There are only so many key chains, coffee mugs, and beanie babies you can buy when you are a traveling mom. If you are a traveling mom like me, then you’ve been to Hudson newsstands more than you’d like to recall looking for last minute trinkets before getting on the airplane home. Coloring books, giant pencils, stuff animals, and the occasional over-sized lollipop are all choices that have now been exhausted in my home. I spend about 40% of my time on the road. I travel domestically, internationally, and, at times, locally to my delight. My son was only four when he proclaimed he had enough destination t-shirts to open a travel museum. Now I need to figure out some other ideas, which will hopefully help you when it comes to what travel gifts to bring home.
Recently I was returning from overseas and realized that I had spent so much time in meetings that I did not have an opportunity to pick up a gift-for myself, or anyone else. Now, my DH is easy. He’ll take a duty-free bottle of Bailey’s Irish Crème every time. But, my youngest son has great expectations (we used to call him Pip because of this). I was just about covered in maternal guilt when I walked through the door and my little darling shouted, “So what’d you get me?”
The guilt swam away from me like Michael Phelps. Before I could even drop my bags this kid wanted to know what (lame gift I had rushed to purchase that he was not going to play with/wear longer than 48 hours anyway) was in the bag this time. Nada! I indicted my son for having the “grabbing greedys”. We had a long talk about the way to greet me when I arrive home and a discussion about his gift expectations.
For someone that travels as much as I do, a guilt gift on every trip is excessive and a huge waste of money. But if you are a new traveling mom, here are some ideas that started out being a huge hit in my house.
My Top 10, Hurry Up and Grab it in the Airport Guilt Gifts
10. A local treat i.e. beignets from New Orleans or Buffalo jerky from South Africa
9. Geography related books/coloring books
7. Personalized anything- pens, cups, key chains, etc.
6. Bouncing balls with a geographic related symbol
5. Musical instruments i.e. maracas, a flute, or harmonica
4. Stuffed animal that does something i.e., barks, purrs, jumps in a circle
3. Geography unrelated clothing i.e. a fleece jacket/pullover
2. Game jersey from the local sports team
And the absolute best thing I ever brought home from traveling without my kids…