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Best Gifts to Buy When Traveling Abroad

Are you planning a trip abroad? If yes, you must have already received a list of gift requests from your friends or family that you must buy for them! However, not everything on that list can be checked off, and you must have your options open for other gifts. If you need help buying souvenirs on your way back to India, then this blog will highlight some of the must-buy items across popular tourist destinations for Indians.

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What Souvenirs to Buy in a Foreign Country?

Travelling abroad is a luxury many people need to plan and save money for. Since the beginning of travel, no matter how near or far, mementoes and gifts have become an important part of the experience. Be it a local dessert, a special handicraft or expensive clothes, souvenirs are an important part of any travel experience.

Tips When Traveling Abroad

Here are some of the most commonly purchased souvenirs around the world. These are readily available in prime markets irrespective of the country you plan to visit:

  • Fridge magnets: These magnets vary across different countries, and cities, and some even manufacture specialised magnets dedicated to a particular place, monument or museum.
  • Traditional clothes: Almost every country has specific clothing that won't be readily available anywhere else. Japanese yukata, African Kaftan, Chinese Cheongsam or Saudi Arabia's Thobe.
  • Food: This one is a no-brainer, as every place has a unique cuisine. You can easily find packaged desserts, snacks, and special condiments that are exclusive to that country.
  • Utensils: Standard utensils are available throughout the world. However, most places have their own versions of everyday utensils that can make a perfect souvenir. The sheer variety of tea cups, glazed pottery, glassware and even cutlery can truly surprise you and set your gift apart.

These are just a few options that can be found everywhere. Depending on your budget, you can always select the best option and buy something memorable for your trip. Talking about budget, ensure you have international travel insurance before leaving for the trip. It will ensure that your money and savings are only spent on fun and memories, not on unexpected

Country-Wise Famous Souveniers for Your Loved Ones

Every country has something special to offer which sets it apart from the rest of the world. Be it America's mint chocolate or France's perfumes, every country has a lot of unique things that can charm anyone.

When you think of souvenirs, fridge magnets make the top of most people's list. However, if you're looking for something else and need better suggestions, this article is for you! Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the best gifts to buy for your friends and family without breaking the bank.

Singapore

The world's most expensive city, shopping in Singapore won't come any cheaper. Still, this country is a favourite among Indians due to its proximity and huge Indian diaspora. Luckily, when it comes to souvenirs, there are plenty of affordable options that can serve as the perfect memento from this stunning place:

  • Miniature Merlion: Singapore's iconic statue is available at the smallest stalls and fanciest malls. These are available as showpieces, fridge magnets, key chains, and even chocolates!
  • Bak Kwa: Popular as barbeque meat, you can buy these tasty smoked meats to grill back home with your loved ones. These come in different meats, so you can pick the one you prefer. These are available at major stores, including Kim Hock Guan or Lim Chee Guan stores.
  • Coconut Jam: Almost every tourist buys a few of these on their way back. It's a yummy spread made of coconut, eggs and pandan leaves and costs about SGD 5-10 per jar.
  • Pressed Pennies: These are great gifts for people who want something memorable that lasts for a long time. Penny flattening machines are available at major tourist attractions, and you can get as many pennies as you need at SGD 2 per penny.

You May Also Like to Read: Travel Insurance for Singapore

UAE (Dubai)

For too many tourists, the UAE is equivalent to luxury and endless shopping. Especially if visiting Dubai, you must brace yourself for all the options that you must painstakingly select a few from! These are some of the best gifts to buy in Dubai for your friends and family:

souvenirs-to-buy-in-uae

  • Jewellery: The City of Gold' is any jewellery lover's paradise, with the sheer quality and quantity available here. The rates here are lower than in other cities due to Dubai's tax policies, so if you've been meaning to buy yourself that diamond ring or a trinket for your partner, this is it! Head to Dubai Gold Souk and start browsing!
  • Perfumes: Not just any perfumes, Dubai is famous for its luxury fragrances like Oudh and Bakhoor. Agarwood Oudh is a special ingredient in many perfumes that impart fine notes to the aroma. You can also buy Attars, unique alcohol-free Arabic perfumes both men and women use. While these perfumes are expensive (Small attars start at AED 100 while Oudh and Bakhoor start at AED 500), they can be reserved for special people and gestures.
  • Arabian Pots: Tea and coffee enthusiasts can add Arabian-style pots and cups to take their coffee experience to another level. Arabian coffee pots are called ‘dallah' and can be used daily or for decorative purposes. You must also buy some Arabian coffee if you love strong coffee.
  • Arabic Handicrafts: These include traditional items ranging from incense holders, shoes and tapestry. Arab shoes have intricate work made of different leathers. You can also buy local tea blends, semi-precious stone jewellery, woven baskets, and customised Arabian calligraphy cards or paintings.

You May Also Like to Read: Travel Insurance for UAE

Malaysia

Spending even weeks in Malaysia will not prepare you for the variety of gifts you will come across here! A trip to Malaysia is incomplete without buying a few of these souvenirs:

  • Batik: Before you confuse it with the Indian Batik craft, Malaysian Batik is a traditional painting method using natural dyes and beeswax on different fabrics. You can get many items with Batik painting, starting from cute scarves and accessories to clothes, shawls and bags. These can cost anywhere from RM 20 to RM 1000.
  • Dodol: If you are looking for a gift for kids or someone with a sweeth tooth, do buy Malaysian toffee, Dodol. This is a sticky toffee in many interesting flavours. These can be bought loose or as gift boxes. The boxes start at RM 30 and can be found at famous department stores and confectioners.
  • Songket: This Malaysian textile from the Kelantan State is a distinct brocade which can be used to make blouses, dresses, and many other clothes. This fabric is perfect for people who wish to gift a unique fabric for kurtas, dresses etc., to their friends and family. The Songket fabric starts at RM 40 and can increase depending on the threadwork.
  • Malaysian Jewellery: Pick some Sabah pearls if you wish to buy pink pearls at a cheaper price. You can also buy readymade jewellery using these pearls. If you love hairpins, don't forget to buy Cucuk sanggul, the traditional Malaysian hairpin used in hair buns. Kerongsang or Malay brooches are also popular souvenirs that can be worn on saris, blouses and other women's clothing.

