    • We live in Asheville, NC! Click on my name and it will take you to our Airbnb page/website. :)

  71. My future Mothier-in-Law also keeps these in her guest rooms and I didn’t notice how nice it was to have them until I used them for the first time! Bringing your items closer to hip height really allows you to feel like you’re pulling open your own drawers at home.

  72. Diane says...

    You can also “borrow” the luggage rack for when you’re packing for your own trip!

  73. Jacy says...

    My grandmothers always had luggage racks and they hand embroidered the soft parts. I bet my mom still has one.

    Everything old is new again!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, what a sweet touch!

  74. We just bought a farmhouse to use on the weekends, and will be hosting lots of overnight guests. One of the first things I bought were two luggage racks, for this very purpose. It makes guests feel more settled immediately. A few other things I added to the guest room were some cycling maps of the local area, a picture frame with the wifi password written on a slip of paper inside, and a tiny pillow I found at Pottery Barn that says “Stay A While” on it!

    • Laura says...

      ooh love the map idea

    • Bobby says...

      the picture frame with the wifi password on it is genius!

  75. Agree with other commentors – wifi password, bath essentials (I actually take home the individual bottles and soaps from hotels and have them in giant glass vases on the dresser – I feel people are more apt to use the travel size stuff guilt free) and extra towels and pillows, and for our frequent guests we have given everyone their own set of slippers to keep at our house. They get put back in their labeled shoe boxes in the closet and they know where they are when they come back next time!

    • Nina says...

      Kayla, I’ve been on the hunt for slippers for my guests! Is there a particular brand you’ve been using that takes the guesswork out of sizing? Thanks!

  76. Marisa says...

    I just love having house guests! And I love pampering them and putting them right at ease. I want visitors to feel at home when they come to stay :)

    One of the things I like to do is to find out ahead of their visit what sorts of breakfast things they like to eat. And as a black coffee drinker, I learned the hard way that most guests seem to like taking cream with their coffee. So I always make sure to have that on hand now. Having a breakfast you like and coffee just the way you like to take it can really help to get the day off on the right foot!

    So many great tips in the comments! I love the suggestion to leave some postcards in the bedroom . . . what a fun idea!

  77. Jesse says...

    I also like to leave a small empty hamper for dirty clothes if guests are staying for a few nights. Keeps the room feeling a bit more fresh, even if the dirty stuff is put in a bag and brought home!

  78. Maggie says...

    Like this idea! I have a spot on top of the wardrobe where I have a couple clip photo holders — one holds our wifi network/log-in; the others I fill with photos of the guests so they feel welcome. Also always some bottled water — nothing worse than waking up thirsty, especially since guest visits usually involve a good amount of wine.

  79. Jessica M says...

    Our guests usually come in on a red-eye (welcome to Alaska!), so I try to have tea, water, and a few snacks in case people are starving before bed. We have a stash of chargers, and put some Alaska guidebooks in a magazine rack. In fact, we have some family who leaves their guidebooks with us!

    We’re going to have about 15 people staying with us for Thanksgiving this year, so we’re purchasing at least two extra guest beds! Luckily, most everyone gets along. :D

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so nice to have snacks for late arrivers! my mom always makes french onion soup when we get to her house late. it’s sooooo cozy and delicious and still feels light enough to eat before bed.

  80. katherine says...

    Little notes on things in the fridge that say “eat me!” And also, single serving or smaller things in the fridge. Totally because of my own insecurity–I get so nervous about eating from someone else’s fridge, so I try to make sure that people feel like they totally can. Also somehow it’s less intimidating to eat a single yogurt cup than it is to be the guest who eats the last of the family tub of yogurt?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “Little notes on things in the fridge that say ‘eat me!'” — that is so cute, katherine!!!

      And oh my gosh, the first thing i do when we’re having guests is buy a bunch of yogurts. such an easy breakfast/midnight snack.

  81. Em says...

    I’ve yet to host anyone, but my favorite thing about staying at someone else’s house is being assured it’s OK to do my own thing and make myself at home. If my host (a friend, an Airbnb host, etc.) creates an atmosphere where I feel comfortable enough to walk around in my pajamas or open the fridge, then I’m more than happy. :)

    • Katharina says...

      I once heard someone say something that roughly translates to “Feel like home but don’t behave like it.” I guess it was meant as a joke but it is somewhat true.

      And thanks to Joanna’s link to the James Corden video I will now spend the rest of the evening watching Very British Problems on Youtube ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha enjoy! :)

  82. Suzanne says...

    A plate filled with warm Trader Joe’s croissants (chocolate, almond, and plain) fresh from the oven are a huge breakfast hit for our overnight guests – and seems to make up for the unfortunate wake up calls they’ve endured by giggling, ? little girls outside the guest room.

