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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
We all love little memorabilia specific to countries and regions we have visited to commemorate our trip. In Jamaica, there are so many fun items to take back home to remember your time on the island. They also make the perfect gift for your friends waiting for your regaling tales and gifts back home.
1. Keyrings, refrigerator stickers, coasters - These are simple, go-to gifts that you can always find. Small keychains in Rastafarian or Jamaican colours, fun stickers for your fridge or cutely designed bamboo or wooden coasters are a favourite. Another classic is the miniature Jamaican boxing gloves to hang in your car.
2. Jewellery - wooden or beaded jewellery are all very popular and you can get your set from earrings to anklets and everything in between. The most prominent colours are of course Jamaican or Rastafari colours but, if you would like custom colours then most craft vendors can make them on the spot. They might cost a little more though.
3. Teas - Sometimes coffee, other times tea. I’m sure you’ve seen a few different options in the mornings at breakfast. Take some authentic Jamaican tea back home with you.
4. Rum - This goes without saying, you have probably been enjoying the rum experience here so much that a bottle or two is necessary. The favourites are J. Wray and Nephew and Appleton Estate. But there are many others to try as well. Hampden Estate and the delicious rum cream varieties are available as well.
5. Coffee - Because it is produced in such small quantities, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is quite expensive. If you are big on coffee, it might make sense to purchase some while on vacation as it is much cheaper here than purchasing it outside the country.
6. Craft Items - Craft items are the ultimate gift to take home for someone or, you can just spoil yourself. These items run in different sizes and from fun and quirky to more meaningful and heartfelt. You get to choose what your craft item will be.
7. Jerk Sauce and Seasoning - You will be craving Jamaica food as soon as you get home so why not take the ingredients necessary to recreate the awesome tastes on the island? Jerk seasoning often comes in dry rubs and sauces, get both.
8. Calabash Bowls - This is one of the more niche Jamaica items to take home. But if you have a Rastafarian or cultural experience of any kind while on vacation you might have seen these bowls.
9. Spices - Jerk Seasoning isn’t the only thing to take back either, scotch bonnet sauces, pimento allspice and the many other Jamaican spices will bring flavour to our dishes and yours if you would like to be a little experimental at home.
10. Oil Paintings - Though these can be a little pricey and might be cumbersome to carry, they are well worth it if you would love to add some character to the aesthetic of your home. It also makes a great milestone gift for someone who appreciates Jamaican art.
11. Candles - Candles might seem like the most basic of things to bring home. But for candle fans like myself, there is something so warming about being able to be transported to my vacation destination simply by lighting a candle.
12. Dolls - Jamaican dolls are a hit for kids. And they come in multiple shades to represent our “out of many, one people.”
13. Clothes - Everything from T-shirts, swimsuits, straw hats, and dresses, to baby onesies are available in most craft markets.
14. Food, Sweets and desserts - Not everything you’ve had here will be allowed on your flight back home and that’s okay. Some of the best foods and treats are. Get your box of patties to go as well as some Jamaican snacks, drinks and desserts.
15. Roots Tonic - There is a plant here for everything it seems and for some a bottle of roots tonic is the best item to take back home with you.
16. Games and Puzzles - You might have fallen in love with the game of Ludo (Ludi) while you are here. Bring home a smaller version and share this new game with your friends. Who knows it might become a regular at games night.
You can definitely get dominoes back home, but will they be painted with a Jamaican flag or Rastafarian colours on the back? I doubt it.
17. Vinyl Records - I know the way we listen to music now has changed drastically and there is truly no need to purchase vinyl anymore. But if you love music and still have an appreciation for music produced in this fashion, then you can collect your favourite Reggae classic album on vinyl to add to your collection.
18. Oils - Again, for persons into skin and hair care, these products are quite expensive when you factor in shipping costs. So while you are here, grab bottles of coconut, Jamaican Black Castor Oil and whichever other of these products you use often.
19. Cookbooks - I am not sure how many people still use cookbooks since everything is online, but there is something very sure about using a cooking book while creating a new dish. If it isn’t for you then, it might make a good gift for someone else.
20. Leather sandals - Every Jamaican has a story about leather sandals they bought that they either had to give away or it lasted years before ever showing signs of wear and tear. Not to mention they are so artfully designed they enhance almost every outfit.
21. Coconut Wine glasses - Coconut wine glasses can be a unique gift or a beautiful addition to a house party or gathering so take a set home with you.
Now that we have made a somewhat narrow list of items to take home with you. Here are some shopping tips to go:
Happy shopping and I wish you a safe flight home.
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What Can I Bring Back From Jamaica? | Written: December 4, 2022