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Suggestions on Souvenirs to take to Europe

I have been reading alot about taking little presents with you to Europe to give to special people you meet over there. Give me some suggestions, please.

Posted by
2779 posts

Being a European local and thinking about this... I'd feel pretty weird if you gave me a present just because I might have been helpful to you or so. You could always buy me a beer, that's for sure. But other than that? European countries are not exactly so called "developing countries". We can buy everything we want and need.

Posted by
61 posts

I personally have not done this on any of my trips to Europe, and I didn't feel any need to. However, I think that if you stay in a family owned B&B where the folks are particularly helpful and friendly, it would be a nice gesture.

Seems to me some people like to trade small pins, maybe depicting where you live or something unique to your home area.

Posted by
12040 posts

I have given non-perishable food items to my in-laws, mainly things not widely available in Europe. I have found that barbeque sauce is uniquely American, almost unavailable in Europe, and very much enjoyed!

Posted by
852 posts

Hi Kathy,

We've noticed that Europeans treasure those "fancy amber" maple syrup pints in cans (which won't break and get your things all sticky).

Nice of you to think of them....

Have a happy trip!...
...P

Posted by
4735 posts

Kathy, I agree with Andreas. People whom you meet along the way will not expect a gift. If it was someone whom you just met, they would probably think it strange if you gave them a souvenir.

The only time that I have taken a gift is when I have stayed at the home of a friend. In those cases, I have either brought something that they requested from the States or purchased something there for them (a bottle of wine, etc.)

Posted by
11450 posts

Well I can see giving gifts to friends, or family, but I don't think the desk clerk or waitress would expect a personal gift. I tend to pack light so although I do think the Maple Syrup is a good one I would never want to pack the weight.

When my hubby went to Germany last year to visit relatives he brought the teenage boys baseball caps that said "Whistler Olympics 2010"( or something like that) , and some with our First Nation motifs on them. They seemed to like them very much (as a novelty anyways), LOL At least they were light and easy to pack.

Posted by
359 posts

Angela's bang on; over the years on business and pleasure trips always had some lapel pins (usually a Cdn/BC/Ont flag pin) to give away; just a memento of where I'm from. The maple syrup's a good idea; I've a brother-in-law who carries 1qt. containers of the stuff for special customers -but then he's a long haul trucker whereas I wouldn't want to tote the stuff around in my suitcase.

Posted by
582 posts

Bring them something "all American" like something to do with our election. How about a Hillary Clinton or/and an Obama button! LOL!! Nice and small to take with you too! Well, I guess I shouldn't leave out the Republicans. Maybe a McCain button. These can become collectors items, even in Europe! No kidding!!

Posted by
2779 posts

Lisa is right about that one. But most Europeans are in some kind of dilemma about this. For our economies and our military cababilities McCain would be the best president as he'd just continue the current policies - free trade, high amount of US soldiers, low amount of European soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq etc. Our hearts have now started to swing the Obama way - at least that's the impression you get when reading the large European newspapers ;-) By the way does the American people not like smart guys as presidents? There is a very smart candiate but he doesn't seem to win any state at all...

Posted by
180 posts

My wife and I have been struggling with this one. She has family in Italy and we would like to bring them some things next trip. The BBQ sauce idea mentioned earlier is great! So would hot sauce!

Posted by
582 posts

I told my son about this thread. His wife is from Riga Latvia. He told me they are going to bring his wife's parents Smokey Moe's BBQ sauce.That's a big thing here in Austin Texas! So the BBQ sauce is a good idea. Many areas have their special BBQ sauce. Boy, I'm getting hungry now!!

Posted by
11975 posts

I think a gift for everyone you meet is unusual. Something of minimal value such as campaign buttons, or cartoon themed stickers for kids might be good.

Gifts for hosts are normal. As a light traveler, I don't drag a lot of stuff with me unless my host requests something from the U.S. Instead I stop at a flower shop or bring a bottle of wine. Flower shops (at least in Germany) have vending machines out front to buy that last-minute bouquet for an unplanned visit.

I like to bring family photos and photos or postcards showing my hometown. People seem interested in those.

Posted by
67 posts

People always like something from where YOU'RE from - like your college t-shirts, favorite cap from a local museum,etc. If you look around when you're traveling, you'll notice "locals" don't wear the "Paris" t-shirts in Paris or "Stonehenge" t-shirts almost anywhere - but a coveted "Oregon State Beavers National Baseball Champions" t-shirt might be appreciated - it's from YOU (if you're a Beaver Believer, of course) and it's "exotic," not everybody in their neighborhood will have one or be able to lay their hands on one easily!
Oregon is considered one of the main hazelnut producers in the world & a small, non-breakable, tasty package of chocolate covered or smoked hazelnuts is a nice gesture. Other states & areas are noted for similar "packable" products - just think about what they grow or produce around your area.

Posted by
525 posts

Andreas, if someone gives you a gift for being helpful it's because they "really appreciate" the time you have spent giving helpful information. Just take the gift and say thank you. I take scarves that I've made to the ladies of the B&B's where I stay. I have Oregon pins to give to the men, if there is one. I take baseball cards, pencils, etc. to give to the children if I come across some in my travels. They think it's quite nice.
I give a gift because I appreciate what the people have done for me before I arrive to their "home" and what they do for me while I'm staying with them. I've taken little jars of Oregon jam, but because we do only carry on and with weight restrictions, I've gone to the scarves. The people "say" they love them and scarves are a BIG THING in Italy. I don't know about England where I'm going in June.
I give a "hostess" gift just because I want to.

Posted by
25 posts

When my wife and I go to europe, we stay at the same zimmer and have for the past 10 years. When we get there we have given maple syrup,yankee candles, and sun catchers so that they can remember us when they see/use them. Anything is appreciated that we have taken.

Posted by
83 posts

We usually bring gifts when we visit family and friends in Europe. To our family in Norway we always bring liquor because it is so expensive there. We have a special bag and they always know what's coming when they see the bag! This, however, is trickier now with the liquid carry-on restrictions. Another thing we have found that our family/friends have loved is candy. It is small and easy to carry. Skittles seem to be the favorite. We bought a pack at Costco and then had them throughout the trip for whomever we wanted to give them to.