A well-packed bag is critical for any travel itinerary. When packing smart, it’s important to consider your destination, but also, to consider your wonderful hosts.
Since I live 1,300 miles away from my entire family (and many of my friends,) I’m always looking for packable presents I can take on my trips back home to say thank you to those who invite me to stay.
What makes a perfectly packable host or hostess gift? In my experience, it checks one — or ideally all — of these boxes!
Keep it Small
Obviously, when traveling, your gifting possibilities are limited to your suitcase. Take what you need to pack into consideration when selecting a gift. It’s all gotta fit!
I once received a gemstone pyramid sculpture by Cesar Gonzales as a gift, and highly recommend it as a host or hostess gift. I love the petite size because it’s so easy to place! Every once in a while, I like to move it around to different rooms with the idea of circulating energies.
Keep it Light
There’s nothing worse than getting to an airport and having your bag be just over that maximum 50 lb. limit. Plus, if your in-home stay isn’t until the end of your travel itinerary, you’ll have to haul your gift around throughout your travels.
Wearable accessories such as scarves make perfect host/hostess gifts. They can easily be folded amongst your clothing and will not tilt the scales. The same goes for other wearable items like jewelry or men’s cufflinks that allow you to personalize depending on your hosts’ tastes.
Other clothing options certainly work as well, as long as you have the sizing right!
Keep it Durable
Airlines are not responsible for the items that you have in your bags. Make sure your gift will pack easily and is durable enough to withstand rough handling at the airport. If you do have something on the fragile side, be sure to wrap it in plenty of clothing or other type of padding!
Picture frames have always been one of my go-to’s for gift giving. When I know my hosts well, I like to include a picture commemorating a fond memory that we’ve shared together.
While picture frames may have glass or plexiglass to protect the image within, they are easily packable and have always survived my cross-continental journeys. Their size and flat nature allow frames to be easily folded into clothing to sustain turbulence or reckless bag handling.
When you present your host gifts, be sure to share a small anecdote about the artisan and region it came from. Your hosts will be so touched to hear that their gift helped UNICEF to support children in need.