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Gifts

Tampa, Florida
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64 posts
68 reviews
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Gifts

My family and I usually like to bring small gifts, toys,pencils,etc when we visit other countries. We give them out to kids as we meet them. . Does anyone know what type of items the kids would enjoy? Small stuff please

Denver, CO
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2,263 posts
8 reviews
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1. Re: Gifts

Why not wait until you arrive to purchase items such as these? They are readily available in the local markets and that way you are also supporting the local economy instead of Tampa's:) There is also a link you might want to take a look at on the right hand side of this page - What should I give the CHILDREN, which might help you rethink the idea of hand-outs.

Brisbane, Australia
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3,316 posts
86 reviews
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2. Re: Gifts

I will get howled down for this, but this is MY opinion and MY experience.

I don't give out gifts willy nilly but always carry a few small toy kangaroos and koalas, they end up going to kids in situations such as, the Tuk Tuk needed a repair and they stop off at a repair place, they have a curious child! Out riding bikes and taking photos, have given my little gifts, as well as soccer balls to kids. Some one helps me out and has a small child.

So not just continually giving them out, they usually get given in not so touristy situations.

Bali, Indonesia
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63 posts
26 reviews
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3. Re: Gifts

Many street kids who collect bottles are starving. I usually have biscuits such as Oreos in individual packs, which they appreciate a lot.

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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20,478 posts
177 reviews
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4. Re: Gifts

No Ann, you most certainly won't be howled down by me as I tend to think that it is a particularly bad idea for tourists to hand out small trinkets to children in places such as Cambodia as it encourages a begging mentality. If you'd like to do something, even though to your mind it might be small, there it might be big, please do some research and perhaps consider donating directly to a hospital - NOT an orphanage as too often funds donated to many of these places are misappropriated..

Sorry Cranberry, I realise that you mean well, but giving sweets to children in the street is not a particularly good idea. They have serious nutritional problems as you know, so these sweets will only destroy their teeth which will give them further problems a little further down the track which they won't have any means to repair.

Edited: 21 July 2013, 12:17
Cologne, Germany
Destination Expert
for Cologne, Laos
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8,707 posts
49 reviews
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5. Re: Gifts

I am awlays thinking, would you handout toys etc to kids on the street back home? As mentioned above this giving away mentality encourgaes begging, and to stay at tourist places rather going to school.

My worst experience was waiting at a bus stop in Kompong Cham, where a father with his daughter was waiting for the same bus, and the mother selling drinks and some food. A bus with tourists stopped, and a woman left the bus, and handed over the toy to the little girl, who was a bit confused, and in return the woman expected a kiss on the cheek. The locals at the bus stop all looked a bit confused at the situation, while I found that behaviour quite frankly arrogant and disgusting. I wonder what the reaction would be in the US or in Europe if a stranger wold do the same....

Unfortunately it seems these kind of things happen everywhere where tourists appear.

Oslo, Norway
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428 posts
57 reviews
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6. Re: Gifts

I would never give away sweets or gifts to kids while travelling if its not a specific situation - like a couple of times in Vietnam when I got to know the whole family, spending a couple of days with them, I brought a few, very simple gifts for the kids when I left.

On the other hand I always bring with me from home 5 Leatherman multitools wich I give away to people that for free helps me out in some way.

I gave one away to a local fisherman at Catba and 1 to each of the mecanics in a motorbike rental shop. I can assure you they were happy for it(:

Kurashiki, Japan
Destination Expert
for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
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16,098 posts
92 reviews
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7. Re: Gifts

I am of the same opinion as the other people here who visit Cambodia regularly-

Handing out gifts at random is NEVER a good idea, it only encourages begging. If you feel indebted to a special person (driver, guide, etc) then it is fair to give them a tip upon the completion of their services to express your gratitude.

If you feel you wish to make a contribution to random people while you are there, contact a local school or hospital, and ask them what they need.

Kjeg-

Pleas know you can buy tools and other itmes at local markets, so you won't have to carry such heavy things around wiht you on your trip. If you buy them locally you are giving business to the local community, which is also a good thing!

Brisbane, Australia
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3,316 posts
86 reviews
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8. Re: Gifts

Buying gifts in country is a great idea but we do sometimes bring from home because of quality!

We have taken sports equipment from Aust and other items as requested because of quality!

Kurashiki, Japan
Destination Expert
for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
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16,098 posts
92 reviews
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9. Re: Gifts

Of course sometimes there are exceptions! I usually bring soccer balls on my visit to Cambodia for my kids, but we had no room in our bags (5 of us!) last time as we were carrying other supplies over. We picked up a few in town that were pretty good, but they did not match the quality of the high school soccer balls that I usually bring over...

Melbourne, Australia
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1,534 posts
40 reviews
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10. Re: Gifts

#5. You summed it up perfectly - imagine if a strange tourist visited the States and started to randomly hand out toys to American children (or even worse, sugary lollies and high fat Oreos) That stranger would reported immediately to the police in a flash and rightfully so.