anyone have a problem with souvenirs?

Old Mar 11th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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anyone have a problem with souvenirs?

i was just wondering if anyone else has this problem-souvenirs!! i never know if it is okay not to bring back something for every relative of mine. its a pain in the neck. i never know what to buy and if the person will like it. Not only that but sometimes someone will ask me to bring them something back from europe. I just think this can be such a chore... anyone the same situation?
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 02:21 PM
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Well, I suspect it is a much more common problem than you might think. I started getting souvenirs for parents, sisters, bothers, in-laws, etc... until it got to be a pain to carry those back. Now, I only get souvenirs for Mom and sister and only items that are easy to carry, i.e. pins, perfumes, christmas ornament, books.
 
Old Mar 11th, 2003, 02:26 PM
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The only thing I ever get is key rings. I hate shopping when I am traveling and schlepping stuff back for myself, much less bring back a bunch of junk for others! None of my friends or family cares one way or the other either, so I guess I am lucky.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 04:31 PM
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Personally, I enjoy picking out little gifts for people and then sharing them. If you want to do this without getting bogged down by shopping, just pick something little that's traditional for the area (i.e. the same souvenir you keep seeing all over town). Souvenirs always look better when you get them back home than they do when you see them in stall after stall. <BR><BR>In China, it's customary for a boss to bring back a small gift for all their direct reports, so we're always on the lookout for little gifts, and we always get everyone the same thing. In London it was little decorative tins of tea, in Venice it was tiny boxes with Venitian glass on the top, from Paris little Eiffel towers. <BR><BR>If you get something that's traditional for where you've visited, you don't have to worry so much that they'll like it - we tend to get little knick-knacky things with the idea that if the person doesn't particularly like it enough to put out in their house, they can always use it as a Christmas ornament (and we suggest this). <BR><BR>If the recipient is at all foody, Europe is wonderful for small little bottles and jars of foody things - jam from Fauchon in Paris, olive oil from Italy, etc.<BR><BR>If your budget is bigger than that for a souvenir, I tend to think you can never go wrong with a cook/picture/coffee-table book of the area. Who knows - you might inspire them to visit, and then you can ask them to bring you something!
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 04:51 PM
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I used to bring back lots of stuf for friends, co-workers and relatives. But over the years so many people have asked for copies of my photographs - that now after I get home I just make 5x7's or 8x10's of especially good shots.<BR><BR>Slip them into inexpensive pre-cut mats and you have super mementos. It really saves on the money and the luggage space.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 05:27 PM
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I have fun with picking out gifts. I look for light, cheap and fun gifts as we go along. I have done well with seeds, photos, needlework patterns, golf balls, bookmarks and puzzles. If you get a gift from our trip, fine. If you deserve a gift from us it will come at the Holidays. My husband had a co-worker ask for cocoa from Amsterdam. We could get the same brand in the states, so she didn't get that! I don't do &quot;shopping&quot; at home. When I'm on vacation it is fun to shop. Our travels are about having fun! Have a grand time!
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 05:40 PM
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The best advice I got on this was many years ago from a friend of my mom who was going to China. When I asked her if she was bringing gifts from China to her friends and family, she chirped, &quot;Oh. no dear! I went to China Town and got a bunch of little gifts that I stored away to give them when I return!&quot; I remembered this ever since and hit places like Pier 1, Costco, Cost Plus, etc. for little goodies to hand out to pals. The same stuff is sold in tourist shops in their home country, for little less, and you don't have to schlepp them in your luggage!It's a very small world now, in case you haven't noticed!<BR>If you must send a case of gifts home, get it all at one shop or factory, ship it in one container and get your VAT deduction! Save the suitcase for YOU.<BR>Take an empty one to places like China or Italy that has something special for YOU!!!! Pack bubble wrap, too!!!
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 05:43 PM
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Deloris, that is the funniest thing I've heard! I love it!
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 05:50 PM
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After about 10 trips to Europe I stopped picking up souvenirs for friends unless they were very special friends and had a specific request that I could EASILY honor. I also stopped sending postcards. I found that people were using me to do shopping that they weren't willing to do themselves because they didn't want to spring for a trip to Europe. And it IS terribly time-consuming sometimes to make good on specific requests from people (&quot;Can you swing by A.Simon and pick me up a 12&quot; copper sautee pan? Well, no actually, that would be a major inconvenience since I have only two days in Paris, I've got kids with me, and a copper sautee pan weighs a ton).I just don't do it anymore. If they want something that badly, they can probably order it from a catalogue, or - oh my! - make a trip themselves.<BR>If I'm wandering about and see something small and light that seems appropriate as a gift for a friend or relative, sure, I'll pick it up, but I don't do shopping for other people anymore - it simply eats into my own vacation time too much and makes me resent them.
