Don't fret if you're still on holiday and haven't yet picked up a souvenir for your colleague. Go with one of these classics.

It’s your last day on the island or otherwise beachy summer destination. Suddenly you remember that guy from IT who once gave you some yak cheese from his trip to Mongolia or the woman in billing who brings you anise-flavored vape cartridges whenever she visits her family in Nice. In a fit of panic, you rush to the nearest souvenir shop. What are you going to get for your colleagues?

Hot sauce with diabolical name

Everyone likes hot sauce from other countries where food-safety regulations might not exist, especially when its name suggests it will do permanent damage to their intestines, right? Not really, but don’t let that deter you from bringing back for your office mates a bottle of Satan’s Colon Cleanser or Farts o’ Fire. “It’s made in the traditional way by a family of sadists,” you can explain.

Vial of sand

Offering someone a vial of sand from a destination is great when you don’t know their likes or dislikes but want to show them what tiny pieces of rocks look like.

Artisanal liquor

This is the perfect way of saying, “I didn’t try this stuff myself due to its unpleasant smell and fluorescent hue, and I’m not even sure locals consume it, but please think of me and my vacation in the sun when you either get a light buzz or a throbbing headache. Yes, that’s a preserved lizard in the bottle.”

Pen or key-chain with name of island on it

Who wouldn’t want a plastic trinket emblazoned with the nearly unpronounceable name of an island where they’ve never been?


A t-shirt from the destination is extremely versatile in that it functions both as a conversation starter – and ender. “Oh, I love that place! Have you been there?” “No.” “Ok.”

Magnet with idealised depiction of destination

Never mind that the island you visited was actually overrun with feral hamsters and there was the lingering smell of petrol everywhere you went. Imagine your colleagues' feelings of delight when they stand in front of their fridge, look at the magnet you gave them, and think to themselves, “Funny, I don’t even know that person’s name, yet they gave me a souvenir. They must have confused me with the IT guy who brought yak cheese for everyone.”