12/15/2012 11:36 am ET Updated Feb 14, 2013

Holiday Entertaining Ideas: Technology To Ensure Your Guests Enjoy Their Stay


When people say "the more, the merrier," they weren't talking about houseguests, were they?Inviting your friends and family to invade your space always starts with good, gingerbread-scented intentions, but putting this concept into action tends to be a bit stressful. Nevertheless, we all want our guests to feel welcome, and there's lots of high tech help for making your holiday hotel run smoothly.

Make some little upgrades to your guest quarters. Even if your visitors are staying on the office sofa bed, a few thoughtful details will make them feel as though they're on vacation. Avoid having to loan your entire bathroom cabinet by setting your friends up with mini toiletries from, where you can get adorable travel-sized necessities. For a bit of added luxury, try Brookstone's towel warmer, a plug-in device (sneak it off to your own bathroom post-holiday) that heats two towels at once. Add style and function to your guest room with Soundfreaq's Sound Rise alarm clock, which can charge iPhones and Androids and stream wireless music.

Bring the entertainment to them. The most stressful part of hosting isn't the extra laundry and clean-up, it's keeping guests constantly entertained. During downtime (aka your break), offer guests the best TV experience ever with Roku's Streaming Stick, which plugs directly into your HDTV and gives you instant access to tons of entertainment--it's a totally simple and easy way to experience streaming TV. For light reading, you could put out your three-month old décor mags, but a much classier option would be to let guests borrow your Kindle Fire loaded with the NextIssue app, which unlocks unlimited access to 75 magazines. When you want to get your lodgers out of the house, give them a great smartphone city guide and point them in the way of Know What or GuidePal, two apps updated by locals.

Keep kids content. Have you ever experienced the calm that technology can bring to children? Take it from me, it can be a marvelous thing. Getting them engrossed in an e-book or game can provide hours of entertainment, so consider loading up your tablet with a bunch of apps and books. One particularly amazing iPad book, Morris Lessmore is beautifully-designed and delightfully interactive. Looking for a fun but educational game? Little Digits teaches all about numbers and counting. If you're planning a grown-ups-night-out and need a real sitter, you can turn to Sittercity, a directory that'll help you find a vetted local babysitter.

As for the rave reviews for your hospitality, I'm sure your guests would give you five stars on Yelp.

Have something to say? Check out HuffPost Home on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.


Do you have a home story idea or tip? Email us at (PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)