What to bring to our Host's from US?

Sep 18th, 2009, 02:31 PM
Original Poster
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What to bring to our Host's from US?

I would like to bring a little US something for our tour guide and apartment host. Does anyone have any ideas? Last time we were there, we knew an exchange student, she requested our Peanut Butter, they have it there but in her words.." not like yours" Anyone have any ideas along those lines????
Thank you!!!
jeepsterchick is offline  
Sep 18th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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by "apartment host" - do you mean landlord, or do you mean someone actually hosting you while staying in their home?

If you are renting an apartment -- don't take them anything. It is a business connection, not a personal one.

Same re the tour guide - a commercial tour guide, or a friend you know who is driving you around? Again - if a paid tour guide, don't take them any chotsky's. A generous tip is better form and more appreciated.

If you actually do mean friends instead of business associates - the take something small that is evocative of your home town/state.
janisj is online now  
Sep 18th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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If they are friends, then bring wine. I mean a very good quality American wine. Preferably a smaller production wine, which will likely be hard to find outside the US.

As noted above, if these are not friends but just someone you are doing business with, then there is no need to bring them anything. They aren't doing you a favor, you are paying them for a service. Feel free to tip the tour guide, but bringing a gift is simply a waste of your time and money.
travelgourmet is online now  
Sep 18th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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I did bring a little gift to the owner/host of the apt in Italy and one for each of his sons. I figured why not? It seemed the polite thing to do as representing a US citizen. I gave them a calendar of the area where I live, taffy, postcards and an assortment of candy bars for the 2 boys. Now I am renting the apt for the 3rd time and YES will bring gifts again. This time I am considering beach towels, baseball caps and more candy-it was a big hit! Funny how the grass is greener.......
dlpiano is offline  
Sep 18th, 2009, 05:49 PM
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"I did bring a little gift to the owner/host of the apt in Italy and one for each of his sons. I figured why not?"

Why not? because what on earth will they do w/ tons of stuff given them by the 35 or 40 different renters they have every year. This is a fairly common question from other fellow Yanks. It is not expected and is really kind of lame to be bringing 'little gifts' to strangers who are renting you a holiday flat. Hint - they have candy bars in Italy. They don't need little CARE packages from 'benevolent' Americans.

Now - if it is the third time renting and you have actually established a friendship - then sure, take something. But since it is a friendship, you know them well enough to know what they would enjoy.

But for the average visitor - don't take gifts to landlords.
janisj is online now  
Sep 18th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Agree not to bring gifts to people you have a business relationship with. this is like giving the waitress or cab driver a candy bar or calendar instead of a cash tip.

For real friends a gift is fine - but for someone you're doing business with it's odd - and either cheap - or patronizing.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 18th, 2009, 11:28 PM
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I wouldn't go so far as to call it patronizing to bring a business associate a gift. At worst, the receiver will think you a bit odd, but I just don't understand why you would bother. It simply isn't worth your time. If the landlord, for example, really wanted candy in addition to the rent, then they would charge you $xxx + a bag of peanut butter M&Ms.

Now, this is not the case for all business transactions everywhere. For a real business meeting in much of Asia, then you ARE expected to exchange a gift. But, by that token, your business host would be expected to provide one for you.
travelgourmet is online now  
Sep 19th, 2009, 12:57 AM
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I would tip the tour guide and not bring anything for the person from whom you are renting the apartment...(unless as you've been there a few times before and then know them quite well, in which case, good quality wine would be good)
alihutch is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 01:26 AM
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Well, if you've established a relationship with the landlord why not bring little gifts--most particularly for the kids. I really don't equate it with American GI's tossing candy to kids in the street. I would never consider beach towels because of the bulk.

As a child, I was fascinated by anything my grandparents brought me from their extensive travels and thought the smallest trinket a treasure. I know it triggered my desire to travel.

Generally speaking, I would never take gifts to landlords, it is a business relationship and in many cases you never see them, just their agents. The closest thing I've done to that is to buy a small kitchen gadget I needed for my stay and then left it for the next person.

Our personal guide in St. Petersburg mentioned how much she liked American peanut butter but we tipped her so she could get what she wanted. BTW, Skippy is sold in the large French supermarkets, at a price.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 05:42 AM
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I wouldn't ever take a gift to someone I am paying to rent am apt or hotel room, etc. Maybe an apt. host means someone where you are staying like in a family situation (as exchange students do), but sounds unlikely for adults on a tour. It's probably just someone doing a job in managing apts, so bring them nothing IMO.

I really would not take them junk food, I think it is very weird. Also, it may well be they do not like peanut butter, there is a reason it isn't common in some places, which is that they don't like it. Otherwise, it would be very common, right? I don't like peanut butter myself very well and if anyone from Europe brought me a jar of Nutella, for example, I would find it insulting and kind of gauche (as I don't like it, either, but it seems very tacky as a hostess gift). Now if you are family and people really want cheap junk food and for some reason can't go to the supermarket to buy it themself, I can see taking it if you really know they like and want it. I also find all the folks taking boxes of American pancake mix very strange and probably a reflection on a fast food culture of people who can't cook, as pancakes are very easy to make if anyone really wanted them. You could find ten million pancake recipes on the internet in a few strokes, for example.
Christina is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Chocolate, chewing gum and nylon stockings
J_R_Hartley is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 06:46 AM
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"Chocolate, chewing gum and nylon stockings" - right out of Witness for the Prosecution. Don't forget coffee and sugar.

Seriously, the above advice is good. Tip your guide. And/or buy him/her refreshment mid-tour when you crave a coffee.

Should a relationship develop with anyone abroad, business or otherwise, that's the time for gifts. If a landlord or other person has been especially helpful during your trip planning, then you may feel you already have a relationship, and a thank-you might be in order - but as it is hard to select an appropriate gift for a stranger, consider simply returning the favor and being a very, very good guest! That is appreciated more than anything.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 06:58 AM
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Wasn't jeepsterchick asking for advice on WHAT to bring, not opinions on if she should bring something? That is why I did not offer an explanation behind my gifts, but here goes--through our months of planning a repoire was established with the owner. That is why I was trying to be polite. His sons truly enjoyed the little treats. His family was also interested in where we live (Outer Banks of NC) hence the calendar & postcards. On our next trip we are booked in 2 other apts as well and will not be bringing gifts. We just booked with them. No other conversations took place.
dlpiano is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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Good quality Towels
FrankS is offline  
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