Modernizing Your Houseguest’s Bedside Bundle

You have extended an offer, and the answer is yes! You will soon have an overnight houseguest who you’ll want to feel comfortable and appreciated. Good news! There are some new and creative houseguest gift ideas that will have your visitors wanting to come back again and again.

From the basic pillow-top gifts to the wildly-creative and unexpected “bedside bundle,” check out these fun gift ideas to surprise your houseguests:

THE BASICS Moving Beyond Martha, Circa 1994

Once upon a time, a thoughtful host might offer their overnight company clean sheets, a stack of fresh towels, a granola bar and a mint on the pillow. A really ambitious host might have also perfectly situated the guestroom, per Martha Stewart’s 1994 advice, with four sleeping pillows (two medium or firm, and two soft), starched and ironed linens, and a stocked bathroom that included “a beautiful soap, an unusual cream and a special shampoo.”

While Martha’s commitment to hospitality is beyond admirable, many of today’s hosts need quicker and more practical pampering solutions to keep their houseguests comfortable and relaxed. Here are some easy tips for setting a tranquil mood:

  • A little ambient noise can go a long way in a guestroom or sleeping area. A white-noise or ambient sound machine can help create a restful environment for guests, whether they are sleeping in a private guestroom or on the couch.
  • Warm and cool mist humidifiers, fans and space heaters are great for giving your guests some control over their sleeping environment.
  • Investing in some comfortable linens can work wonders for creating a relaxing space. You can find affordable, high-quality sheet sets at Target or Walmart, or order them online through Amazon.
  • A creative towel origami greeting can make most houseguests smile. While offering fresh towels are a bare-minimum requirement, try presenting them in a more exciting way than in an unoriginal folded pile. One quick scan of Pinterest can give you a few pointers on creative towel presentations. Or check out The Lost Art of Towel Origami, by Alison Jenkins. If you have already mastered towel origami, you can step up your game with Toilet Paper Origami, by Linda Wright.
  • A basket of bathroom essentials is always appreciated, as it often helps houseguests replace some of their forgotten toiletry items. Some common essentials include a nice shampoo, conditioner, lotion and bath soap. But you can jazz up the bounty by adding a bag of mints, some floss picks, a stain stick, a lint brush or a monogrammed bar of soap (try

DIGITAL-AGE BASICS –Technological Touches to Make Your Guest Feel Connected

Beyond monogrammed soaps and origami towel displays, some things that your houseguest is most likely to appreciate are a good Wi-Fi signal and an easily-accessible charging station for their mobile devices. In fact, PrimeLending would wager that a significant percentage of travelers would choose forgetting to pack their toothbrush over their phone charger. To help keep your guest “plugged in” to this century, consider offering:

  • A universal mobile device charger — Forgetting to pack a phone charger (a common occurrence for U.S. travelers, according to can put a damper on any travel situation. Universal chargers, available at many stores and online retailers, can power up most brands of smart devices and reconnect your guest.
  • Access to a Wi-Fi signal — If your home is equipped with a sturdy Wi-Fi signal, leave the Wi-Fi name and password on a notepad on your guest’s bed. Or better yet, just give them the barcode! According to com, there are several websites that will convert your Wi-Fi network name and password into a quick response (QR) barcode. Print the QR code, frame it and leave it on your guest’s nightstand. All they will need is a scanner app to activate the barcode and access your network.
  • Entertainment — A pile of magazines is always a fun surprise for guests. A bigger surprise might include an iTunes or Amazon gift card that your guest can use to purchase and download their own preferred reading material, a game or music, on their mobile device. Want to simulate a grade-school slumber party complete with games? Purchase an interactive game from the app store for both of you to play into the late hours of the night (i.e., Heads Up!, Words With Friends, Trivia Friends, etc.).
  • Ear candy — Headphones are another item that many travelers forget to pack. An extra pair of ear buds or headphones is always appreciated.
  • A trip out of the house — You don’t have to limit your houseguests’ surprises to inside your home! Take your home hospitality out on the town with gift certificates to fun local restaurants and attractions, or tickets to local concert or town event. If you’re not accompanying your guest, consider arranging transportation with an Uber gift card, a metro or subway pass, a trolley card or a generic credit card gift card that can be used for taxi services.

When all is said and done, preparing for a guest’s arrival can be as entertaining and rewarding as being the guest-of-honor! So don’t let outdated trends stifle your creativity when it comes to putting out surprises. Think beyond the pillow-top gift, and have some fun with your hospitality! PrimeLending hopes that once all of your preparations are done, you can sit back and enjoy the time you have with your guest.

What’s the coolest surprise you’ve ever given a houseguest, or received from a host? Let us know in the comments section below.

If you need a larger home to accommodate more houseguests in the future, let a PrimeLending loan expert guide you through your home-buying process.


From the PrimeLending blog, by Mandy Jordan