Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Suggestion for small gifts for farm stays and/or dinners

Suggestion for small gifts for farm stays and/or dinners

Old Feb 15th, 2022, 01:55 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Suggestion for small gifts for farm stays and/or dinners

In Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Slovenia, what would you suggest for a small gift for a farm stay and/or home dinner. Prefer small, packable, non-breakable, consumable or usable. Jam? Honey? Candy? Hand-made specialty soaps? Suggestions? Thank you.
kwood1955 is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2022, 02:24 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 70,687
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Are these unpaid 'social' events with friends or acquaintances?

Or . . . Are these paid and/or part of a tour or package? If they are 'commercial' in any way -- do not give them tchotchkes
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 15th, 2022, 02:51 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,831
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What is local to where you come from. Local honey? Any plants that might produce essential oils? A small piece of pottery from local artisans? Where I come from (Australia), I have given local products like essential oils from local trees, picture books about my neighbourhood, Tim Tams (local biscuit which is very highly esteemed), eucalyptus spray, and I have in my cupboard some trivets, coasters and tea towels with local flora and fauna printed on them, for when I next travel. I remember my mother buying pewter pins with local animals as travel gifts. Local collectible coins or stamps presented in a folder. Tea grown and blended locally (T2's Sydney Breakfast, Melbourne Breakfast). We also sometimes bring local wine. Maybe this won't work quite as well in your area but these are just some examples of neat things we have given in the past.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2022, 03:46 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kwood1955 View Post
In Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Slovenia, what would you suggest for a small gift for a farm stay and/or home dinner. Prefer small, packable, non-breakable, consumable or usable. Jam? Honey? Candy? Hand-made specialty soaps? Suggestions? Thank you.
Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Are these unpaid 'social' events with friends or acquaintances?

Or . . . Are these paid and/or part of a tour or package? If they are 'commercial' in any way -- do not give them tchotchkes
Thanks for your reply. These visits are part of a tour. No, chocolates would not travel well.
kwood1955 is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2022, 03:49 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lavandula, Thanks for the many fabulous ideas! I especially like the cotton tea towels idea.
kwood1955 is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2022, 10:03 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 17,267
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Honestly if they are part of a tour then you do not need to give them anything, and may embarrass them and your fellow tour members if you do so.
It is a commercial enterprise.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2022, 10:10 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 70,687
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
That's why I asked. If this is a tour do not take anything -- as hetismij2 says, not only is it not expected it could actually embarrass them.

Think about it -- a tour, even a small group of 10-ish multiplied by 40+ times a year and you'd be talking a boat load of sometimes useless crap stuff they'd have to deal with. A good review on line would be much more useful to them.
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 16th, 2022, 10:10 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 70,687
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
deleted . . . duplicated post
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 16th, 2022, 11:42 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,831
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The only time I have taken a European tour (a really long time ago now), the driver and tour guide started priming us a few days beforehand for things they liked. They wanted money or aftershave ("For me, I like Drakkar Noir".). I gave them neither, as did most of the people on the tour (Australians, South Africans, English, people from the US in the minority). That was probably bad but tipping is not part of my culture, plus I was not really of an age to have spare cash lying around. I don't know nowadays if I would tip, I've not had to confront that scenario. You pay good money for a tour. Doubtless this will open the can of worms that is to tip or not to tip. Maybe it's more genuine to give them a bottle of wine from your country, if you bought it to give someone during your trip. They must collect all kinds of artifacts.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2022, 12:21 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,578
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The bus driver and tour guide on some commercial tours do expect to be tipped, in money. That is it. No small gifts, etc.
If you are an actual invited guest, flowers, chocolates or wine is pretty standard through Western Europe, unless you are great friends or family and know your host or hostess well enough to choose something personal. We all want to show gratitude, but perhaps we need to re-think all the little gifts.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Feb 16th, 2022, 01:02 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 70,687
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Drivers and tour guides are a different thing altogether - it is customary to give them a cash tip at the end of the tour. Not 'gifts'.

Gifts to other providers / hosts is not expected/warranted/usually not wanted
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 17th, 2022, 04:42 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,270
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I often give small boxes of See’s peanut brittle. People are generally delighted. And this is in the countries you mention, except for Bosnia, I never brought any there but I am sure they will be happy when I do.
rialtogrl is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2022, 06:46 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A friend of mine was given a box of reeces peanut butter cups by an American client. He thought they were disgusting. But of course thanked the client politely.
Giving candy or gifts to someone you visit as part of a tour you paid for is really not done.
But maybe this is a thing in the US? We went riding on a farm in Arizona on a few years ago. Should I have gotten them tea towels or candy?

