Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: bobbann123

Joined: 7/16/2010
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2009

July 16, 2010

We will be going to a home hosted lunch in Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Repiblic . Does anyone have a suggestion for a gift for our hosts?

Author: profesora

Joined: 5/19/2010
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 4
Traveler Since: 2006

July 16, 2010

  This is just one person's idea for a gift to your host family..I always buy a calendar  of our state (for the next year if possible) with either scenic photography, animals, etc.  This works for any country even if the people have limited English language skills.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 30, 2010

I will be taking the Russia Revealed trip leaving here August 15th and note that the only home-hosted visit is for tea and piroshki.  In the past, some of these visits have been dinners or lunches at the homes of residents of the countries, while a few have been afternoon tea/coffee.  Sometimes, a small gift is suggested, and I've always found a calendar with pictures of Boston very suitable.  But in a lot of cases such as this one, nothing is mentioned about a gift.  Are people bringing them?  Or should I take one in my luggage, just in case?

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 145
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 2004

July 30, 2010

I am sorry I cannot answer your question because I forgot to take anything with us on the trip and I didn't notice if anyone else did either.  Perhaps you could take something anyway; it would be a nice gesture.

I would like to say that you are in for a wonderful trip; we went last summer and enjoyed it immensely.  We especially like all the things you could sign up for in Moscow; The Russian Circus, Swan Lake Ballet, a Folk Dancing show.  The only thing we did not think worthwhile was the one where you meet the Russian Cosmonaut (don't remember what that was called).

Have a great time.

We liked it so much we are hoping that Grand Circle will have a trip like Viking offers called "Footsteps of the Cossacks" whic covers Odessa to Kiev.  However, we prefer waiting for Grand Circle to offer it (maybe 2011, we hope).

You are in for a real treat!






Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 124
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2001

August 01, 2010

I volunteer at an historic rancho here in Southern California, Rancho Los Alamitos.  I always carry a large Rancho t-shirt (red, with the cowboy logo in black) and a few of our brochures.  I place them in a small brown paper sack and tie with a bit of brown ribbon.  Looks so cute!


I've noticed that not everyone brings gifts, but I enjoy it.  Also, I carry a few "Thank You" cards in which to place the tips.  Again, something I enjoy.





Author: jl.anderson

Joined: 3/17/2010
Posts: 71
Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:

OAT/GCT: China, Peru, Ecuador, Ukraine, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda; 35+ more countries

Traveler Since: 2007

August 05, 2010

Hi Pauline:  I returned from this trip about 3 weeks ago.  Yes, there is one home hosted visit and people do bring gifts to the hostess.  I love your idea of the Boston calendar and may use that in the future.  I usually give a Christmas ornament from my hometown.  Other people bought flowers or fruit from the little market just outside the hostess's homes.  Someone made a comment that they did not enjoy the Star City optional tour where we met a Russian cosmonaut.  That's funny because I really liked that optional tour and am glad I went so you should do whatever interests you.  Enjoy your trip!

Author: stagerobin

Joined: 4/22/2010
Posts: 5
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2005

August 29, 2010

Taking a gift is a nice gesture and something we do at home when visiting friends.  But for a variety of reasons at every home-hosted visit there are some who have gifts and some who don't.  So don't let  lack of gift embarress you or ruin an otherwise enriching visit.  Traveling is an adventure and learning experience.  The hosts are so gracious and warm that the visits have become a favorite part of our trips, although we were nervous about leaving our guides and comfort zone the first few times.  We found a small book with lots of pictures of our hometown that hosts seem to enjoy.  And I love the calendar and Christmas ornament ideas.  For our first visit I didn't have a gift so my husband suggested that I sacrifice the chocolates that I bought in Paris.  We were really pleased with our gift until we passed a chocolate factory just 2 blocks from the hosts' home.  We gave them to the hosts anyway and they graciously told us how pleased they were.  

Author: dave_d

Joined: 2/13/2011
Posts: 16
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2004

February 13, 2011

 I know I'm late in posting to this thread, but "better late than never" as they say.  My wife and I have been to a couple of these home visitations and have always brought a small gift to our host(s).  Our Barnes and Noble bookstore has a section on local history which contains picture books, etc. of the Hudson Valley Region of NY State.  Our habit is to select one or two of these resources as a gift and inscribe our thanks to the host on the inside cover along with our E-mail address.  We started doing this a few years back and are still in contact with the families we met from the "Great Rivers of Europe" and from "Burgundy and the Cote d'Azur" itineraries.

As an aside, I like the idea presented in an earlier post about the local Christmas ornament.  I'll have to mention this idea to my wife.

Happy cruising,


Author: capegranny

Joined: 12/13/2010
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2011

February 13, 2011

Thanks to all who suggested items for hostess gifts.  I do fear that if 20+ of us show up with calendars, the host/hostess will be non-plussed.  The local Barnes & Noble local book section is a great idea, particularly with the inscribed thanks in the front.  Some Christmas ornaments are flat, so that would work - as long as its to a country where Christmas is celebrated!

Author: nestle

Joined: 1/29/2011
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 1
Countries Visited:

Mostly cruises... both eastern and western Caribbean, Canada/New England, Florida, California and Italy.

Traveler Since: 2011

February 17, 2011

I will be going to Eastern Europe in April.  Since I am from the Jersey Shore area, I thought I would bring a box of salt water taffy... hope that will be okay.

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 68
Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

May 21, 2011

Our local supermarket features brightly colored resusable shopping bags with Texas themed designs. I took one last year to our hosts in France and will do the same for our Russian trip this fall. I thought they might be useful to take to the market.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 531
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

May 22, 2011

I like to give the reusable shopping bags too. We have a "Fresh Market" nearby and they have beautiful, seasonal bags with images of fruit, vegetables or flowers that cost only $1.00. I put my small gift (brochures or postcards of my home state and candy, etc.) in the bags. They're lightweight and easy to pack.Sometimes I bring candy from home and other times buy a local specialty.

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 97
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

August 22, 2011

Re the host/hostess gift hobby is photography and my friends enjoy getting note cards that I make with the plain cards/envelopes available from the craft stores with a color print of a Maine scene applied to the front. I tie a bunch of 6-8 cards with pretty ribbon. I plan to make some for my upcoming trip so I can share images of Maine with my Irish hostess. Love the shopping bag idea too...may use that for my 2nd host gift.


You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.