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Folks here have been helping me plan my trip to Portugal and Barcellona next year, with stop in Iceland along the way.  I think I've got a lot of it squared away now, but probably will have a few more questions in a few weeks, I think.


Sometimes my brain doesn't stop working, and I think about all aspects of a trip and the things I might buy and bring back.  One thing I like to do is to get little gift items for friends and families from each place I go.  Nothing too expensive or to large and heavy.  Handcrafted items are ideal.   For example, in Guatemala the kids were selling these little hand-carved wooden armadillos for a buck or two.  Cute little items, no large or heavy, and the money goes to the poor people.  That's the kind of thing I like.


So, can anybody suggest what item might be a good local gift from Portugal or Spain? A special market or place I might visit to get it at?

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I may not be much help, because we tend to send postcards to the grandchildren from each city, with notes about what we've seen and think they would be interested in, and to avoid filling the suitcase with physical items.


But for those few things we do buy, we usually go to the market! One of our travel rituals, on the first day when we stock the apartment, is to look for a local preserve or jam that we don't see at home (skyberries in Stockholm, for instance). Once we've found one we really like, that's our gift to the select few, and a spare for us. A really good, really local olive oil is another possibility.


Sometimes it's just a good brand from a supermarket (in Portugal, tomato jam is popular and delicious), and sometimes--Barcelona is a good example--a big market, like La Bouqueria will have what you want, and be an interesting visit as well.


By the way...things like this are legal to bring in (sealed), but need to go in your checked bags, because otherwise you'll run into the 3-1-1 limits.

I am no shopper so I try to make this gift-buying task easy.  When I arrive at the large entry airport, I like to stretch my legs, get a cup of takeaway coffee, and cruise the airport gift shops. 


Almost always, I can find little magnets of the country flag, local tiles, miniature photos, the sports team, or handiwork mounted on refrigerator magnets.  I pick up a few of those and am good to go for my visit.    One more thing off of my list.


Refrigerator magnets are easy to carry, no problem with airport security, unique to the place, happily accepted and always used.

You might guess from my picture here that I'm proud of Scots ancestry...and the three times I visited there, I always found some cloth item for my friends...nothing big, but with the tartan. I'll bet there are small clothes and the like with typical color or print from almost anywhere...and it squishes small!

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