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Holiday Gifts and Souvenirs You Should Avoid Bringing Back From Your Business Trips


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Do you have eager family members and friends waiting for you to return from your latest business trip? When the holidays are nearing, this becomes especially important. Souvenirs are a great way to make the people around you feel included, especially if you’re away often — but there are some souvenirs that are better off left where they are.

  1. Counterfeit items. You should always avoid purchasing things from open markets or directly from individuals when traveling abroad because the items may be counterfeit. This is dangerous because it can be illegal in some countries simply to be in possession of counterfeit goods. Avoid anything brand-named or luxury.
  2. Items of clothing. The problem with clothing souvenirs is that they are never worn and it’s so difficult to get the right size. They’re also rarely personalized for the person. However, some items of clothing can be appropriate to anyone, such as hats and hoodies.
  3. Large items. It’s amazing how easy it is for this to slip by — say you see a gorgeous toy that’s perfect for your child. What you don’t realize: how are you going to fit it in your luggage?
  4. Food items. There are almost always import/export difficulties with food items. From Italian sausages to cheese, it’s very possible that you’re going to get stopped by agriculture on your way back home. If the items are prohibited, you’ll need to chuck them in the trash. If you absolutely do need to bring these items home with you, call the Department of Agriculture first!
  5. Snow globes. At least, under some circumstances. If you’re just packing a carry-on, there’s no way you’re going to be able to get a snow globe home, because the liquid in a snow globe is over the limit. Miniature snow globes, however, are OK — just pack them in a plastic baggie.
  6. Animal items. Leather is usually fine — but be skeptical with fur and horn (ivory) goods. Animal goods are often counterfeit (cat or dog may be sold as mink, for instance) and some of them can be outright illegal (such as ivory).

Consider asking your family members and friends for a list of the type of items they want before you leave. Specific items can be difficult to find, and this can be extremely stressful during a particularly busy business trip. Having a broader range will help you avoid any souvenir-related mistakes and distractions!

Posted in: corporate travel, travel tips

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