I thought I'd share with you my #1 tip. The most important thing to remember, in my opinion, when you are travelling. It's this:
Far better to be considered a bitch than to lug other people’s shit around.
Of course you are all far too smart to carry random goods for strangers. You know that will just land you some time bunking with Chapelle Corby. I don’t mean that level of stupidity, but stupidity none the less.
Let me take you back many years ago, with the story of a naive country girl on her first overseas holiday. Not to Bali like most Australians but to New Zealand, like the other Australians who don’t go to Bali. This girl went with her friend to the duty free but she had little money to spare.
“No worries”, said her friend, picking up some fancy French champagne. “I’ll use it instead.”
For some insane reason, too long ago to remember, the stupid girl agreed. It won’t be so hard carrying 4 bottles of champagne to NZ then back to Aus, she thought. They’d have a rental car.
Ha. Ha ha ha.
After a few days of lugging that stupid freaken champagne through airport lounges and hotel lobbies and in and out of the rental car, she wanted to cut her idiotic agreeing-to-things tongue out of her head.
So, maybe one of the bottles got “confiscated by customs at some point but the other 3 made it home. And what was her reward for all this, you may rightfully ask.
Okay, cue the violin music here. The friend had a dinner party, serving the fancy, duty-free, lugged the length and breadth of the long white cloud and stupid girl WASN’T INVITED.
Next time you travel, you can pretty much guarantee that someone will say – “Oh you are going to X, I hear they have amazing Y there. Can you bring me back some?”
This person probably isn’t even someone you give a rat’s arse about. It’s like your mother’s neighbour’s daughter or some such bollocks.
There is only one correct answer – NO. Don’t explain. Don’t justify. Don’t try to be polite. Just say NO.
If you can’t say no, because it’s like your new boyfriend’s mother or your boss deal with it this way:
- Not take money from them before you go – if you take money, you are committing yourself. Tell them that if you get them some Y, they can fix you up on your return.
- Let them know that you aren’t really going to the area where they produce Y. Eg. “Yeah my trip to Italy doesn’t include the area where they have pasta,” “my trip to the US isn’t to the part where they sell really cheap runners”, “I’m not going to the bit of Antarctica where they have snow.”
- If it’s small and you don’t have to go out of your way to find it, then fine. Otherwise promptly forget about it. A friend asked us to get her daughter a fan when we went to Japan. We found some cute ones in the 100 yen shop. No biggie. But my son wanted merchandise of some Japanese wrestler – where do you go to even find that stuff?
Remember, it’s your holiday and you are there to have fun not to be a personal shopping pack horse for everyone back. You don’t need to bring back gifts – if people really cared, then knowing you had a fab holiday should be gift enough.