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When you’re traveling to visit friends or family, it can be a little intimidating trying to find the right gift. You don’t have access to the same resources that they do, so it’s hard to think outside of the box.
Fear not! We’ve rounded up some great ideas for gifts that you can bring along when visiting friends and family into three categories:
What are the Best Gifts From Your Hometown or City?
When you’re traveling, your hometown shows your roots and . Share a little bit of it with the people you’ll be visiting! Bring a quality, item from your hometown or several small items as part of a “my favorite things” gift basket.
Local Coffee or Tea
Local coffee or tea is easy to transport, and it’s something that can easily be personalized for your hostess. Besides being easy to find and buy (especially online), local coffee is also typically roasted within 100 miles of where you live so you won’t run into any issues getting it shipped on time.
Nice Bottle of Wine
Whether you’re visiting someone’s home or hosting a dinner party, it’s always nice to have a bottle of wine on hand. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you can afford it and know what you like, there’s no shame in bringing a nicer bottle.
Local Craft Beer
As a last-minute gift idea, consider giving a local craft beer. There are so many wonderful breweries in every state (and even some abroad). You can usually find these beers at your grocery store or liquor store, which also makes them easy to pack for travel!
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Biscotti, Pretzels, and Other Baked Goods
Biscotti and pretzels are two classic snacks that are easy to travel with, especially if you buy them from a local bakery or market. They’re also easy to put into a plastic bag or container without looking too fancy. Plus, both of these treats go well with wine or any other beverage that your friends might offer.
Flavorful Candles & Soaps
Candles and soaps have an extra touch of home! You can typically find then at local shops made from regional ingredients.
Raw Local Honey
Locally produced honey is full of antioxidants, pollen, protein, minerals, and vitamins. You can buy raw honey at most grocery stores or farmers markets (and even some big box stores). If you’re buying local honey, look for those that are marked “local” or “organic.”
Neighborhood Chef’s Cookbook
You might not be able to take them to your favorite restaurant, but you can bring your favorite to them in fresh, gourmet style! If your friend is more of a foodie, consider getting them a cookbook by a chef from your favorite restaurant in your home neighborhood.
Local Music (CD or digital download)
If you know the taste of your friend, then you can easily find an artist or band that they will like at a local music store. Next time they come visit you, invite them to see the local musician live in concert!
What are the Best ‘Luxury Practical’ Gifts?
The best gifts are the ones that are thoughtful, but also practical or consumable. I like to gift items that can be consumed, but are of a higher or nicer quality than the host typically buys for themselves. I refer to these items as ‘luxury practical’.
Note: This may not be the ideal gift type if your host regularly purchases high quality consumable items for their household.
Candles make a great luxury practical gift. They’re easy to find, transport, gift, and store. Consider the candle tier levels below:
- Mid Quality Level – Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle ($28+)
- High Quality Level – Diptyque ($38+)
- Highest Quality Level – Le Labo ($80+)
Flowers are the perfect gift for a hostess or host. They’re easy to find, and you can have them delivered directly to their home or office. Most people don’t buy flowers regularly for themselves so having a fresh bouquet is definitely a natural luxury that your host will enjoy!
If you’re pressed for time and looking for a last-minute gift idea, consider high quality chocolates. Ideally, you can purchase fresh chocolates from a local shop, however, these chocolate brands will also emit the same luxury vibe:
- Easy Access Chocolate (Amazon) – Godiva (+$20)
- Unique Gourmet Chocolate – Vosges Haut-Chocolat (+$10)
What are the Best Experience Gifts?
What if your host is the “person who has everything”? Consider getting an experience gift instead of something material. Experience gifts provide lasting memories and are often more meaningful than material items. Check out our suggestions below:
Treat Them to a New Restaurant
If your friend loves to try new food, but hasn’t had a chance to visit the new local Thai place, consider taking them out! If you’re short on time you can also, purchase a gift card for them to use at a more convenient time.
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Give Them A Night Off
Uninterrupted, free time is a wonderful treat. If they have kids, either volunteer to pay for a babysitter or watch the kids yourself. You could also consider paying for other relaxing services such as a spa day, massage, or pedicure.
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Tickets to One of Their Favorites
If your friend or family member enjoys theater, movies, concerts, or other artistic events, then tickets are a fantastic gift idea. You can purchase them online and have them sent directly to their phone or email.
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Next time you visit friends or family out of town, don’t rush out to buy a generic present at the airport! Instead, take some time to find something special in your hometown, that is ‘luxury practical’, or that is a high quality experience.
I hope these ideas have helped you make your shopping easier. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know in the comments below!