Before package holidays opened up a whole new world to British Travellers back in the 1950s and 1960s, the most we could expect from our aunties and uncles who had returned from a week in Brighton, was a stick of rock, and if we were really lucky, a sugar dummy!
Then our friends and family members started heading overseas, and those holiday presents and gifts started to get more glamorous… I’m talking castanets, flamenco dresses, and the obligatory “My Nan went all the way to Benidorm, and all she got me was this T-shirt” T-shirts!
Nothing much has changed over the past 50 years, and you only have to walk down Las Ramblas in Barcelona or along the canals of Venice to see that holiday memorabilia and souvenirs such as fridge magnets, I ‘heart’ Italy T-Shirts, and miniature ornaments are still very much in demand… but does anyone actually like them?
Well, according to a recent survey by Skyscanner, it seems 69% of us would rather not receive such items (although, I’m sure we are all very grateful!), and that just 4% of the 2000 questioned said that they actually found holiday gifts useful.
Cheap pottery came top in the survey as the ‘most disappointing’ gift, with T-shirts, bargain jewellery, key rings, fridge magnets and snow globes (do they still make those?) following in close behind.
So what do we do with our unwanted gifts? Well, according to the survey, 18 per cent of us hide them in cupboards, 10 per cent donate them to charity, 6 per cent re-gift them to others, and a further 3 per cent sell them on e-Bay!
However, if you are someone who cannot resist those tacky trinkets, you will be pleased to know you are not alone. We spend an estimated £5 billion a year on holiday gifts and souvenirs, which works out at approximately £23.24 per holidaymaker!
So travelling friends, next time you head off somewhere warm and exotic, forget the holiday gifts… Send a postcard and spend the remaining £21.24 on a jug of Sangria!