When staying at a friend’s home, whether for a night or longer, you want to bring an amazing gift as a thank you. But what to give? At my stage in life my friends have everything they need, and many are trying to de-clutter—so the last thing I want to do it give a “gift” that they will want to send to the Salvation Army. If you don’t have a brilliant, personal idea about what to give, try one of these simple ideas that’s certain to be appreciated:
Something delicious and practical: Wine may be trite, but what about a bottle of fancy olive oil? Everybody needs olive oil, and the good stuff is a real treat that people don’t buy for themselves. If that doesn’t feel like enough on its own then place the bottle in a basket with similar edibles like vinegar and sea salt. Or, if your friend has a sweet tooth or likes to bake, put together a basket of delicious sugary condiments like fruit jams, lemon curd, and gourmet chocolate sauce.
A spa gift certificate: Everybody loves a massage, and a gift certificate to a local day spa is a great way to pamper your friend after she or he is done hosting you. Bonus: This gifts takes up zero room in your suitcase–important if you are traveling by plane or train.
Chic beach towels: If your host has a pool or is near a beach or lake, a plush new towel or two would be a welcome gift. I love these towels from Chance, which come in summery colors and are emblazoned with words like “Poolside,” “Saturday” and “Paradise.”
Finally, if you need a last minute gift you can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of champagne! And if you feel the need to give something beyond that, look around your host’s home during your stay to ID something he or she could use (cocktail napkins, new cheese knives, a wine decanter) then order the gift to be sent as a thank you after you’ve returned home.