Thursday, April 29, 2010

Travel Gifts : Gifts for Travellers

Here are our best tips for great travel gifts for those setting off to travel the world, or to conquer just one small piece of it. Whether travelling for business or for pleasure, there are still queues, documents to be organised and limited baggage sizes, and we have collected the best gifts for travellers to make life easier on the road.

The Wonderful Folding Travel Bag

A stylish yet magical bag. From a large weekender size, the folding bag folds down to next to nothing, so it can be easily thrown into a suitcase. These are constructed from oilskin with leather trim, and are our number one travel gift. Perfect when you need more baggage on one part of your trip than on another, but don’t wish to drag an empty suitcase, but also ever popular as a great looking weekender bag.

Leather Zip around travel wallet

Keep all those itineraries, forms, and passports together. Yes you might get a free plastic travel wallet, but without a zip its contents simply are not secure. You will come to appreciate the great design of this travel wallet, including a simple wrist-strap, which keeps your boarding passes and documents close at hand, while filling in forms or waiting in queues. And made from top quality genuine leather, it will look sophisticated for years.

Leather Luggage Tags

This is a simple little luggage tag, which fits a business card, so you don’t have to re-write your details over and over, and is durable to last trip after trip.

Coast Carry on Cabin Bag

At last, a well thought out cabin bag. This over-nighter bag complies with most major airlines carry on baggage size. It combines a sense of style with rugged durable construction. Features include zipped internal pocket, plus external passport pocket, shoulder strap for ease of carrying, waterproof lining and genuine leather trim. Made from durable ‘Sunbrella’ fabric it is lightweight, and will look stunning for years.

A little touch of home

Where ever you travel from, it is always lovely to have a little touch of home. Not only as a momento, but as a great talking point, and a subtle symbol showing where you are from. Some of our great NZ gifts which New Zealanders might like to consider include a greenstone (Pounamu) carved necklace (perhaps a triple twist symbolizing friendship), a Silver Fern brooch, as worn by our NZ sports teams, and recognized throughout the world, or perhaps a set of cuff-links with the North Island on one wrist and the South Island on another.

Whether you are buying travel gifts for friends, family or colleagues, or treating yourself, think about the practicalities of size and weight, and what you can do to make the trip more hassle-free.

You will find more information on the “Traveller’s Gifts” section of our website, ( ).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Folding Bag for global village travellers

These folding travel bags have to be one of the best gifts ever.

And why a folding bag? These are fantastic, as they fold down to next to nothing, so you can easily pop them into your suitcase, and go wild shopping when on holiday. The bag unfolds into a really stylish weekender size bag ready to bring your spoils home. Perfect. The oilskin bags with leather trim (Bottom photo) has become one of the NZ gifts we most frequently send around the world.

We had an order for one yesterday that really made me realise how much the web has turned us into a global village. It was ordered by someone in Australia from our store in New Zealand to be sent as a gift to someone in the UK. And it probably only took 5 minutes to organise! Imagine trying to do that in the bad old days.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cathedral Game (Award winning Cathedral Board Game)

A call from a customer this morning has reminded me of just how popular the wonderful Cathedral Game is. He was heading back overseas from NZ and wanting to purchase a set as a wedding gift, which shows just how special this board game is.

The Cathedral board game was dreamed up by a NZ Airforce pilot who was intrigued with the way the buildings around the Christchurch Cathedral fitted together, seemingly like a puzzle. The game is played between two players, who strategically place their pieces to fight for territory around the cathedral. It is perfect for ages 8-80, and a wonderful family friendly gift. (We have also sold them as a corporates gifts, to a company wanting to purchase something for staff that the whole family would enjoy)

Constructed from NZ timbers, it is attractive enough to become a coffee table fixture, and yes I think it makes a fine wedding gift too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Giving Corporate Gifts overseas without giving offence

Corporate gifts can help maintain and build a business relationship, but the choice of the wrong gift, or even wrapping your gift in the wrong way can work in reverse. Giving gifts in our own country is not so complicated, but international gift giving can be a minefield, in which the wrong gift becomes a gaffe. There are five key considerations when choosing an appropriate gift:

Is it appropriate to give a gift at all?

In some countries your corporate gifts may be perceived as bribes, when this is far from your intention. In other countries business gifts are virtually mandatory, and it would be rude not to give a gift. You need to do some research on the customs and practices of your destination country. Likewise many companies or corporations may have policies which prevent individuals receiving a gift at all, or perhaps receiving one above a certain value.

Take a gift from your own country.

This may seem obvious, but if for example you are travelling from New Zealand or representing the New Zealand government, or a New ZealandNew Zealand gifts. company, make sure you take Do not be fooled by misleading labels such as “Designed in New Zealand”; double check that your NZ Gifts are in fact made in New Zealand, or which ever county you wish to represent. (You might be surprised at the sophisticated level of replication of ‘local’ arts and crafts, which are actually manufactured in countries such China). A reputable gift outlet should be able to give advice on the source of their products.

One size does not fit all

In many countries, company hierarchy is extremely significant, and you will be expected to reflect this hierarchy in the perceived value of the corporate gifts you are giving. This may mean taking a range of gifts of different values, and one or two spare gifts can be useful too. It may be important that the gift is given “from your company” to “their company” and not to an individual.

Cultural Considerations

This is truly a minefield, where a well intentioned gift can easily cause embarrassment or offence. For example in China sets of four (eg Coasters), clocks, green hats or caps, and sharp objects such as letter openers are all inappropriate. Alcohol is not a good choice for India, but it is for Japan, (so long as it is not wrapped in white). Give generously in Japan, but modestly in Thailand, (but make sure you don’t rip the wrapping paper of any gifts you open in Thailand). Not only is there potential to offend with your choice of gift, but the way you give or receive gifts, the colour of the wrapping, when and how to open gifts, the colour of writing in the card and other factors are all highly significant in some countries. The key point is not to make any assumptions as to suitability of your gift. Do some research first on what gifts are appropriate in your destination country, and how to wrap them, how to give them and when to give etc.

Practical Considerations

Make yourself aware of customs regulations (for example those bringing food or honey based items as potential New Zealand corporate gifts may find their gifts confiscated due to NZ border controls.) Consider the impact of temperature fluctuations, and expect rough baggage handling. Ideal gifts are robust, and light. Make life easy by having gifts wrapped at home, but with labelled outer packaging, so you can quickly identify the items. Once again a knowledgeable gift retailer should be able to assist with all these considerations.

When there is so much to consider while planning an overseas work trip, taking corporate gifts may seem inconsequential. In many countries the reverse is true, with corporate gifting presenting the opportunity to unwittingly cause offence. Take time to research appropriate gifts, or contact a specialist gift company. For more information, on a country by country basis, please go to the “Corporate Gifting” section of our website.