Travel Tips: How To Give Presents While Considering Cultural Differences

When you travel you want to bring gifts back for the people that are important to you. Or you want to hand gifts to the people that you meet during travelling: the people that help you, give you a place to stay, offer you food and company or are just the best person to travel with. Sometimes you want to say thank you with more than just words.

If you want to give a present to a person, here are some things that you should take into consideration before giving something to someone.

Three Times is a Charm

In China it is common to decline a present the first time, because they don’t want to look too eager or happy when they get a present. So don’t feel turned down, but be persistent (in a friendly way). Most of the time they will accept your gift after offering it three times to them.

Sharp Objects

From Switzerland to Brazil and back to Japan, it is important to know the emotional meaning behind sharp objects. Beautiful scissors, knifes or even letter openers are known as love presents. Before you know it you are asking a person to enter into a relationship with you instead of just thanking them.

French and Wine

When you are invited to a French home, do not bring your own wine. As the French are well-known wine experts, they want to decide which wine they drink with guests.

The Colour of your Gift

Watch out for the colour of your present or wrapping paper. Colours such as black or purple can bring for example Brazilian people in a state of mourning. Red is a safer colour to use as wrapping paper.

Scarfs and Jewelry

In some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, jewelry and scarfs are presents exclusively for women. Something you should think about when you want to make someone happy with a scarf.

Made in…

Always check in which country the product is produced. How embarrassing would it be if you bring a present back from your travels and it is actually from the country the person lives in. Oops!

Be modest

While in some cultures and countries, such as Dubai or Korea, it is completely normal to give the biggest and most expensive gifts, in other countries it will look extravagant or even like you want to bribe someone. And that, of course, is not your intention when you give a present.

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