When you go overseas, it’s fun and helpful to bring a few small, inexpensive gifts. These can be given to your host when you are invited to dinner or as tokens of appreciation to especially helpful tour guides and drivers. These gifts don’t have to be expensive. Even very small trinkets can be thoughtful, and appreciated gifts. A few ideas:
Refrigerator Magnets from Your City or State
Many Russians and Ukrainians collect refrigerator magnets, and one from your town is a great keepsake. These inexpensive little mementos are fun gifts to give while abroad. One of the benefits is that, even if you visit with people who have many American guests, chances are your gift will not be duplicated.
Special Foods or Condiments from Your Locale
Bring local treats like Old Bay crab seasoning if you are from the mid-Atlantic or maple sugar if you are from New England. These sorts of small gifts give friends abroad a small taste of local flavors that you enjoy at home.
Pictures from Home
Take photos of all sorts of things from your everyday life. People in Ukraine and Russia are very interested in life abroad, and would love to see photos from your daily life. Take pictures of your pets, your home, your job, your car, even where you shop for food. Go the extra mile and get prints made instead of just showing off the photos through your camera or cell phone. Prints are fun to pass around and make great conversation starters.
Remember, a gift doesn’t have to be extravagant to be appreciated. These small tokens make a nice gesture that will be appreciated by anyone you meet.