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From National Park-inspired candles to a cheese set, there's something special for every hostess with the most-est.
‘Tis the season for enjoying the company of friends and family. If you’re headed to a holiday gathering at the invitation of a host or hostess who already seems to have it all, don’t fret. We know choosing a great gift can be tricky, so we’ve researched multiple ideas in a variety of categories, from the travel-inspired to unexpected but useful products intended to level up their next adventure. Often the best host and hostess gifts are ones they can either immediately enjoy (think: candles, beauty products, edible treats, and libations) or ones they can use for years to come (i.e. blankets and picnic totes). You can also go with a novelty item that your pals might not get for themselves but will appreciate coming from you. The key is to think about their lifestyle, and if you’re staying overnight or longer, consider asking about plans in advance so you can give a gift that enhances the itinerary.
Once you’ve done your due diligence, take a gander at the list of gifts below. Do they swoon for Sonoma? You can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine (or a travel cheese knife set). Vegas high rollers? Bring back a towel trio memento of the Strip’s pool-party scene. Outdoor enthusiasts? Go for a picnic tote or camping blanket. The fact is, if you’re reading this guide, you’re clearly a thoughtful guest who’s determined to find something special to suit your host’s style and interests. Dig into this thoroughly investigated (and in many cases, personally tested) roundup of presents at a variety of price points. We promise you won’t be stuck on what to get for long.
Good & Well Supply Co. National Park Candle
Are your pals happy campers with green values? These hand-poured vegan candles are made with 100 percent soy wax, essential oils, and clean-burning balsa wicks. Small batch and carbon neutral, they’re ethically sourced and invite scent memories of 30 U.S. parks, including Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. If your hosts enjoy winding down at night with some added ambiance–and who doesn’t?–give the gift of eco-aromatherapy wrapped in a fun retro design.
Price at time of publish: $26
Blume Glowy Skin Bundle
For a hostess friend who frequently flies for work (or pleasure), this skincare bundle is a lifesaver. Wearing a ton of product or makeup while traveling just isn’t practical. That’s where Blume’s three-piece combo of face cleanser, anti-acne oil, and relaxing jade roller comes in. This quick-yet-quality product routine lends skin a glowy look while fending off stress-induced breakouts. The clean, cruelty-free, and vegan formulas reinforce a natural, soft, and supple complexion in cabin and anywhere else they may roam upon arrival.
Price at time of publish: $56
Uncommon Goods Retro Point & Shoot Camera Phone Converter
Sure, our modern phone cameras are convenient, but they’ll never fully replace the art of traditional photography. For shutterbug pals who remember and appreciate the old-school feel of a camera in hand, this clever slip-on accessory transforms a mobile phone into a retro-style 35-millimeter. Just attach the converter mounting grip, click a button, and voila! Instant vintage point-and-shoot experience. Whether they bring it on a trip or keep it handy for local excursions, this is a fun device most people wouldn’t think to buy for themselves.
Price at time of publish: $25
St. Francis Winery 2019 Old Vine Zinfandel - Reindeer Season's Greetings
Whether you’re invited to a large dinner party or staying over more intimately as a house guest for a few days, showing your appreciation by splurging on a good bottle of vino is always in vogue. Especially when it’s a vibrant blend of rich fruit flavors and spices from an optimal harvest season (that would be 2019). Give your beloved host and hostess the gift of California wine country, as inspired by Rudolph’s globetrotting winter adventures. You’ll be invited back every holiday season henceforth.
Price at time of publish: $62
Fly by Jing Salsero Serve Set
Much like bottles of wine, deliciously edible host and hostess gifts never fail to evoke a smile and a stomach growl from exotically inclined foodies. Inspired by the flavors of Chengdu, China, and its famous hole-in-the-wall eateries, the Salsero Serve Set comes with your choice of Zhong Sauce or Sichuan Chili Crisp, plus a hand-crafted marble tray, glass vessel, and unique Guamuchil wood and stone spoon for expert drizzling.
Price at time of publish: $120
Clevr Blends Chai Tea Latte Mix
This Meghan Markle-backed, Oprah-approved oat milk latte kit is a great gift for the wellness guru hostess who operates in two modes: entertaining guests or perpetually on the go. (Those things are not mutually exclusive, by the way.) Anyone who works hard, plays hard and is often on a “health kick” will love these latte kits infused with adaptogens, probiotics, and superfoods for a morning, afternoon, or evening energy boost. It includes drink mixes, a wood scooper, and a very fun USB-charged milk frother.
Price at time of publish: $63
Compartes Chocolates from Around the World
Are they foodies with a penchant for gourmet international chocolate? Or perhaps you’re spending time with a kid-focused family. In both cases, they’re going to appreciate these delicious bars inspired by global travels, from German chocolate to Malibu malted milkshake, these flavors are fun and festive. Plus, they come packaged in a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style world map gift box.
Price at time of publish: $50
Outer Bug Shield Throw Blanket - Pinstripe
At the interface of outdoor enthusiasts, gadget lovers, and bug bite haters everywhere comes this practical, aspirational, and cozy Outer bug shield blanket. Luxuriously soft, lightweight, and crafted with 100 percent recycled material treated with Insect Shield technology, this brilliant invention is perfect for camping in the summer or wrapping around patio guests during the fall. Safe and non-toxic, this throw repels mosquitoes, ticks, flies, chiggers, no-see-ums, ants, and other bugs. It’s even machine-washable.
Price at time of publish: $140
The Marina Abramovic Method Instruction Cards to Reboot Your Life
Give the gift of learning how to play your cards right. Artsy, philosophical, meditative, and card game-loving friends will be grateful for this unique gift made by world-renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic. The easy-to-pack box of 30 instruction cards–as imagined by Abramovic–is intended to help achieve focus, reconnect with the present, and even locate one’s highest creative potential. Suggest they bring the set along in a purse or backpack as part of their on-the-go meditation and/or creative practice.
Price at time of publish: $20
Sweet July Woven Linen Weekender Bag
When the trip is too short for a suitcase and too long for an overnight bag, a weekender fits the bill. This perfectly sized, lightweight cotton linen blend by Ayesha Curry’s Sweet July is a chic and convenient gift. Softly quilted and worn over the shoulder, it has plenty of room for clothes and personal essentials as well as two snug pockets that each fit standard 750-milliliter wine bottles. Especially when paired with a bottle of red and a bottle of white, this is an extra special gift for singles or couples who always host and need a good excuse to plan their own little getaway.
Price at time of publish: $179
Anolon Knife Sharpener
We all have that friend who is obsessed with knives–chef knives, utility knives, paring knives–you name it. What they need now, though, is a knife sharpener. The three progressively finer ceramic whetstones in a water chamber make it a breeze to maintain cutting edges and optimal sharpness. Whether they’re a home cook or outdoor gearhead, this straight blade sharpener is easy to use and has a non-slip, stable grip. Intuitive and effective, it’s an ideal gift alone or paired with a new fancy knife.
Price at time of publish: $35
BonJour Ami-matin Unbreakable French Press Coffee Maker
A sweet “good morning” gift for frequent campers and coffee enthusiasts alike, this unbreakable, BPA-free, stainless steel French press is designed to last. Three 4-ounce espresso cups of brew flow from an easy-pour spout, making it useful for pairs or solo travel. Gadget lovers will be impressed by its patented brewing process. The domed lid’s built-in filter is yet another cool feature. Even if your hosts use it at the office to add a bit of Euro-flair to their mid-afternoon cup ‘o joe, this is a popular present no matter where they take their coffee break.
Price at time of publish: $20
Corkcicle EOLA Cooler Backpack
Practical and adorable, this picnic-friendly cooler bag is also ideal for parties, road trips, tailgates, and barbecues. And with its chic vegan leather handle, it doubles as a stylish everyday lunch tote. Wherever your friendly host wants to bring it, including on vacation, the tote easily transports chilled beverages and keeps all its contents cool. Note: It holds up to 12 cans, or eight cans and two bottles of wine. Corkcicle is an award-winning creator of sustainable wine chillers, canteens, and tumblers, and its stemless flute set in a gorgeous prism color makes a great companion gift for their at-home libations.
Price at time of publish: $160
Aria Trio Pool Towel
Give the gift of enjoying a Las Vegas pool party from the comfort of their own backyard pool. This splashy trio of Aria pool towels invites your host to vicariously revisit the Rat Pack golden era. Crafted from quick-drying and absorbent 100 percent eco-friendly cotton, the blue stripe accented towels are classic, glamorous, and charming. They’ll be perfect poolside in the summer or used for a winter dip in an outdoor hot tub. We suggest the high roller move of stocking up on multiples, including the Aria jacquard weave wave-textured towel bundle.
