I always struggle with what gifts to purchase for our family and friends when on a trip. After opening my parents’ cupboard to be greeted with an inordinate amount of travel mugs we had given to them, I decided we really needed to branch out. Wandering around, trying to find the perfect gifts, and then ending up buying something in the airport just wasn’t working for my Type A personality any longer. So, I felt a good list was in order (naturally). Oh, and this isn’t researched; these are just gifts that are popular on my list.
1.) A coffee mug. I know! I just said that was the entire reason for this list. However, my husband’s family collects the Starbuck’s mugs (and uses them). And, since we are generally in a Starbuck’s at some point in our trips (have I mentioned we love a good chain?), it is just a given. (And, as an aside, I also love when my in-laws bring us a good Starbuck’s mug as a gift. Having some uniformity of mugs, but still including the fun of choosing which one to use goes over well with me.)
2.) Soaps, Lotions, and Candles. Obviously, I don’t just go buy a pump of Jergens (although, that might be just a little funny). We were recently in the Rocky Mountains, and, as such, bought some Rocky Mountain Soap products as gifts.
3.) Consumable Products specific to the region you are visiting. While in Canada, we purchased some Canadian maple syrup (with a maple leaf on it, of course) as gifts for everyone. Any sort of consumable relevant to the region you are visiting would make a great gift. It kind of takes the pressure off of the gift receivers. They don’t have to worry about where to place a non-consumable gift or remember to wear your I LOVE NYC shirt the next time they see you. My parents always bring us a rum cake from their spring trip, and I can tell you, we look forward to it every single time.
4.) An item purchased when the receiver is there. Okay, this obviously warrants further explanation. Last fall, we went apple picking with our large-ish family (my parents-in-law, my parents, my brother-in-law’s parents, two sisters-in-law and their husbands, my kids; you get the picture). It was a beautiful day. One of the stops was a super-cute shop in a barn. It had quite a good representation of Fixer-Upper- esq products. Knowing my style, one of my sisters-in-law purchased a wood block M decoration for our home. I love it! It not only works perfectly on our mantle, but every time that I look at it, I am reminded of a gorgeous fall day with our family.
5.) Coasters. This is going to shock you, given my earlier admission to being Type A, but I love a good coaster. I really just think you can’t go wrong giving a gift of a coaster. Clearly, it should match the interests of the person to whom you are gifting it. My other sister-in-law gave us a set of coasters from Charlevoix on one occasion and a set of coasters with the Michigan mitten on them a different time because, well, she knows that I love Michigan and I love coasters. Win-win.
There you have it. My quirky love of coasters and coffee mugs, and, hopefully, some tips for the next time you are looking for a gift while traveling.
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