Last edited by Tulips; Feb 17th, 2022 at 06:50 AM.
Tulips is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2022, 08:06 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 11,578
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tulips, No!
You are right. Americans are gift crazy. It seems everybody gives and expects gifts for everything now.
Just one example. It used to be that kids exchanged valentines in school and perhaps got candy hearts or a cupcake. Only a wife or girlfriend got flowers or boxed candy. A heart shaped, decorated box meant the boy had to save a bit and it was so special, girls saved the boxes. Now, parents get all the kids (even very small children) boxes of candy, flowers and even larger gifts. It all starts to mean absolutely nothing. Yet, we start to feel guilty/cheap if we do not buy gifts.
It used to be that the teacher at a recital was given flowers by the students. A lead dancer might be showered with flowers. Now, every child seems to get flowers for walking onto the stage, turning around and bowing. The ones who don’t feel cheated. Sorry, but that is nuts! Of course, you want kids to feel good about themselves, but it has gotten crazy.

I have boxes of candy going to waste in a drawer. I wish people would stop spending money on stuff. I have been begging for no material gifts for awhile. It is a constant problem getting rid of stuff I have no space for, and no use for. I recently donated so many gifts, and felt terribly guilty for not wanting them. BTW, anyone with good manners will act pleased with a gift, does not mean they will eat it or use it.
Sassafrass is online now  
Old Feb 17th, 2022, 08:23 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23,996
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
"Americans are gift crazy."

LOL. I have a friend who brings back an insane amount of souvenirs/gifts for friends. It's not unusual for her to give me 3-4 things from every trip. And she travels a lot! I truly appreciate her thinking about me/us, but it's nuts.... And, yes, some things are never used or consumed. Hello, landfill!
Jean is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2022, 08:37 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 70,687
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Sassafrass - Ain't that the truth

Yep -- we get this sort of question periodically. Sometimes they seem like holdovers from WWII where GIs showered people with gum, candy and stockings (not saying kwood1955's question is like that)

European Fodorites say "don't do it" while many Americans feel the 'need' to give something. Honestly -- a hostess gift for someone you know, fine. But some of the suggestions Candy . . . see Tulips' comment and I couldn't agree more - They make better Chocolates there. Wine - sort of like coals to Newcastle. Honey -- there are bees in Europe. Soaps -- the best soaps in the US are imported from. . . . Europe.

But it is probably a losing battle since many Americans simply can't be convinced that B&Bs and such don't need/want our stuff.
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 17th, 2022, 09:32 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 23,302
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
This isn't meant as nasty so please take it in the manner it is meant.

Consumerism "the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods."
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2022, 11:48 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,831
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Heavens! Who coulda thunk bringing a small gift to thank someone who is hosting you would be so controversial? I usually do this with family and friends, not so it is embarrassing and most people are very happy with a box of tea or a packet of supermarket chocolate biscuits, they are after all modest presents. My cousins are usually happy with the wine! But I agree I would not do this in some circumstances - although I think farmstays might be a blurry area, particularly if the hosts are showing you the farm and how it works, and generally interacting with you a lot. I get though that you don't want to start a routine expectation, if payment is also involved, it's like the tipping, where there is otherwise no expectation of it.

Lavandula

lavandula is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2022, 12:53 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 70,687
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by lavandula View Post
Heavens! Who coulda thunk bringing a small gift to thank someone who is hosting you would be so controversial? I usually do this with family and friends, . . .
That is the difference - It doesn't sound like the OP is family or friends with these people.
janisj is online now  
Old Feb 18th, 2022, 04:16 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,270
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in three of these countries, especially Croatia, it is not uncommon for the hosts of B & Bs and farm stay places to leave a gift of infused rakija (brandy) that someone in the family made, or candied citrus or candied almonds. I’m guilty of bringing chocolate bars (Chuao) or See’s peanut brittle. If it feels right, I give someone a bar/box. If it doesn’t, I don’t. You don’t have to make a big deal about it, just leave it at the end with a note or hand it to the host on the way out.

I agree not to bring plastic stuff that can sit in a drawer. They have good honey, so don’t bring that. I have given my own infused rakija to many hosts. I have also given them cookies I made. They are never embarrassed, and I got asked for the cookie recipe so many times.. for Toll House cookies! I know it’s not going to work to bring homemade cookies, but you could bring a couple of small bottles of local liquor from your area, a couple of chocolate bars, and then give them to someone if it feels right. Tea towels are also a nice idea.

I would not say Americans feel the need to give a gift, the ones that do are a very small minority, it is not expected, and if you feel a connection, it will be appreciated. That’s my view from the ground. If anyone is in Montenegro this summer, message me for a bottle of infused rakija. My gift to you.



rialtogrl is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -