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Staying with friends - gifts and money?

12 replies

Sarthrell · 06/10/2010 18:24

We (me DH and 2DDs) are off to stay with friends in New York on Saturday.

I want to take a gift to arrive with but am stuck on what to take. They are not there long term so whatever I haul out there, they will eventually have to haul back (unless they hate it / eat it / drink it / it dies)

Also, we will be staying all week, should I offer to chip in for food or just quietly get on with paying for things while we are out and about.

I have small gifts ready for her 2 children for when we arrive and for her DD birthday which is the day after we leave.

Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.

OP posts:
slipperthief · 06/10/2010 20:23

Bottle of something tasty for the grown ups, offer to cook a few meals, treat to a day out, babysit so they can go out?

And a selection of good British foods always goes down well - Cadbury's chocolate, marmalade, walkers crisps etc.

MakemineaGandT · 06/10/2010 20:24

Take a token gift (chocs or whatever) and insist on taking them out for a meal while you are there

AgentProvocateur · 06/10/2010 20:55

When I lived overseas, I loved it when visitors brought out a big pile of magazines, and the weekend newspapers.

PaulineCampbellJones · 06/10/2010 20:57

Lucky you! Tea bags, chocolate, magazines I'm sure would go down well.

MmeLindt · 06/10/2010 20:59

Find out what she really misses from UK and take her that. In fact, email her right now and ask for a shopping list.

We live abroad and love it when friends bring choc hobnobs, tea bags and Cadbury Fruit and Nut.

Don't offer money but pay for coffee when you are out or take them for a meal.

(which has just reminded me that our visitors who left this morning did not even bring a box of chocs or some flowers. Hmph.)

FiveGoMadInDorset · 06/10/2010 21:10

Food, take food and magazines.Can you offer to take them out for a night if a babysitter an be organised?

Sarthrell · 06/10/2010 22:24

Thanks guys, Will email now for shopping list. Think all our combined (4) children are too small ages 0 to 3 for the babysitting but can certainly give them a night out together.

Hotel Chocolat too I think. She has been very sweet and asked what my girls like so she has comforting familiar foods in the house for them. They aren't poor (by any stretch) but they are careful with money and I don't want to feel like a freeloader.

Thanks again.

OP posts:
TrillianAstra · 06/10/2010 22:28

You sound like a very considerate guest. Deinitely ask what things from the UK they can't get or can only get a stupidly extortionate prices.

Sarthrell · 07/10/2010 16:31

Thanks for the advice everyone. Asked and got the following reply

"We can't think of anything we'd like brought from England. And if you're thinking of bringing us a present, please don't - shipping space is looking trickier now and we'll be back in 6 weeks so we really don't need anything else. But thank you for offering."

Looks like it's some nice dinners for us all and some chocolates (we can always share Smile so they don't have to bring them back).

Feel much better for having asked.

OP posts:
pluperfect · 07/10/2010 16:33

Oh, yes, newspapers and dinner!

echt · 17/10/2010 06:06

Endorse the newspapers recommendation. I read the Guardian online every day, but when guests arrive with the hard copy, we fall on it with little cries of pleasure.

Clearly we need to get out more, but there you go.

alybalybee · 27/11/2010 08:11

I always really appreciate offers of help in preparing meals. Often I'll say "no, I'm fine but you can sit and chat to me (and drink wine/tea/whatever) while I do it". It never ceases to amaze me though how many 'guests' come to stay and do absolutely nothing to help.
Offer to help and you'll be a great guest.
Enjoy your trip!

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