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Small Items to bring as gifts?

Grand Junction...
Level Contributor
19 posts
89 reviews
34 helpful votes
Small Items to bring as gifts?

We are traveling to Cuba the end of March and may have extra room in our carry on luggage. Are there any items (that can be legally brought in) that would be appreciated as "hospitality gifts" to the people of Cuba? Items that have been suggested are pierced earrings, crayons/colored pencils, frisbees, AA or AAA batteries, fishing hooks & line, spark plugs for the 1950 cars, etc... Any thoughts & suggestions would be appreciated

802 replies to this topic
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5,428 posts
45 reviews
146 helpful votes
1. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

Unless you know the people you would be taking gifts to, and what they have specifically asked you to bring, I would not take any gifts at all. Do visitors to your hometown arrive with gifts for people they have never met ? Would you take gifts for strangers if you were travelling to Paris, or Rome ? Just treat the people you meet with courtesy and respect, and tip intelligently for any particularly good service you encounter, just as you would at home.

Barb

Consett, United...
Level Contributor
22,933 posts
110 reviews
180 helpful votes
2. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

Tip in cash , using their cuc.

Bringing your money and spending it in Cuba is more than enough.

Canada
Level Contributor
183 posts
32 reviews
13 helpful votes
3. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

Been there done it.

But they only seem to want money.

Fredericton, Canada
Level Contributor
845 posts
45 reviews
108 helpful votes
4. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

"But they only seem to want money."

How rude of them! The nerve! I bet your server at Claddagh Oyster House is delighted when you tip her with batteries!

Ottawa
Level Contributor
49 posts
22 reviews
9 helpful votes
5. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

I bring maple syrup. I also bring it to Europe. And of course money for tipping.

Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
1,781 posts
29 reviews
47 helpful votes
6. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

hola :) The subject of gifts is a touchy subject :) I always take a few "hospitality gifts" to Cuba :) Buen dia! :)

Kansas City, Kansas
Level Contributor
18 posts
6 reviews
3 helpful votes
7. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

I was with a Road Scholar group of 24. RS suggested we bring toiletries such as soap, shampoo, lotion, wipes, and/or Crayons, pencils, small items. Our leader collected our items before we visited a cultural center in Santiago where children performed dances for us. they handed the items over to the instructors there, for them to distribute. This helps avoid children or others 'begging' from you--they don't want the children doing this. I don't think I would use these items as a tip. We didn't have to tip because it was an all-inclusive trip.

Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
7,679 posts
1 review
17 helpful votes
8. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

Oh geeeesh!! Make it stop!!

Why give anything to total STRANGERS in Cuba unless it involves a reasonable CASH tip for good service provided???

Susan, did Road Scholar also all inclusively pay your cash tips for you on your behalf as well for good service provided?

Terry

Edited: 3:36 pm, March 01, 2017
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5,428 posts
45 reviews
146 helpful votes
9. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

Some of the worst advice on this subject seems to come from ( some ) tour groups, cruise directors and poorly informed travel agents.......it is so misleading !! It is really condescending and disrespectful to take a bunch of cheap rubbish, and distribute it to random strangers, with absolutely no knowledge at all of what they might want or need. If you have already got to know a particular person in Cuba ( and I mean know them well....not a brief encounter with a bartender at an AI during a one week stay !!), you may wish to bring something that they have specifically asked for ( and often offered to pay for ), but honestly, other than that, just tip reasonably for good service, and donate your gifts to a local charity in your home town, where the need is probably MUCH greater !!

Barb

Consett, United...
Level Contributor
22,933 posts
110 reviews
180 helpful votes
10. Re: Small Items to bring as gifts?

Well said post 9.

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