Categories: General

As any seasoned traveler such as myself knows, much of your enjoyment comes from how well you are treated by the locals. If you seek out friendly locals, they are likely to show you around their town and their country, along with filling you in on the history and beliefs of their culture.

What I quickly found, however, was that I wasn’t able to say thank you in a way that left them with something they could remember me by. It was this thought which made me think of some ideas for gifts which were small enough to fit in my travel bags but meant enough to somebody receiving them. Here are my go-to’s when it comes to gifts.

$2 store!

If you have a local $2 store near your home, then you have the perfect place to shop. Many of these places sell small tourist focused items, such as small magnets with animals and places from your country printed on them or keychains in the shape of tourist attractions in your home town. These make for the perfect gift because they are small, easy to pack, are relatively cost effective, and have something meaningful on them for the recipient to remember where it came from.

Personalized Gifts

If you are expecting to stay with a local family for the whole period as part of exchange or immersion experience, or you simply want to add a personal touch to your gifts, consider the Groupon Coupons page for Personalization Mall. There, you can create your own designs on a range of small gift items which you can easily take with you. Items like the date of your travel, particulars about your hometown, or even just your name with a thank you note, are great to include.


Everybody likes to show travel postcards in their home. However, they are often shots taken by a professional photographer and sold to hundreds of printing houses around the world. Instead of choosing a packet of postcards to hand out with generic prints on them, take your own pictures of your country and town and make your own postcards. As you meet people while you travel, write a lovely note on the back with your details for them to remember you by. The benefit of this idea is that you can include any photos or details you like to show your hosts a more personalized experience of your home country.

And One Item Not to Take

It can be tempting to take small packets of food with you, such as local biscuits or snacks to hand out as gifts. If you choose to do this, be sure to check with the border protection agency of the country you are visiting to ensure you can bring the items in with you. I only bring this tip up because it has happened to me before, and I was left without anything to give my gracious hosts.

Traveling the world is the best way to open up your mind to new cultures and new adventures. The next time that you are planning an adventure consider taking small gifts such as those on this list with you. You will never forget the smiles that you see on the faces of your hosts.