Gift ideas for foreigners

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you are planning for a visit from a German relative or an exchange student from France, greeting a foreign visitor with a gift is a thoughtful way to make them feel welcome. Consider the foreigner's potential needs while in the United States as well as his age and interests. Put together a gift basket of small gifts to educate, entertain or assist while visiting. No matter what your budget, you can provide a keepsake or experience a foreign visitor will appreciate.


A book of must-see locations and activities will help foreigners plan the trip and get the most of time spent in the country. A book like "A Traveler's Atlas: North America: A Guide to the Places You Must See in your Lifetime," by Donna Dailey in paperback will make handy reference material while travelling. A blank traveller's journal is a considerate companion gift to help your visitor remember all the experiences he enjoys.


Gather a collection of movies that have a common theme of locations in the U.S. or Canada and place them in a gift basket for your foreign visitor. Films like "Sex in the City" and "When Harry Met Sally" feature locations in New York that can delight Big Apple visitors while "Fargo" and "Sixth Sense" can give visitors a sense of the different climates and cultures in the U.S. while still entertaining. Look for movies that relate to planned tours or locations and enjoy along with your visitor and a few bowls of popcorn.

Regional Items

Delight a visiting foreigner with a collection of items from your state. Provide with a variety of team T-shirts or hats, regional wines or preserves and souvenirs that relate to the location such as state mascot items or refrigerator magnets. Include a collection of photograph postcards that they can send to family or keep for their own scrapbook. Browse through your local visitors centre for more ideas of local specialities and souvenirs.


A practical and thoughtful gift for a foreign visitor who is making a road trip or driving tour of the U.S. and Canada, a GPS system will provide confidence and assistance in getting around on his own. Go through the GPS and save locations you know he will be travelling toward, such as national parks or monuments, family homes or unique shops and restaurants. Be sure to update maps that are preloaded so that your visitor has a successful experience.


Provide gift tokens for experiences to a foreigner who is staying in a local region for an extended period of time. For example, a visitor to Scottsdale, Arizona, will be amazed when you take them on a hot air balloon ride or walk through the botanical gardens. New York visitors will want to use your gift tokens or cards for trips to see the Statue of Liberty, museums and tour of the Empire State Building. Any city in America will have something special to offer, so if you can't go with the visitor to the location, call ahead to get gift tokens or prepay for tours.

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