I'm a Hospitality Expert and These Are the 5 Things I Put Out for Houseguests

Always have these on hand before your guests arrive.

Having houseguests can be a blast or a burden, depending on your level of preparation. In fact, some experts say that thinking ahead can not only make your guests feel more welcome—it can also help them move around your home more independently, taking the pressure off of you. That's why Emmy Award-winning travel show host and hospitality expert Samantha Brown recently shared her top tips for welcoming overnight guests. She says there are five things to have on hand that will streamline your time together and keep you and your visitors more comfortable while sharing a space.

RELATED: The 10 Worst Things Houseguests Do, New Study Says.

An amenity kit

A woven white basket filled with toiletries
TanyaJoy / Shutterstock

After staying in "thousands of hotels," Brown says one of her key takeaways was learning the importance of always providing her own guests with extra toiletries.

"Travelers are a forgetful bunch. Put out an amenity kit of all those items we're most likely to forget, toothbrush and toothpaste being the top two items," Brown recommends in a TikTik video.

In her sample basket, she also includes cotton rounds, nail polish remover, makeup remover wipes, deodorant, and more.

Your wifi password

Shot of a young woman using a smartphone and having coffee in the kitchen at home

As your guests get settled in, you can bet they'll want to know what the wifi password is for your home. Brown recommends writing it down and placing it by their bed so they can connect at their convenience.

She notes that this will also help you avoid a lengthy and confusing conversation in which your visitors will inevitably capitalize the wrong letters or otherwise get it wrong. Additionally, having a pre-made visual aid signals that you thought of their needs ahead of time.

RELATED: The First Things People Notice About Your Guest Room, According to Experts.


young couple sitting on a table and having breakfast together

Brown says that when you're having guests over, it's helpful to think about the things you love about staying in hotels, and then try to recreate them.

Since her favorite feature is the breakfast buffet, she likes to leave some offerings on the kitchen counter so her guests know they're welcome to help themselves in the morning.

"I'll put out everything they need—fresh fruit, cereal, bowls, spoons, that kind of thing," the travel host explains. Before bed, she also finds out who among her guests wakes up the earliest and asks that person to make a pot of coffee for the group.

A concierge list

Woman Writing A Letter

One of the biggest mistakes people make while having overnight houseguests is thinking that they need to host every aspect of their trip. Brown suggests sharing a list of your favorite places or activities and encouraging visitors to explore them on their own during the day.

"I am a traveler at heart, so I always make a concierge list of great places to visit," says Brown. "This tells my guests that I will not be joining you for this—you are going to be doing this all by yourself—and that's going to give me time to clean, get ready for the big meal, or just drink," she quips, pouring herself a cocktail and taking a sip.

RELATED: 8 Things You Should Always Warn Your Guests About Before They Arrive.

Toilet paper

Basket with rolls of toilet paper and eucalyptus branch on grunge background

Finally, brown advises putting out plenty of toilet paper before your guests arrive (sanitary products may also be appreciated in a similar spirit).

"Just put out gobs of the stuff in every bathroom you have. You're going to go through it faster than you think, and nobody—and I mean nobody—wants to ask for the toilet paper," she says.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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