Gifts to give to friends when traveling to their country
February 10, 2014 3:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to Turkey from the US, and have a ton of friends there- some that are quite close and I'll be getting nicer presents for (perfume, nice American brand named clothes), and others that I'm not as close to but will still see and need to give a small gift to. Please help me figure out what that small gift should be.

I tried checking if this had been asked before, and this is the best I could find but street children/host family aren't what I'm going for here.

I'm talking about the kind of small gift you might give someone for $5- $10- a small box of chocolates, if I was giving a present to someone in the US, or some flowers. I want a bunch of items that I can give to anyone- man or woman, irrespective of personality, and have it be appreciated if not for its uniqueness, then that I thought to bring something at all. But flowers don't go across borders and chocolates may or may not be the best option considering there's all that good European stuff there.

I would prefer the items to be something small to limit how much room it takes up in my baggage despite the fact that I'll buy ten or so of them. Things like scarves are out because they're so easy to find everywhere there.

We have an amazon prime account.
posted by cacao to Travel & Transportation (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Oversized American chocolate bars with funny names ("Pay Day"), huge packets of gum in unusual flavours (lemon cheesecake, that sort of thing).
posted by Dragonness at 3:20 PM on February 10, 2014

Response by poster: I should mention that a lot of these people will not actually be Turkish (although some of them will be), and that the majority of them I know in a professional setting so the small token gift should be appropriate in that light. Thanks all!
posted by cacao at 3:22 PM on February 10, 2014

Sample bottles of American liqueurs or alcohol (Wild Turkey, for example).
High quality pens or funny ones (the kinds that emit a neon light when you click it).
American sports team shirts / pennants / bandanas / baseball caps.
Really good quality samples of artisan coffee.
For women, sample high quality nice-smelling body lotions or hand creams.

This is all assuming you are checking your luggage and not doing hand carry, limiting the liquids options.
posted by HeyAllie at 3:34 PM on February 10, 2014

Corny, but safe: pens or magnets with something unique from your home town?
Unique candy/cookie of your home area?
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:59 PM on February 10, 2014

Maybe some pretty Moleskine Notebooks?

Picture Frames?

Little games for desks? Zen Garden. Newton's Cradle.

Water games.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:36 PM on February 10, 2014

Best answer: Not sure where you live now and what industry you're in but I find museum shops often have well curated stock that lends itself for gifts - small, unique, well designed, often related to the city.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:50 PM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Everytime I vist my country (the US) I've found that Old Navy has cute, unique gifty items by the check out, and I usually pick up a few things as gifts, because they are things that you just won't find where I live (Mexico).

I think most are more fun! than professionl, but I really don't know what's available right now. At least they would be good gifts for children/teenagers.
posted by Locochona at 5:04 PM on February 10, 2014

Barbecue spice rub is very American and small. You could blend your own and package it up prettily.
posted by 26.2 at 5:18 PM on February 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think chocolates might still be appropriate if they are made specially with a local ingredient. For example, Senor Murphy's makes chocolates with green chile and pinons and totally say New Mexico.
posted by Beti at 5:44 PM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Where are you? Nthing regional candy: sponge if you're near the great lakes, blueberry/cranberry or maple if you're in New England.....
posted by brujita at 5:50 PM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Same answer I always give: maple sugar cookies or fancy little bottles of maple syrup.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:51 PM on February 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Pecans if you're in the south.
posted by brujita at 5:52 PM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As an American in Turkey, I appreciated maple syrup, dried blueberries, cocktail bitters, good coffee, rye whiskey, Cholula, and prosciutto, all of which are very expensive or hard to find. I think all of these (modulo booze and pork depending on the friend) would be good gifts for Turks, too. I second maple syrup (akçaağaç şurubu). Weird to Turks (it's made out of tree sap!), beloved by foreigners (pancakes, finally!).
posted by ecmendenhall at 7:59 PM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

American whiskey is generally appreciated. I like to bring something a little nicer than Jack Daniels.

I used to bring a friend of mine in Colombia a different bottle of BBQ sauce every time I visited. It was kind of an inside joke though.
posted by Che boludo! at 8:00 PM on February 10, 2014

Peanut butter in many countries is also well appreciated if the receiver is an American.
posted by Che boludo! at 8:00 PM on February 10, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you for all the great suggestions! I've gone ahead and ordered a bunch of small gourmet food items which are rare if not non-existent there.
posted by cacao at 6:17 AM on February 14, 2014

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