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Old 06-03-2015, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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I am taking a trip to Vietnam and Indonesia and it is with a small tour group so has some host families and School events and it is suggested you bring a small thank you gift for them.

Many years ago I wandered around Indonesia on my own for 2 months and often families would invite me for dinner or even to spend a night or two and I would buy them fruit as a gift as mangosteens were in season and many locals found them a bit too expensive so delighted in getting them as a gift.

This trip is a bit different and I would like to bring something from home. There is a local company that has roasted flavored Pistachio nuts and I was thinking the chili flavored ones might be a good gift but am uncertain if it is Ok to bring them into the countries. Since they are roasted and packaged I am thinking yes but do not know for sure. Almonds are also another product from my state.

I am traveling with a 2nd person who had no ideas on what to bring so if any one has some ideas I would appreciate hearing them. People have told me magnets that have a photo of home and other gifts like that but my guess is the host families probably get many of these so we would like to come up with some small token that is different. How about gifts for a school? Gifts would need to be small and light weight.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:51 AM
 
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As far as school gifts, packages of Crayola Markers, notebooks, and pencils would be welcomed. I recently read that gifts of toothbrushes and toothpaste are particularly appreciated in developing nations.
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:44 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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We stay worldwide in guesthomes, and take homemade items representing our home, interests, culture, and talents.

They are appreciated. (Wooden / wire puzzles / stitchery / preserves / pictures / wood turnings...)

Many of your hosts may not get to travel, and like to have unique items from your home!

(a good way to 'downsize'!) remember, that they will likely be housing 'generations' under one roof. so 'grandma' may appreciate your gift!

Hospitality exchange - Wikitravel

When you run out of space... local food delicacies are a good option (as you mentioned). but... you gotta know your region and their tastes!
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:03 AM
 
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In my opinion if you are visiting a third world or developing nation, items that are actually of use are better gifts than homemade trinkets.

School supplies (lined paper or notebooks, pencils and a sharpener, colored markers, folders), over the counter medications and first aid supplies, toiletries, candies, items of clothing like baseball caps and underwear if you know or can take a good guess on size. If you know in advance that the host has younger (but over toddler age) children, small toys like Matchbox cars, small Lego sets, and "Polly Pockets" type dolls plus crayons and coloring books are good options. If they have adolescents or teens, Frisbies, hackey sacks, yo-yo's, art supplies (paper, pastels, pencils, water colors, colored pencils), and clothing items like t-shirts would be appreciated. If the children are young, picture books and small stuffed animals would be good choices.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Though the question becomes whether your host family is actually poor, or is middle income and home-proud enough to be insulted by someone bringing them toothpaste. ("Hey, we may live in a four room fourth floor walk-up, but we've got sat television and I just bought the ten year old his first smartphone, and he gives me a toothbrush?")

I'd hit one of those local arts and crafts fairs for small items that generally wouldn't run afoul of customs and wouldn't just be the same cheap Chinese crud that they get over there too. Small pretty things are also fun to get. When my parents used to host Japanese teachers on exchange, I ended up with a neat scrapbook of Japanese postage stamps and enough beautiful origami paper that I made all the paper cranes I could possibly stand. A really pretty scarf that a woman could use as a headscarf (or a daughter could use to play dress up) might go over well in Indonesia.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
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I think the families have acted as hosts for the tour company before and doubt that they are dirt poor unlike the families that shared meals or even their home with me when I traveled through Indonesia so many years ago on my own. Those families were dirt poor but so willing to share what little they had. They were very envious of people from other countries and I kept telling them in many ways they had so much more then we do and I meant that as the sense of family and community was so strong. Even I felt like family at times.In one small village in Sumatra there were an elderly pair of twin women, They learned from someone that my real grandma was an identical twin so they had some of the young boys find me and bring me to the home of one of them and the other came over with her family. They fed me and I spent the evening with them. They squeezed me into traditional clothing and took photos of me with them and told me they were my grandmas's too. I came away from that evening with such a great gift and that is the memory of that wonderful family and they were just one of many

I will take photos of myself from back home as last time I read to do that so did and people would ask for a photo and they had albums of photos of the travelers they had met . Reminded me of collecting baseball cards and they were all so proud of those albums as I think not only do they contain photos but they contain many memories.So many shared their albums with me. Being most of the people I met were never going to have the money to travel I think this was their way of knowing the world.

I am thinking of going with the chili pistachio nuts from a local company and maybe doing a small photo book of Santa Barbara as I do live in a beautiful town that lends itself to beautiful photos and I do a lot of photography so it would be sharing my hobby as well as my beautiful town with them. The person I am traveling with comes from Portland Oregon so now we have to think of something for gifts from there.

So tanks and keep suggestions coming.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:50 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashdog View Post
... The person I am traveling with comes from Portland Oregon so now we have to think of something for gifts from there.

....
Smoked Salmon, hazelnuts, and pics of the guest in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.
I get my smoked salmon from the NA Indian fisheries / private sellers / smokers. Home grown recipes.
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:24 PM
 
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Be careful about what you can take into the country you are visiting--including countries you are passing through on the way. In many cases, food--particularly meat/fish/agricultural items--are not allowed.
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:26 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Smoked fish is PROCESSED/// I have taken PROCESSED food all over the world... (you gotta get a clue...)
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:37 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,607,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Smoked fish is PROCESSED/// I have taken PROCESSED food all over the world... (you gotta get a clue...)
Guess what. There are some countries you can't even bring PROCESSED meats and fish into. Maybe you need to get a clue.
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