Price at time of publish: $36
Printfresh Harvest Pajamas Set
For the hostess pal who's been inviting you to sleep over since you guys were in grade school, this PJ set is the pick of the season. A screen-printed veggie-themed sleep set that’s 100 percent organic cotton, this zzz’s-guaranteed pair is soft and cozy. Cheerfully retro and easy to pack, Printfresh is a sustainable and ethical brand made by artisans in India with a globally-inspired touch.
Price at time of purchase: $158
Carrière Frères Damask Rose Botanical Paleta
Bring the lush scent of a faraway castle garden to their home with one of these delicate Carrière Frères disks. The natural beauty and rich fragrance of the Damask rose emits from these pretty botanical wax pallets. Useful in smaller spaces like linen closets and wardrobes, they can also be packed inside luggage or hung from a car’s rear-view mirror for a sweet road trip olfactory experience. Practical and luxurious all in one, the paleta comes wrapped in tissue paper within a delightfully illustrated, limited-edition gift box.
Price at time of publish: $40
High Camp Tumbler 2-pack + Soft Case
This sleek tumbler set and stylish case are rugged yet elegant, a fine combo for outdoor enthusiasts and whiskey lovers all in one. The premium grade, stainless steel tumblers are made for both the bar and the backcountry, featuring double-walled insulation to keep drinks at the perfect temperature, plus a wool-felt carrying case that makes traveling easy. High Camp pays homage to the American West, so this is a great gift for your host’s inner cowboy (or cowgirl) who seeks to relax, unwind, and reconnect at home or on the ranch.
Price at time of publish: $50
At the intersection of beauty, home, and travel-friendly gifts rests this pretty silk pillowcase. If your hostess complains of dry skin or trouble sleeping, the case can help keep her skin hydrated at night and bestow the added benefit of better zzzs. Crafted from high-grade, 100 percent natural mulberry silk (on both sides), LilySilk is recommended by hair stylists, aestheticians, and dermatologists alike. The breathable case includes 18 amino acids known to stimulate skin cells and hair follicles, plus it’s certified chemical-free and made with eco-safe dye. Note: Fits standard 20 x 26'-inch pillows and comes in queen and king sizes.
Price at time of publish: $29
Smoko Lil B Dumpling Airpod Case
Put the “fun” in functional gift: Leave it to Smoko to transform a mundane AirPods case into an adorable little dumpling! The Lil B is the cutest place to charge and store AirPods while they're not in use. We get a kick out of this case for all ages, but especially recommend it for your hosts’ kids if you want to give a little extra something-something special to everyone in the family.
Price at time of publish: $16
Ashunta Beauty On-the-go Eyebrow Kit
Makeup artists know the “secret” to a put-together face is expertly cared-for eyebrows. On that note, here’s another exceptional beauty gift for a hostess or host who seeks perfect brows on the go. This petite but mighty brow gel, brush, and fix-it spray bundle is the most impressive tool kit we’ve found for achieving, maintaining, and nourishing healthy, expertly manicured eyebrows while commuting to work or traveling.
Price at time of publish: $20
Natura Ilía Secreto Eau de Parfum
Based in São Paulo, Natura creates products that are eco-friendly and ethically sourced from the Amazon in support of indigenous communities. Natura boasts a lengthy line of sustainable products for women and men, but we especially love gifting a perfume made from ingredients found in and reminiscent of the iconic, life-giving rainforest. Natura Ilia Secreto’s top note is ishpink (similar to cinnamon), plus pear, mandarin, jasmine, and more, all beautifully packaged in a recycled glass bottle. More fragrance profiles are available for men, too.
Price at time of publish: $79
Dash Personal Portable USB Blender
This Dash portable, USB-powered blender is cordless and capable of mixing up smoothies, shakes, fruits, veggies, and small ice cubes in under a minute. A travel-friendly blender is perfect for a weekend camping trip, an extended RV excursion, or simply a vacation in a hotel where you’re missing the niceties of a home kitchen. Featuring a shatterproof Tritan clear plastic bottle, leak-proof lid, and stainless steel blades, this model’s battery fully recharges in one to two hours and lasts up to 20 blending cycles. It also comes with a recipe guide so your hosts can start swilling delicious drinks immediately.
Price at time of publish: $27
Sharper Image Heated Neck And Shoulder Massager Wrap
Give the gift of relaxation with the Sharper Image Heated Neck and Shoulder Massager Wrap. Designed to apply deep, invigorating thermal heat while simultaneously giving a soothing at-home massage, this ergonomic collar offers heat therapy, improved blood circulation, and relief for aching shoulders, neck tension, and stiff muscles within minutes. The wrap provides massage therapy from anywhere, so your hosts can enjoy this product from home or bring it along on their next travel adventures to ease soreness or simply unwind from a long flight. Note: The automatic 30-minute timer shuts off after each session.
