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I happens quite often that you make new friendships while on the road or that you are hosted by someone you are visiting. On such occasions you usually want to leave a small gift such that the person will remember you or just for the purpose of returning the favor.

Do you have ideas for small, cheap, light gifts, that are easily associated with you, your family or country, that you take them with you and hand out to people you meet? Let say in the amount of 10.

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Who is the gift for? Friend? Family? Stranger? –  Karlson May 17 '12 at 15:42
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4 Answers

Personally I always travel with a bag of Clip-on Koalas!

These make a great gift to give out along the way as they are both a great representation of my home country, as well as being suitably "cute" - plus they are cheap enough to be able to give out without concerns for the cost. Recently I've even started leaving them in hotel rooms when I checkout (clipped to a light or the fridge, or somewhere else that I know the maid will find it).

So far I've had two "sightings" of Koalas that I'd given out/left previously - one clipped to the maid cart in a hotel I had stayed in a few weeks earlier, and a second on the bag of a flight attendant as she was walking through an airport (and she even remembered me when I asked - I'd given it to her about a month earlier)

I also sometimes travel with a few small boxes of chocolates (Like these - 4 chocolates and about $1 each at my local supermarket). It's amazing the impact giving one of these to someone as a "thank you" can have during a trip - both on the person you give it to, but also on yourself for being able to actually thank someone that has made a trip more enjoyable for you!

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If you live near a major city, an idea would be magnets or key chains that represent the city. Pretty low effort but everyone could always use a magnet or a key chain.

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That is such a...standard gift. It reeks of "I have given zero thought to this thing". –  Ankur Banerjee May 21 '12 at 9:25
    
That's certainly an opinion. What would you say is a non-standard, thoughtful gift? –  Erin May 23 '12 at 14:05
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You need these three elements:

  • Durable, something stays forever, not something edible like candy.
  • Cheap
  • Leaves a strong impression, Something that will definitely reminds people of you.

I suggest the following:

  • small Souvenirs, A landmark of your home country for example or the magnetic souvenirs to be put on the fridge or even Pens with something that resembles your home country on it.
  • Small money notes from your home country, for example "10000 Indonesian Rupees" worth 1 USD, People always happy to see and carry or keep foriegn money.

[Joke] If you are from the Netherlands forget about all above, just bring some weed and people will never forget you ;)

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I always thought bills are a good idea, but it turns out that people often refuse to take it, because it is simply cash, even if the bills are small. –  mithy May 21 '12 at 21:29
    
@mithy You are right specially if you give it to someone on official duty such as police officers or so... Some would even think you are trying to bribe them... Thats why you should give bills to people who are not on official duties.. for example someone you had a long chat with and he/she helped you in finding your way... or friends you made while traveling.. situations like that.. –  user1712 May 21 '12 at 21:37
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For my India trip I brought:

  1. A couple of souvenirs from my city - licitar heart
  2. 12 small glass bottles with Croatian national drink nicely packaged in Croatian national colors
  3. 6 small jars of Croatian honey

Everyone was very happy with these gifts. Of course, have labels on bottles and jars with you country's colors or something so that it doesn't look generic.

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Were these gifts for people back home, or for people you met while in India? –  todofixthis May 20 '12 at 0:12
    
For my CouchSurfing hosts, for people whom I've met while traveling, like on trains, in restaurants etc. Not for fellow travelers obviously, for locals only. –  John Doe May 20 '12 at 5:37
    
These are some good ideas, problem is, they are not handy. –  mithy May 21 '12 at 21:27
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