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 05:51 AM
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I think museum gift shops are great sources of small, light-weight stuff.<BR>Refrigerator magnets (of the Mona Lisa, for example) or pretty notecards, or even paper napkins.<BR><BR>However, I don't bring home gifts for the masses , exception is that something really strikes me as perfect for someone, and then I am likely to save it for a birthday or Dec. holiday gift.<BR>Even little gifts can add up to being expensive, I have to find room for them, hope they don't bend or break, etc. Plus if I buy routinely for one I have to buy for 10 or 15.<BR>I do send postcards; I prepare address labels before I go, so that saves one chore.
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 04:31 PM
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I usually buy souvenirs for people that I might by Christmas or birthday presents for and save them for that time. So, I don't have to carry them around, I pack a folded box from the post office and tape, and send it home when it is full.
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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No souvenirs. No problem. <BR>We leave with 7kg each and return with 9. We buy whimsical things for ourselves. <BR>Selfish? maybe. Cheap? more so.
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 05:05 PM
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We also used to try to find the perfect gift for everyone back home. It became a chore not a pleasure. Now we only buy something if we really love it and know the perfect person to give it to. The only problem with that is sometimes I like what I bought too much and keep it . I now have a wonderful pair of Murano glass earings from Venice that I bought for a friend that look great on me! <BR><BR>Moral of that story, if you find something you love, buy two!
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 08:37 PM
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i love reading all these replies. so many good ideas....
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 03:51 AM
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After several trips I stopped buying for everyone and just got things that popped out at me--the now that's perfect for x reaction. If it's perfect, light and doesn't take up much room in the suitcase--and is affordable, I buy it, otherwise, not. <BR>I solved the problem with a co-worker by starting a magnet collection on a file cabinet. Each time we returned from a trip we'd post a new magnet typical of where we'd been. Simple and easy, and cheap.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 08:57 AM
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I usually buy Museum posters, magnets for the refrigidaire, small Eiffel Tower if I am in Paris, or small Saint Peter's or Coliseum in Rome. Also t-shirt with soccer logos..and perphas candy or chocolate.. sometimes pate of goose or confiture of ducks in cans for my hubby... He normally stay home baby sitting our cats and dogs(our babies)...
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 09:28 AM
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I don't buy souvenirs for anyone (except myself) because I think they should be what the word means -- a remembrance of a place for the person who has been there so it has some meaning. <BR><BR>I do sometimes buy gifts for relatives if there is something unusual and nice where I travel -- most often this is jewelry as it is easy to pack -- and I'll give that for Christmas gifts or something. For example, I bought my sisters nice garnet jewelry in Prague.<BR><BR>I do always send postcards, however, I think that is a nice souvenir for those at home. I know I myself love getting postcards from others and most of those in my family do, also. My refrigerator is covered with them from friends and families and I enjoy seeing them every day. This is a little gift because it can be a little trouble to mail them, so takes some time and effort --buying the cards is always easy, but not always to find the stamps and mail them.<BR><BR>I only had one person ask me once to bring her something from Europe, and I thought that was real nervy. I was going to Greece and someone wanted me to shop for some special dress she had bought there years before, describing the style in detail. I didn't even know this woman that well, that was the problem, she just worked down the hall from me. I just politely told her I didn't think I'd have extra time for shopping.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 09:30 AM
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We used to buy souvenirs too, but found that no one appreciated them as much as we thought they would. So, other than our 2 daughters, who usually get earrings, we buy only a locally-made article for ourselves. Our favority is a water color of a local street scene - easy to carry. Besides, we too carry a very small roll on and there's not much room for souvenirs.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 10:40 AM
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I pick up little gifts for my friends that I know will probably never be able to afford to travel. They have little collections of the items I have brought back to them and they appreciate every little gift.<BR>I gave my gardner a gift from Switzerland and it started him on a quest to find out more about that country, he even went to the library and checked out books on the Matterhorn. <BR>I dont pick up things for people who travel alot.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 12:24 PM
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Since souvenirs are supposed to be a reminder of your own trip, I don't buy for anyone except the poor woman who gets to handle my boss while I am gone. But that is my thank you to her, not really a souvenir. The thought might be nice, but how many of those trinkets get re-gifted come Christmas.
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