The Best Holiday Gifts to Bring When Traveling on Business

When you encounter any important business contact during the holidays, you usually bring a gift. But how do you bring a gift when you're not even from town? The last thing you want to do is stop at an airport kiosk. Luckily there are some small, compact items that can still be a thoughtful present.

Small Desk Items

Decorative pens and business card holders are both excellent gifts for business contacts -- and, as an additional bonus, they are easy to slip into your carry-on. Everyone always needs a pen or a business card holder, and it will ensure that they think of you each time they use it. Moreover, it's also an extremely professional type of gift that can apply equally to someone you know very well or to someone you've just met.

A Bottle of Wine

Alternatively, a bottle of aged scotch, bourbon or any other liquor that your contact enjoys can be used. However, a bottle of wine is usually not a good choice for a new contact or a contact you aren't close to, as not everyone drinks or has the same tastes in liquor. Some liquor brands offer monogrammed bottles, which can be even more meaningful to a long-time client, partner or investor. (Similarly, cigars are a great gift for someone who smokes -- but should never be given unless you know that the person smokes them!)

Small Paintings and Sculptures

IA small painting or a sculpture is a fantastic gift because it tells your contact that you know them well; you can find something that you know appeals to them and that ties into their hobbies. However, after purchasing the item you should always discuss your travel plans with the store or artist that you're purchasing it from. They will be able to give you packing information to ensure that it doesn't become damaged in transit.

Delivered Goods

If you're packing light, consider getting goods delivered to your contact's office the morning that you arrive. This will prep them for your arrival and you won't need to drag anything with you. Consider things like large, premium gift baskets or fruit bouquets; these can be shared around an office and show that you put some thought into their tastes. Just make sure that it arrives on time, or you could be in for a bit of an awkward meeting.

Of course, gift cards always work very well when you're sincerely at a loss. Just make sure that you put some thought into where you get the gift card and enclose a thoughtful message. A nice restaurant that you know your contact will enjoy is usually a safe bet.

Posted on Dec 12 2014

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