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Fresh Towels Are Fine, But What Your Overnight Guests Really Need Is An Easy Way to Charge Their Devices

Photo: Cristofer Jeschke (Unsplash)

When staying at someone else’s home; be it in a family member’s guest room, on a couch in a friend’s basement, or even at an Airbnb, I’ve found that there’s one simple thing that makes me think, “this person has their shit together.” I’m speaking, of course, about easily accessible USB charging ports.

We’ve all experienced the frustration of crashing at a friend’s house, and realizing the only available outlet is buried deep behind a piece of furniture, or is too far away from the nightstand for the 3' phone cable you brought with you to reach. So before you next host someone in your home, do the hard (it’s not actually hard) work of setting up a stress-free charging situation.

Photo: Amazon

If your guest room’s nightstands are directly in front of power outlets, you can probably get away with a basic wall adapter. This one from Nekmit features a flat design that allows you to push your nightstand or bed right up against it, without damaging the cords. They also make a version with four ports (one of which is an 18W USB-C PD port), for your tech-savvy guests.

The only downside of this setup is that if a cord slides behind the furniture, it can be tricky to retrieve. But a couple of adhesive cord clips on the nightstand can clear that right up.

Photo: Shep McAllister

If your outlet isn’t already ideally positioned, your best bet is going to a charging hub. These include multiple ports, and come with an extension cable that will allow you to run them to a nearby outlet. For further-flung outlets, most use standard AC power cables, so you can just buy a longer one separately if need-be.

In this day and age, you’ll probably want to spring for a hub with a USB-C Power Delivery port, so your guests can charge their laptops, tablets, and Nintendo Switches at full speed. But obviously, you’ll also want the hub to have several standard USB ports as well for older devices. This one from RAVPower includes five total ports, including a 45W USB-C port, which should satisfy just about anyone.

If possible, I’d recommend attaching the hub to the back of your nightstand, with the ports facing up for easy access (see my guest room photo above). A few 3M Command adhesive strips ought to do the trick.

Alternatively, you could get a hub that’s designed to sit on top of your nightstand, so that your guests won’t possibly miss it. My parents have taken to setting up these Anker chargers anywhere people might sleep, and I love them.

Photo: Amazon

Most modern phones support Qi wireless charging, so setting up a Qi pad is a pretty safe bet for your guest room. You could easily plug a basic pad (or an artsy, hidden one) into any of the chargers we mentioned above, but I’d recommend getting one with an extra USB port built into the pad, which’ll make it easier for your guests to charge their other devices as well.

Anker’s PowerWave 10 has two such ports, but has to be plugged directly into the wall with an included power adapter. Or, iOttie’s gorgeous iON pad can utilize any 18W USB-C PD input, while providing one additional USB charging port.

Photo: Amazon

People forget to pack charging cables all the time, and your overnight guests won’t want to knock on your bedroom door to borrow one. So it’s a good idea to keep one plugged into your dedicated guest room chargers, or at least put it in the nightstand drawer where they can find it.

Anker’s PowerLine II 3-in-1 cable is a Lightning, microUSB, and USB-C cord all in one, so no matter what your guest is trying to charge, it’ll get the job done.

Nice work being a good host! I hope they brought you a good bottle of wine.


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Shep McAllister

Senior Director of Commerce | Send deal submissions to deals@gizmodomedia.com