Aussies apparently complain about the crummy gifts people bring back for them from their holidays. A recent Skyscanner survey reported that 18 per cent re-gift the items and 12 per cent throw the gift away. 50 per cent of Aussies keep the gift to avoid hurting the giver's feelings.
So think about that next time you feel the pressure to give someone a gift. Save yourself the time of shopping for every aunt, uncle, cousin, parent and sibling, go enjoy your holiday. They probably won't want the gift anyway. Just because the Bintang singlets are popular in Phuket, it doesn't mean that they are wanted, or even liked, back home. And those colourful bead necklaces, they will probably be lost at the bottom of the drawer with cracked wood features. And really, does anyone wear destination t-shirts anymore? No matter how cool the place is.
I've given some gifts that were probably not quite right. T-shirts that shrink when they are washed, cheap jewellery, cultural homewares, tacky girls bikinis - the list could go on. I do it to myself. I get engrossed in the culture and fashion of the place I am in, and try to bring it home. Normally, a few months goes by, and the hot bargain is forgotten about. The dress I'd wear forever is crumpled at the bottom of the wardrobe, and soon enough, in the Vinnies bag.
One souvenir we have seemed to get right though, is the more expensive, one of a kind sort. My husband started this. And now we have memories of our travel scattered around our house. Paintings from Cuzco, wooden carvings from Sabah and Bali, textiles from Fiji... we just couldn't find anything in Phuket so have a bright pink tuk-tuk sitting on our fridge. It's been there for a year, I wonder how long it will last?
What is the worst souvenir you have bought home?