    • Kristina L says...

      Yes! Trader Joe’s chocolate croissants = our breakfast tradition for guests, and my kids LOVE it. We don’t eat them except for when we have overnight company, which keeps them special. :-)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yum!!!!

  83. Kc says...

    I would love some tips or thought about how to convert a kids room to a guestroom for the weekend. I used to have a dedicated guest room and I swear no one used it, however now that we have a smaller home, we seem to have more guests.

  84. Cara says...

    I love this. I’m all about hosting and making people feel at home when they stay overnight in your home. How would you like to feel staying in someone else’s home?

    My favorite things to do are to have a little framed note in the guest room with the wifi password so that when they crawl into bed at night, they don’t have to ask you for the password. I also love leaving a carafe of ice water and 2 glasses on a tray in the guest room. I also sometimes will burn a candle for a few hours and then blow it out so there is a hint of yummy smell still lingering when the guest arrives.

  85. Reading through this list of comments is so inspiring! I need to up my guest game!

  86. Amanda says...

    I can’t always get away from work to be home when my visitors arrive so I make a spare key for guests (and hide it in a lockbox outside). I leave a sweet note about where to find snacks, how I’m excited to have them, and that I’ll be home in as soon as I possible can to soak up their company! And then I spend the afternoon waiting to ditch the office and hang out with them in my cool little neighborhood!

  87. Emilie says...

    I always put drinking water and current magazines on the bedside table in the guest’s room, and arrange a bouquet of fresh flowers in a pretty vase for them. I also try to plan meals ahead so I’m spending minimal frantic time in the kitchen and more relaxed time with the guest – so I focus on easy and make-ahead meals. In the week or two leading up to the visit I bake and then freeze some cookies or muffins that I know they’ll like. Basically whatever I can do to make them feel like we really want them there and their visit is no trouble!

  88. Hannah says...

    This isn’t a how-to, but….when my husband and I were first married, a layoff and relocation meant our money was tight. As in, really tight!
    A sweet relative (who knew little of our current situation) encouraged us to come and stay at her home near the beach for a week for a little vacation. It sounded like it would be just the thing to relax after all the huge changes we’d just weathered, so,
    we packed up and motored 8 exhausting hours in our beater car with no A/C.
    We rolled in at 10pm, sweaty, drained and grumpy from our first married tiff.
    She had left a hearty meal(the most delicious sandwiches on Hawaiian bread) in the fridge for us, plus a stack of fresh towels and cozy matching robes.
    When we went to shower, we saw she had placed a bouquet in the guest room with a kind note of welcome and—a 100$ gift card to the Trader Joe’s right down the street! Basically our grocery shopping for the week. It’s like she KNEW somehow. It still brings me to tears and remains one of the warmest hospitality experiences I’ve ever had.
    Ever since, I’ve used that as a model for our own hospitality offerings, even down to the TJ’s gift card, since we happen to have one right down the street from our house too!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that is the sweetest, hannah! so generous and loving.

    • Maiz Connolly says...

      That was so kind and sensitive of her. Reading this made me a little teary-eyed. How wonderful that you remember how much it meant to you and that you are now in a position to do the same for your guests!

    • Sasha says...

      What an amazing friend! So sweet to hear you are still passing her gift on.

    • Talia says...

      This is quite lovely! I must remember to do this – especially when I’ve a house/dog sitter and when I go to visit my family. Thank you for sharing such a sweet memory.

    • Lor says...

      Wow, that is an awesome idea! (the gift card)

    • Kristiana says...

      really enjoyed reading this story. thank you, hannah, for sharing!

  89. Alyssa says...

    My in-laws have a luggage rack in their guest bedrooms and I just love it! I love to make sure there’s bottled water in our guest room. Sometimes you just want a sip of water and don’t want to have to worry about rummaging through your guest’s cabinets!

  90. Samantha J says...

    Hi Joanna, where did you order your luggage racks from? What a great idea! Totally stealing :)

    • Colleen says...

      There’s a link, ordering immediately!

  91. Leslie says...

    I hope that one day I actually own a house with a guest room, so that would be my first recommendation, but also: wine plus plenty of NON-alcoholic drinks in the fridge (bottled water, Perrier, Spindrift, etc) and basic meds in sight in the bathroom. (Have you ever traveled without needing Advil, Zantac, or Benadryl in the middle of the night? I haven’t!)