Price at time of purchase: $60
Radiate Portable Campfire: The Original Go-Anywhere Campfire
S’mores. Ghost stories. Group sing-a-longs. What’s not to love about a campfire? Well…the excess smoke, finicky flames, and tough-to-extinguish embers. Lucky for your hosts, this portable fire pit has none of those problems. Simply light a match or flick a lighter, and three to five hours of glorious flames will bless their backyard, beach party, or campsite–no mess, no cleanup, and no dangerous leftovers that could spark a wildfire. This portable paper pulp and recyclable soy wax campfire is extinguished instantly just by putting a lid on it. It’s a hot, good-times host gift for all seasons.
Price at time of publish: $30
Voited Indoor Outdoor Camping Blanket
Do your hosts have a porch, deck, or patio where they love to host small soirees? Or perhaps they’re campers, beach babes, or van-life folks and just appreciate a snuggle in the great outdoors. Whatever the case, this insulated, water-resistant indoor/outdoor blanket is awesome for home or travel. Made of recycled ripstop Repreve fabric (recycled plastic bottles) on one side and super soft CloudTouch fleece on the other, this cozy gift is durable, stain-resistant, and machine-washable. The best part? The inside feels like real sheep’s wool, but it’s much lighter in weight, meaning it’s less bulky and dries much faster. We also love the Voited pet blanket version for fluffy family members.
Price at time of publish: $125
Kitsch Heatless Curling Set
Here’s a practical yet luxurious present for your hair-obsessed hostess. This heatless foam curling rod headband is one of the best on-the-go tools we’ve come across for creating easy, bouncy waves overnight. With this thoughtful beauty gift, she can forgo the added weight of a curling iron in her suitcase (as well as the damage to her locks) and instead look forward to waking up with a head of fabulous, salon-rivaled curls. This silky, satin-covered product includes two scrunchies and works on all hair types and lengths.
Price at time of publish: $14
Dog by Dr Lisa Spring Cologne
Humans aren’t the only ones who like to be pampered and showered with gifts. If your hosts are dog people who have a special canine companion under their roof, here’s a present that’s guaranteed to inspire laughs and appreciative sniffs. This canine cologne is specially formulated to find a happy medium between both dog and human fragrance preferences. A light spritz on Fido (or his bedding…or their couch) reduces that unwanted dog smell while moisturizing the skin and coat. Each scent is formulated with gentle essential oils, such as calming lavender and more plant-based ingredients.
Price at time of publish: $25
Lantern Press Artwork Protect Our National Parks Puzzle
The family who dreams together, schemes together about their next vacation destination. We recommend this artful collage of vintage travel posters designed as a challenging jigsaw puzzle for kids and adults to enjoy piecing together. For Americana fans who are inspired by a bit of nostalgia, the puzzle comes in a pretty storage tin. Plus, your hosts may want to frame or display it when they finish. Choose from 1,000 pieces, 500 pieces, or 252 pieces.
Price at time of publish: $30
Cannes Travel Cheese Knife Set
Have cheese, will travel? Whether they’re fanatics for French fromage or domestic dairy lovers, they’ll think of you every time they serve a charcuterie spread with this pretty acacia board and brass-toned cheese and wine tool set. Perfect for a romantic picnic or small outdoor party, the complete package includes a cheese cleaver, forked cheese knife, parmesan knife, waiter-style corkscrew with wood handle, bottle stopper, serving board, and convenient zip-up case. Suggestion: Add a bottle of wine that corresponds with their preferred cheese origins.
Price at time of publish: $110
Birthdate Co The Birthdate Book
Monogrammed gifts are always special, but a personalized astrological book based on their birth date, time, and location is truly out of this world. A unique host or hostess present for a sibling, close relative, or best friend who you know very well, this made-to-order tome is full of insights about their life and personality. For the Zodiac-obsessed or purely spiritual pal, they’ll find 70 pages of detailed horoscope analysis and a deep dive into what the future holds. Be it romance, career, or foreign travel they seek, this charming book offers the map of a lifetime.
Price at time of publish: $95
Why Trust Travel + Leisure
T+L writer Saryn Chorney used her personal experience, professional expertise, and tester’s recommendations to research and select the best and most travel-friendly host and hostess gifts. She also leaned on her sustainable lifestyle and travel knowledge to curate a list to fit every grateful guest’s budget.
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