If you’re visiting friends or family for the holidays, one way to not overstay your welcome is to be a great houseguest — and a big part of that is self-sufficiency. That is, not needing to ask your hosts to find you four free outlets so you can charge your devices, or to clear a shelf for your bathroom gear. Packing the following items will help lessen the inevitable seasonal stress for your hosts, and make everyone’s holiday happier.
These are the items Wirecutter staffers bring along when staying with friends or relatives.
Rather than assume you’ll find a conveniently free bedside outlet for your phone, bring this compact, battery-powered alarm clock instead. ($29.95 from Amazon)
Along with your charging cables, pack a mini-power strip (this one has USB ports too), so you won’t monopolize the outlets that do exist. ($20 from Dell)
This’ll come in handy for midnight bathroom trips or reading in bed, especially if that bed is an air mattress with no nearby lamp. ($40 from REI)
Bathroom counter and shelf space is valuable real estate — especially in big households. Minimize your footprint with this toiletry bag designed to be hung. ($37 from eBags)
Arrive with your own lightweight umbrella, so you don’t have to borrow one when it’s time to head out into the inevitable winter sleet. ($18 from Amazon)
Nothing says “thank you for hosting this year” like this assortment of perfectly executed chocolates in intriguing — but not too exotic — flavors. ($50 from Recchiuti Confections)
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