It’s weekend-getaway season, people, and we want to make sure you’re prepared. That’s why we’ve been documenting famous people’s carry-on essentials (they travel a lot) and why we’re now bringing you the best gifts to bring your weekend hosts, according to New York editors — because the only thing we love more than getting away is impressing people with our New York savvy. This is how you get invited back.
“A round cotton-terry towel is a fun gift. Also this Fisher’s Finery blanket is a bit expensive, but who doesn’t want a cashmere blanket?” —Wendy Goodman, design editor
“I love getting my hosts a rare book or a first edition that relates to their specific interests. Vintage cookbooks for amateur chefs, out-of-print monographs for friends who are photographers, or signed copies of novels for literary types, for example. If I know I’ll be staying with someone well in advance, I look on eBay or Amazon’s rare books. If it’s last minute I’ll run over to the Strand or even grab one off my own shelf. I like to leave them unwrapped, so it feels more casual, or tie them with a grosgrain ribbon and tuck a nice note into the front, for a more personal touch. That and a bottle of wine, and we’re in for a great weekend.”—Stella Bugbee, editor-in-chief and president, the Cut
“I think Areaware coasters are the best — cool and kind of expensive-looking without actually being crazy expensive. The cube-looking ones are a bit tired to me now, but these stripey ones feel surprising and unique. They come in black and white.” —Jason Chen, senior editor, the Strategist
“Cire Trudon’s Abd el Kader candle would make a great host gift. Unique in the world of candle scents where everything smells either orangey, smoky, or figgy, this smells like an aromatic cup of freshly brewed mint tea, the kind made using real mint leaves and not that tea-bag nonsense. It’s a rich scent without being cloying, and notes of jasmine and vanilla make it smell unlike anything you might get a whiff of in the dentist chair. You’ll never have smelled a candle like this before, trust me — and in the best way possible. It does run a little expensive, so for a thriftier alternative I also like the candles from Boy Smells.” —Kathleen Hou, beauty editor, the Cut
“My go-to gift is a bottle of wine, but if not that I like giving things that make rooms smell good, like Aesop’s room spray.” —Diana Tsui, senior market editor
“I usually bring Prosecco, because it’s so cheerful and nearly everyone likes it. I like a cheapie like Mionetto. It doesn’t taste tremendously different from the more expensive ones, and it is so inexpensive that you can show up at someone’s house with two or three or four bottles, which appears extravagant and lets everyone start throwing it back.” —Chris Bonanos, senior editor
“Since we know almost no one outside the art world we tend to rely on bringing a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup which I sign Andy Warhol. Otherwise I tend to bring two or three big bottles of Canada Dry seltzer water because that’s pretty much all I drink. I always bring a $20 bill for the kids; works wonders.” —Jerry Saltz, art critic
Get the best of The Strategist delivered to your inbox.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.