Giving Homecoming Gifts To Friends

Discussion in Travel started by Corzhens • Aug 16, 2016.

  1. Corzhens

    CorzhensWell-Known Member

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    It is customary in our country to give something to friends whenever you would come home from abroad even if it was only a short vacation. In our first trips that started in 2012, I would buy t-shirts, key chains and other souvenir items from Hongkong, Singapore, and some other countries that we went to. But later on, I realized that we were traveling at least 3 times a year and I have been spending much for those giveaways. Now, we have changed that habit and we only give homecoming gifts to our family.
     
  2. H.C. Heartland

    H.C. HeartlandActive Member

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    Yes, we do the same. After 7 years this last stint, our families are beginning to be tired for the souvenirs - their houses are filled! So now we are beginning to bring home allowable food items like coffee, tea, spices, and even dried items that customs will allow. We usually try to make a dish from the country where we have just been and that way they can taste a part of the culture. Sometimes we bring home music CDs or make our own slideshow set to music and hand that out. Recently, we have found individual stories interest them. So we may ask an individual for permission to put a little story and photo of them on a book mark. We make the bookmark on our home printer then take it to a service to laminate. I have tried doing my own form of lamination with scotch tape but it doesnt come out looking very nice. However, one time some kids wanted to make bookmarks for kids in my home country and then I used this method because it added to the DIY look of it.
     
  3. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    I don't really spend much on souvenirs or gifts to bring home any more. I've found that it gets very expensive, it's hard to find things for certain people, and most people already have lots of "stuff" and don't really need it.

    My favorite items to give are postcards. I don't mail them, but bring back blank ones with pretty pictures. They are usually very affordable, and it's a nice way to let someone know you thought about them while you were gone, without spending a lot of money. A postcard doesn't take up much storage space for them either.

    I also sometimes bring back food, if possible, if it's something special that we can't get at home.
     
  4. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    Back when I was working and had more money, I also traveled a lot more, both for business and pleasure. I would do the same thing, bringing back souvenirs for family and friends. I also received the same types of gifts from them when they traveled, but it seems that there's been a significant mark up in those types of items. I actually visited the gift shop section of the local Walmart, because it's in a tourist town, and the items were quite pricey. I used to send them to my nieces when they were younger, but I don't bother nowadays. I was at that Walmart the other day and noticed that the gift shop section had been cleared out. I wonder if it was due to the high prices? It seems businesses don't know when to quit pushing for higher profits, and many end up losing business because of it.

    @Zyni@Zyni I have always collected postcards, both the ones people have sent me, and also ones I've picked up in my travels. I still buy them sometimes, and I'll occasionally send them to my loved ones, since they're so pretty, and it's nice to find a pretty postcard with a short message from a loved one nestled in among the bills and junk mail. I also post them on my fridge and desk, because I find the nature scenes uplifting.
     
  5. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    I love postcards for some reason. I guess I should mail them after reading what you said, @Diane Lane@Diane Lane. It is rare to get "nice" mail any more. It's definitely affordable as well, and it's so much better than sifting through all the "junk" found in tourist traps.

    I do like to bring back food gifts too, so I'll touch on that a bit more. There are certain items that we grew up with that are difficult if not impossible to find where we live now. So, those items are real treats. Some are easier to transport than others (we're from Chicago, so bringing back a pizza can be tricky, for example). There are other things that are a bit easier to work with.

    I do like t-shirts as well, if I can find reasonably priced ones. They sure have gone up in price!
     
  6. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    @Zyni@Zyni I love food gifts! Although it might be difficult to bring a pizza back from Chicago, I wonder if you could purchase crust mixes there designed specifically for Chicago style pizza? That might be a compromise. I used to go back and forth between Boston and Houston all the time, and I'd bring back pastries from my favorite bakeries, because I just can't get them here. Nowadays, I tend to bake more, so I make most of my own pastries based on the preferences I developed while living up there, since I still can't get most of them here.
     
  7. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    I hardly ever travel abroad anymore so I never buy anyone gifts that's except for one of my neighbors kids. Since a few toys or some drawing materials don't cost much, I don't mind buying her a gift each time I come back home. I never buy souvenirs though.
     
  8. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    We've managed to do it, but it's hit or miss. We have learned to make our own, which is pretty good, but still not the same as the real deal. I like trying to perfect it and other "from home" recipes as well.

    Yeah, most stuff that would fall into the souvenir category is cheaply made but not cheaply priced. The prices of stuff you find in the average tourist trap type of attraction have gotten way out of hand. I'm not paying ridiculous amounts of money for some cheaply made trinket.

    That's why I like postcards so much. They commemorate the location or occasion without breaking the bank.
     
  9. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    I definitely agree about the cheaply made but not cheaply priced for souvenirs. I miss going across to Mexico and picking up gifts and other items. The prices were definitely great, and the items were well made and attractive. I got my sister a lovely onyx backgammon set years ago, and the tray I'm using for my tea station is the top from a folding wooden stand table I bought down there.

    Speaking of postcards, I think I'm going to look for mine and send one to my mom and another to my sister. I'm sure they'll appreciate having something vibrant and pretty in their snail mail.
     
  10. Zyni

    ZyniWell-Known Member

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    One of the things I noticed the most was how flimsy and cheap many t-shirts are these days. The material is paper thin, the stitching (if all the "hems" are even stitched) is loose with thin thread. If it's silk screened, it usually wears out quickly, so it's probably done with cheap paint.

    My husband paid 20 bucks for a t-shirt on a recent trip. I have to hand wash it, and forget about drying it, because I'm afraid I'll ruin it. Not only does the logo seem like it will disintegrate at a touch, but the whole thing is just so light and flimsy that I doubt he'll get to wear it more than a handful of times. I have to hand wash in cold water and hang it to dry.

    He bought it for himself to commemorate the trip, so that's cool. I certainly wouldn't want to give something like that as a gift though. Not a good value, in my opinion.

    That's a nice idea. I hope they enjoy their postcards.