  92. SN says...

    I always give my guests a small loofa for in the shower! Most people don’t travel with them, and since we’re a shower gel family — it’s actually a great thing to have.

  93. Louisa says...

    1 – A grocery list ready in case you run out to pick up some things to eat.
    2 – Some books to read my toddler while I sleep in.
    3 – An empty washing machine, but you’ll need to fold the clothes that are in the dryer.
    4 – A list of people who will be coming by today because someone is finally home during work hours: the plumber, electrician, and some guy from craigslist who wants our highchair.
    5 – A list of restaurants I’ve been dying to try but am too cheap.

    • Hahahahaha!

    • Abbie Mobley says...

      Haha I died laughing! As a mom of a preschooler I couldn’t agree more.

      But seriously, I’d add an iPhone charger with extra long cord and a notecard with the Wifi password.

    • Holly says...

      This is amazing. I think it was Dan Savage (though I could be way off) who said something to the effect of, now that he has a child, guests need to be prepared to pitch in a little when they visit.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha. love this, louisa!

    • ECH says...

      Lol

    • Jo says...

      Hahaha! Love it! This is the ‘what I do’ vs ‘what I’d like to do’ :-)

    • Amy says...

      #4 – haha!

  94. Jacqueline says...

    Whoops, I put this as a response by accident.. AND left one out: ear plugs. Especially because we have an extremely sociable cat and a two year old.
    And definitely spare toothbrushes! Also a new contact case and solution, disposable razors, and washcloths.

  95. Erin G. says...

    I went to stay with a very close friend a few years ago (so close that I didn’t even really consider myself a ‘house guest’) and was so heart warmed to find her standard “guest package” in the bedroom I was staying in: fresh flowers, bottled water, a few snacks (including really lovely chocolate), a stack of books (curated just for me!), tissues, and some blank (pre-stamped!) postcards from her pretty little mountain town. I used everything and felt so special.

    • KL says...

      I love the idea of pre-stamped postcards!

  96. KL says...

    I also have a binder of all the local and nearby “fun and touristy” things to do, including menus of all the nearby spots. I live in downtown Salem, MA so there are endless things to do here. The binder is nicely organized with pamphlets of “in Salem” things to do (subdivided by witch things, historic things, and maritime things), “nearby coastal New England towns” and “Boston” so that people can feel like they don’t have to just do what I plan for them (and allows me to not feel like I have to play hostess for the ENTIRE time they are there). I also have an extra set of keys made for guests so that they can come and go as they please. Again, it allows the guest(s) a bit of freedom to enjoy the stay as they want to.

    • Kaitlin says...

      I grew up in Magnolia! North Shore for life. :) Salem is such a great spot. I’m sure you already know… but have you been to yummy Superfine in MBTS or Market in Annisquam? Y.U.M. And in Salem you really do need a binder of fun–so much great stuff to see! The PEM is so so wonderful.

    • I’m just over the bridge in Beverly! Sometimes I host my friends from Boston for staycation weekends, because the North Shore feels like such a getaway compared to the city.

    • KL says...

      Kaitlin- I haven’t been to either place! Thank you! I can’t wait to try them, they look so good (especially Superfine!). Agree, the PEM is so wonderful. Not only do they do such a nice job with their exhibits, but the space feels like a complete getaway from the historic feel of the rest of the city.

      Jade- Hi neighbor! I’m right on Derby St so you’re literally just across the bridge from me! And I completely agree– my sister was just here for the weekend and said to me at one point, “I feel like I’m on a vacation all weekend instead of just visiting you.” I lived in Boston for eight years and she has visited so many times and even though we always filled our weekends, apparently it was nothing like a weekend on the North Shore!

  97. KL says...

    My mom always has fresh flowers for me (and other guests I assume) on the nightstand from her garden when she has people stay over. Her mother did this also (and probably her mother and her mother and her mother…). I have two cats so can’t have flowers around (we learned this quickly $8,000 in vet bills later), so I have changed that to a really nice bar of soap. At the end of their stay, I give the guest a baggie (I should really update that) to take the soap home in. My guests look forward to it every time they come!

  98. I would add ear plugs and sleeping masks – people have different sensibilities regarding light/noise… we live in Paris and I understand that not everyone is used to the twinkling of lights in the courtyard, or some distant music from the neighbors/street ! It also allows me to avoid any comments on this, as it would make me sad that someone slept badly because of our place being in a lively street..

  99. I like to have my guests have their pick of linens – you never know if they sleep hot or cold or how many layers they like. I’ll make up my inflatable bed with a fitted sheet and two pillows, and will lay out a top sheet, quilt, afghan, comforter and throw blankets, which they can use (or not!) for their stay. I just think there’s no better compliment has a host for a guest to say how well they slept :)

  100. Amy says...

    I love the glass water carafes with a glass that rests on top. I don’t own one (yet) but love when I visit my mom and she fills it up at night when I’m not looking.