USA

The USA must be the most popular and familiar country to a generation of Indians who grew up with US shows and movies. Most millennials and Gen Z are familiar with American culture and is in touch with American brands and products. Here's an essential list of American gifts that you can buy as souvenirs from your US trip to India:

  • Branded Perfumes: Luxury brands like Calvin Klein, Chanel, and Victoria's Secret are a rage abroad. Since not all the items of these brands are shipped to India, you can shop for them in the US for gifting purposes.
  • Beauty Products: Cosmetics and skin care products have never been in more demand than these days. Depending on your budget, you can buy cheap or expensive products in the US. The best part is, even the drugstore cosmetics are very good quality and can make your friend's perfect gift.
  • Condiments: American mustard, Jell-O, and pumpkin spice are just a few American condiments you must be familiar with. You can buy many food souvenirs from the US to give your friends a taste of America. Don't forget to buy their BBQ Sauces, Hushpuppies mix, and Graham crackers for your American spread at the next upcoming party. Finally, buy a good quality famous red velvet cake mix to make the original American red velvet cake in India!

Thailand

Thailand is the ultimate tourist hotspot for Indians who wish to go on budget-friendly solo trips, honeymoons or family vacations. However, a trip to Thailand is incomplete without buying these items:

souvenirs-to-buy-in-thailand

  • Thai Silk: Indians love their silk, but they love silk from other countries too. You can get high-quality Thai silk and gift it to your friends or family.
  • Spices: Spices in Thailand are truly aromatic and distinct. You can easily buy dry Thai spices like dried Thai ginger, Kalamansi, Galangal and other rare spices to up your Thai curry recipe!
  • Soap Carvings: For those people who are tired of scented candles or chocolates, go for these beautiful soap carvings with exotic fragrances. They are not too expensive and start at THB 80.

You May Also Like to Read: Travel Insurance for Thailand

France

An overwhelming number of people have France on their list of international destinations. If you happen to visit France, then look no further than these gifts to bring back as souvenirs:

souvenirs-to-buy-in-france

  • Macarons: Though available in India, French macarons are truly spectacular and greatly indulge that gastronome friend. A box will cost you around EUR 15.
  • Sea Salts: A little light on the pocket but extremely sought after, Sel Gros and Feur de Sel are gourmet salts that cost EUR 5-10 per bag.
  • French Chocolate: France is home to some of the best chocolates in the world and you can easily buy loose or boxed chocolates under EUR 100.
  • Savon de Marseille: The soap from Marseille is one of the most purchased items by tourists visiting France. It has a mild natural scent and costs a few Euros depending on the cost.

Seychelles

One of the most popular visa-free destinations among Indians, don't forget to buy the following items while exploring Seychelles:

souvenirs-to-buy-in-seychelles

  • Coco de Mer: If your luggage capacity allows, you can buy one of the biggest nuts in the world to bring back to India. This can weigh 5 kg and must be purchased from authorised stores with official permits.
  • Essential Oils: Seychelles is famous for its Yi-King essential oil, known for its distinct mixture. The most curious part of this oil is that the oil blend varies with the person's date of birth. Now this would be a truly unique gift specially designed for a person, right!
  • Black Pearls Jewellery: Like Thailand's pink pearls, Seychelles is famous for its lustrous black pearls. These are available everywhere throughout the island and can be purchased in bulk as souvenirs.

Vietnam

Close to home is the hidden gem, Vietnam! With a booming tourism industry and rapid development, Vietnam's many natural attractions attract a lot of tourists from all over the world. Make sure you buy these souvenirs from Vietnam:

souvenirs-to-buy-in-vietnam

  • Vietnamese Coffee: Not many people are aware that Vietnamese coffee is among the best in the world, as well as available in unimaginable combinations. Make sure to try some while you're there, but definitely buy some if you're up for an occasional strong blend.
  • Ao Dai: This tunning Vietnamese costume is a head-turner for people who love elegant clothing. You can buy ready-made Ao Dai or even get it tailor-made.
  • Vietnamese Shirts: What sets these apart is their trademark fruit prints across various patterns and sizes. You can even buy maxis, dresses, and shoes with the iconic banana print to hand out to your friends!
  • Lacquerware: Vietnamese lacquer art is a difficult craft to master. You can buy distinct artefacts like jewellery boxes, dishes, bowls, vases, and much more to gift your loved ones. However, be warned that these are pretty expensive and start at around VND 160,000.
  • 3D Cards: These distinctive greeting cards pop up as you open them. These affordable gifts can be found anywhere, irrespective of your Vietnam itinerary. So if you want someone memorable but uniquely Vietnamese, buy a few of them for your friends.

In a Nutshell,

There is no such thing called the ‘best gift'. Anything that you purchase with consideration and love can work like a charm. However, this list will surely help you keep an eye on shops and items along your journey. Talking about gifts, it is easy to go over budget while exploring all the unique things a place can offer. To prepare for this, don't forget to keep a final count of souvenirs, fix a budget, and refrain from buying items that may disrupt your budget. Also, don't forget to buy international travel insurance plan to secure your trip from unavoidable emergency expenses.

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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

 
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