Like honey to a bee, I will gravitate towards the tempting allure of New York’s Christmas Markets, San Francisco’s hipster couture and Vancouver’s Robson Street shopping. Alas, there is more to consider before money is exchanged for goods, dear traveler.
You see on a previous trip to the United States with a group of friends, we showed up with what was clearly the largest bags to come off the conveyor belt. Just like Russian Dolls, there were smaller suitcases inside. I thought this was a winning strategy. And it was, until we changed carriers on the flight home, only to find that the luggage allowance was as low as the price. We virtually paid the cost of a third seat to get our worldly (and undeniably heavy) purchases back home.
We found ourselves furiously abandoning our luggage to reduce the weight before leaving for the airport. A suitcase was left with an Aunt to send back with Dad when he stopped by in the next month. Additional kilograms worth of allowances were purchased on the phone as we headed out the door to the airport. There was more than a hint of frantic in my voice.\
This weary traveler will not make the same mistake again. When buying trinkets for loved ones, you must keep your luggage limit at the forefront of your mind. Here are some lovely light weight gift suggestions:
- Exotic pillowcases
- Local tea towels
- Unique Earrings
- Prints that can be framed back at home
- Local magazines
- Unique candy like gourmet American Jellybeans, New Zealand Pineapple Lumps
- Local music on a CD
- Post cards, my favourite form of snail mail
Whomever you buy for this Christmas, wherever you travel, whatever you do, I hope it is fantastic.
What are your favourite presents to buy when travelling abroad? Have you ever arrived home with overweight bags? Did you throw out items before boarding? I’d love to hear your stories.