I will be visiting friends and family in Poland and Ireland. What are gifts from the USA that they might really enjoy that aren't easily accessible in Europe? Thank you for your suggestions!
Our Spanish exchange student's family always gives us gifts unique to Spain (cookbooks,candies,kitchen aprons,food and wine,Spanish-made crafts,earrings made in Spain,serving plates,books on Spain, magnets...things that remind us of them that are not available here.)I give them American and Oregon cookbooks,wine,candies and jam,Oregon made pottery,kitchen towels with Oregon motifs,Oregon themed shopping canvas grocery bags,calendars,Old Navy 4th of July beach towels and t-shirts,....the list goes on. We love to think about each other as we use things from one another's countries.Anything that evokes images of another faraway land causes people to go on a mental mini-vacation!
My experience is that everbody likes fridge magnets, pens and coffee mugs from your home town.
Let me second the suggestion of cloth shopping bags with local themes and designs. They are very welcome as useful gifts, in that in much of Europe, paper and plastic shopping bags are frowned upon, charged for, etc. Also, Europeans are still more likely than we are to shop more frequently for small amounts of produce and fresh bread. So your hosts will almost certainly find it a welcome gift.
And, from your perspective, bags are easy to tote--lightweight, unbreakable, and they don't count towards your liquids-and-gels quota!