Don’t Leave ‘Em Empty Handed: 6 Gift Ideas For Your Host!

Leave your host with gratitude, memories, and maybe a little buzz.

UNSPLASH freestocks

If you’re fortunate enough to stay with someone while you travel, providing a small gift before you leave is a must. Whether your host is an old friend or a family you’ve never met before, a great rule of thumb is “know your host.” Use your experience with them as a guide for what to buy. Note: this usually means nixing bath salts and re-gifting body wash. To avoid wandering the aisles of a grocery store minutes before take off, choose one of these 6 gift ideas and leave your host with gratitude, memories, and maybe a little buzz.

1. The Fun Gift: booze.

UNSPLASH Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis

They’re going to miss you, what better gift than a bottle of something delicious to drown away their sorrows? Don’t get too over excited and buy the ingredients for “Dirty Girl Scouts,” stick with something classic like a bottle of wine or scotch (scotchy, scotchy, scotch).

2. The Thoughtful Gift: a memento.

UNSPLASH Nynne Schrøder

Buy them something that reminds them of the time you spent together. This is a great choice because it can be any range of prices: choose any moment that was memorable and find a gift to represent it. Metaphors, puns, and cheesy souvenirs are allowed.

3. The Creative Gift: use your skillz, baby!

UNSPLASH Giulia Bertelli

Whether you knit, draw, dry flowers, make great mixed CDs, or braid challah like it’s your job, giving something homemade that reflects who you are is always a win. Just don’t hand them twenty tongue-tied cherry stems, that’s only cute once (I’m being generous).

4. The Fail-Proof Gift: something sweet.

UNSPLASH Tetiana Bykovets

If they’ve mentioned they love chocolate, buy an assortment of truffles for them to delve into on special occasions, triggering joyous memories of your stay. You’re now essentially conditioning them to love you, thereby securing the opportunity to come back and visit. Well played.

5. The Patriotic Gift: a hometown trophy.


This one involves forethought, but if you decide to buy a gift in advance, bring something from your beloved homeland. It’s like a reverse souvenir. I’m from Chicago, so Frango mints are always an easy choice. Seriously, who doesn’t love minty chocolate?

6. The Tear-Jerker Gift: a photo.

UNSPLASH Clem Onojeghuo

Hopefully you took a few photos with your host, if you didn’t, draw a portrait of them and put it in a frame. I’m kidding, what is wrong with you? Use a photo of all of you together or of a place you visited together and put it in a pretty frame. This may generate a few tears, so keep your “cha-ching” subtle and comfort your darling host-away-from-home. Mission, accomplished.

Lena Kazer

Lena is a Chicago native, her travel style consists of red cowboy boots that make her feel like she can take over the world. She adores Peru and can't travel without her journal to draw or write in.

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