A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon with a good friend, painting her newly converted guest room and preparing it for a busy summer of visitors. We had such a sweet time, listening to worship music, sipping on switchel, and anticipating the memories to be made in her home. In anticipation of the in-laws, the first guests to arrive, we whipped together a welcome basket. It’s one of my favorite ways to say how glad we are someone’s come to visit, and as we prepare for our summer, I thought maybe you’d like some of our favorite ways to welcome overnight visitors.
There are a few things I always like to have waiting for guests. I keep a special basket or two on hand to use so I don’t have to recreate the wheel every visit, but you can purchase a new basket from the dollar store, or use a gift bag or any basket you have around. A carry-all your guest can use while visiting would be an extra-special addition if it fits your budget.
A bottle of water. I have a beautiful carafe & glass combination that we like to use, but there’s also a benefit to our guest being able to grab a disposable bottle and go, whether for a walk in the nearby woods, or off exploring at the beach.
Fresh towels. Here’s my #1 tip – have a separate set of towels, of a different but coordinating color, that you reserve only for guests. In a house with lots of people, towels take a beating. I like our guests to feel special, but I don’t want to have to shop every time someone comes to visit. If my towels go into “general circulation,” I can guarantee they’ll get snapped up by whatever kiddo is behind on laundry. So the second guests leave, I grab the sheets and the towels, wash them together, and fold them in a separate location for safekeeping. Store them with a dryer sheet or a cotton ball dotted with essential oils (one Facebook friend noted that it’s important to consider guests with allergies) to keep them fresh, or launder them just before your next guest arrives.
A candle or room spray. Every home has its own scent, and being able to light a candle in the evening is a wonderful treat (I confess: I’ve been known to travel with a mini candle). You can use a flameless scented candle if you like, or even have a wax warmer nearby. When a college friend visited recently, it made my heart smile to find she’d lit the candle in her room each day, hoping it was a small grace in her visit.
A small snack and/or mints. Sometimes if I’m in a hurry I’ll pick up a fine chocolate bar or package of cookies. If there’s time, I’ll bake something special. But even an apple or a banana can be a nice way to offer an “independent” snack for late night munching. Bonus points if you know and choose a favorite snack of your guests’!
Hand lotion and lip balm. Perhaps this is playing to my personal addictions, but when I’m traveling, I may panic a bit if I can’t lay my hands on lip balm and hand cream at night. It’s a special treat to find a gift like this waiting. I’ve had guests who didn’t use them, and that’s ok, too – it goes in the “gift stash” for future use!
Sunscreen. For summer guests, this is a special addition, and I’ll fold up a nice beach towel, too (see my above tip for towels – it can still apply for a beach towel!). It’s easy to pop in a travel size sunscreen, or you can even make your own with essential oils, for a take home gift.
Entertainment. We picked up a sweet little “grown up coloring book” at the dollar section in a local store, but you can also find sweet printables online for free. Take a peek at these cute designs on Everything Etsy (I love the deer!), a fun list of printables at Country Chic Cottage, or Amy’s “Ultimate List” of adult coloring pages at DIY Candy. This scripture coloring page is really cool, too! Finally, you might want to purchase this scripture coloring page I love from Etsy.
Important info. In our world, having a phone charger and a WIFI password can be a nice, and even a vital, bit of “help.” If our friend wants to do some late night web-surfing or work, it’s great to have that info handy without having to ask. I’ve included a printable note card that can go right in the basket, or even be framed if you have a dedicated space for guests. You can click over to get this guest room printable to use in your own gift basket (and special thanks to my daughter, who hand-lettered the “welcome” for us!).
This “summer fun” guest basket was shared first on Skip to My Lou, a lovely blog filled with crafty ideas and recipes, on June 10, 2016.
The popsicle graphic was free from Fab n’ Free – thanks so much for sharing!
Like what you're reading?
Get Sal et Lux updates and resources in your inbox and get my "3 Tips for Meaningful Hospitality" as my gift to you!