  101. Heather says...

    These recommendations are so nice! Maybe in a few years I’ll be civilized enough again to manage some of these. We are so in over our heads right now trying to keep our house in some kind of shape with three tiny kids and a dog that when my dad visited last week, I asked him if he wouldn’t mind moving the boxes of baby clothes off the guest bed so he’d have a place to sleep. Worst hostess!!! But seriously having the parents come stay is so nice. They always leave our house better than they found it.

  102. Liz says...

    Ironed sheets, extra towels, blankets, a luggage rack inside the closet, a blow dryer, extra toothbrushes and toothpaste. Moltonlz Brown bath products. Magazines and some small snacks, like mixed nuts or homemade granola. Wifi password and a list of TV channels.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wifi password is a great one!!

  103. Elizabeth R says...

    Stamps, pen, paper, envelopes, scissors, sewing kit, water.

  104. Lauren E. says...

    This is semi-related and not really even a “you should do this” hosting tip, but I just returned from a week in LA where my husband and I stayed with a good friend of his. We went to dinner one night, fully prepared to pay the bill because the friend was nice enough to have us, and suddenly the waiter appeared with a fully taken care of check. I was stymied. Our host said, “Of course I’m picking up dinner. You’re my guests.”

    What I considered kind of him to “let” us stay with him, he thought of as his privilege to have us. Again, not really a “tip” on hosting but just a moment that keeps warming my heart this week!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so sweet!

  105. Love this tip, Joanna! Also kind of funny that the secret to being a good hostess involves some pretty unsexy and practical household items like luggage racks and a toilet plunger :). I’m going to add one more not sexy item to that list: allergy medicine! Staying at someone’s house with an unexpected allergic reaction=the WORST. XO

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, good one, joy! and probably other basic medicines, too.

    • Allergy medicine is such a smart idea! We have a cat and a dog and I can’t tell you how often we have people at our house who are allergic to pets. I always feel awful when I don’t have something to offer them (since of course the house is covered in fur).

    • Jacqueline says...

      Spare toothbrushes! Also a new contact case and solution, disposable razors, and washcloths.

  106. Lor says...

    I like to make sure there is coffee prepared in the pot if I won’t be at the house when they wake up. As well as muffins/fruit. For the bedroom, I like to make sure they have the basics, such as shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. I also keep an extra pair of contact lens cases and solution in a drawer just in case someone forgets theirs. And of course, TP and tissues!!

  107. Meghan says...

    I love this because it also ensures guests won’t put suitcases on the bed while unpacking.

  108. We love to give our guests tiny trinkets from the area in which we live. For us, that is easy. We currently reside in Switzerland, so placing a small box of delicious Swiss chocolate in their room makes our guests very happy!

  109. Lisa says...

    Extra pillows, bottled water or a jug + glasses, towels (I always forget them myself) and extra toothbrushes is something I always put in the room. Also some fruit and candy in a bowl – I don’t know how many times I’ve arrived at someone’s house absolutely starving from a long trip, but don’t want to ask for something to eat first thing. Snacks in the room can be a life saver!

    • Lauren E. says...

      I love this! One time a friend picked me up from the train station with a bottle of water and fruit leather in the car for me. It was the nicest gesture and she was right – I wanted both!

  110. jeannie says...

    I am a big fan of luggage racks! It is so useful to have one in a guest room. Good itp!

  111. A says...

    Sounds like a lovely place to stay. What paperbacks were out – any recommendations?

    • E says...

      I keep books of short stories/essays in the guest room. That way they don’t have to abandon a book in the middle in the story just because they’re leaving.

  112. Marissa says...

    Our WiFi password, and snacks in the room. I don’t want my guests to feel like they have to ask for things, or sneak downstairs for food after we’ve all gone to bed. I’ll add luggage stands to my list now too!

  113. Tracy says...

    It’s a great idea! I have been thinking about it for awhile in our guest bedroom, although it is small. Can you offer some suggestions on which to buy? Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we loved these, and they’re bestsellers so clearly other people like them too :
      http://amzn.to/2uRlI0H

  114. Amy says...

    I have always had a luggage rack in guest bedrooms. It makes so much sense! I love to do all of the other nice touches too: a water glass and carafe on the bed stand, extra toiletries, flowers, a bathrobe/slippers. I love hosting guests and making people feel comfortable :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you sound like the nicest host!