The best things to bring home from 10 countries around the world
Souvenir shopping doesn’t have to mean cheap magnets and logo t-shirts. In fact, a trip overseas is the perfect chance to nab premium products direct from the source – often for a lot less than what you’d pay at home1.
Scotch whisky from Scotland
Travellers to the UK have been stuffing their suitcases with single malt since the dawn of air travel. The world’s most legendary whisky comes from Scotland, made at more than 100 distilleries in five distinct regions – sample the soft and smooth malts of the Lowlands or the fruity drops of Speyside whisky to taste the difference. Bottles never deteriorate, even after they’re opened, which makes them the perfect investment item.
Gold jewellery from Dubai
Dubai’s world-famous Deira Market is home to more than 300 different vendors, all of whom sell authenticated gold in the form of rings, chains, bangles, ornate crowns and, if you’re really looking to splurge, 24-carat gold bars. Just like stocks the price of gold changes daily with the international market but with a little haggling, this is easily the best value place in the world to invest.
Knives from Japan
The best sashimi requires the sharpest blade, which is why Japan has kitchen knives down to a fine art. Chefs from around the globe travel to shops like Kamata (kap-kam.com) on Tokyo’s famed Kappabashi Street to pick up artisan-made steel knives, choosing from more than 300 different varieties with price tags that can run as high as five figures (in JPY, that is). Your meal prep will never be the same again.
Leather goods from Italy
Gloves, jackets, bags, belts… however you wear it, Italian leather is a purchase you’ll hold onto forever. A long tradition of natural tanning methods has made Italy’s leather the best in the world – precisely the reason so many luxury brands manufacture furniture and clothing here. You’ll want to do your shopping in Florence, where most of the country’s leather is produced. For the best quality, avoid the markets and buy direct from the makers at a high-end boutique like Cerrani (cellerini.it).
Silk from Thailand
Some 70 years after Jim Thompson brought it to the world, Thailand is still synonymous with silk. Authentic Thai silk is hand-woven and no two pieces are the same, so spotting small “imperfections” in the cloth is a good thing. Just look for the government-regulated gold peacock emblem to know you’re getting the highest-quality thread.
Boutique fashion from New Zealand
London, Paris, Milan… Auckland? Believe it or not, some of the coolest names in fashion right now hail from New Zealand. Cutting edge labels like Karen Walker, Georgia Alice, Stolen Girlfriends Club and Lonely are all Kiwi designed and made and thanks to the Australian dollar’s buying power, can be purchased for less in NZ. Don’t miss the stylish Lonely flagship store on Ponsonby Road in Auckland to try on beautiful wools and silks back where it all began.
Designer handbags from Hong Kong’s megamalls
There’s no better place in the world to shop for high-end goods than Hong Kong. Not only does the city overflow with a dizzying array of luxury malls, designer stores and achingly cool boutiques, it’s also free from sales tax – so that Gucci tote is practically a steal. Head to the Harbour City mall (harbourcity.com.hk) in Kowloon for your pick of over 450 attractive shops.
Cheese from Montreal
Paris doesn’t have the monopoly on cheese. In Montreal, the capital of French Canadian cool, you can shop at one of over a dozen speciality fromageries, all packed to the gills with premium blues, cheddars and bries. Cult favourite La Fromagerie Atwater (fromagerieatwater.ca) boats new fewer than 850 varieties, so you certainly won’t be short on options.
Wine from the Napa Valley
The Napa Valley is one of the world’s best wine regions but it’s a little further away than your local bottle shop, so it’s only right to bring a few bottles home with you. Over 400 different wineries make up the Californian district but vineyards like V. Sattui (vsattui.com), Darioush (darioush.com) and the ivy-covered Inglenook (inglenook.com) are a few of the must-dos. Opt for pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon, the mouth-coating red Napa is known for.
Bespoke tailoring from Singapore
You could spend your days in Singapore exploring the city’s endless malls and markets but for the truly perfect fit, try a tailor. Family-run favourite Dylan & Son (dylanandson-blog.tumblr.com) offer dapper bespoke suits made to the highest quality and shipped overseas when they’re ready, while Love Potion (lovepotion.com.sg) has ladies covered with custom-designed gowns and formal dresses. You could even pick up bespoke diamond jewellery at Facets Singapore (facetsingapore.com) or personalised leather goods at Bynd Artisan (byndartisan.com).
You can use a Qantas Travel Money card for all of these experiences – and more
It’s the only travel money card that earns Qantas Points. Lock in rates on up to ten foreign currencies1 and enjoy 1.5 points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases on your overseas adventure2.
Qantas Travel Money is a prepaid Mastercard® payment facility built into the back of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Membership Card. To be eligible to receive the Qantas Card with the option of Qantas Travel Money you must be an Australian resident Qantas Frequent Flyer member 16 years of age or older. Heritage Bank Limited (AFSL 240984) (the Issuer) issues Qantas Travel Money under arrangements between it, Qantas Airways Limited (AFSL 261363) and Mastercard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Limited (AFSL 386837) (a Mastercard business). Mastercard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Limited distributes Qantas Travel Money (together with Qantas which is an authorised representative of Mastercard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Limited for the purposes of providing general financial product advice with respect to Qantas Travel Money). Mastercard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Limited can be contacted at email@example.com. Mastercard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Limited and Qantas earn foreign exchange revenue from Qantas Travel Money transactions. Mastercard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Limited receives a processing fee from domestic Qantas Travel Money "point of sale" transactions. Qantas receives revenue generated by Qantas Travel Money transactions based on interchange fees paid to the Issuer, deposits held by the Issuer, cardholder fee and certain rebates and incentives from Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pty Ltd. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider the appropriateness of the information about the Qantas Travel Money facility having regard to those matters. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) in respect of Qantas Travel Money is available via qantastravelmoney.com and will also be given to applicants. A person should obtain and consider the PDS before making any decisions about whether to acquire or continue to hold the prepaid facility. Mastercard® is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
Exchange rates for initial loads and subsequent reloads made using Bank Transfer or BPAY via qantastravelmoney.com will be set at the prevailing exchange rate set out at qantastravelmoney.com at the time you request the load provided you settle the transaction within four hours. Different exchange rates apply for loads initiated directly via Bank Transfer or BPAY using your Unique Payment Details (i.e. not via qantastravelmoney.com). For more information on how exchange rates are set and applied, see the PDS.
Eligible purchases do not include money orders, traveller’s cheques, gambling chips, adult entertainment, purchasing foreign currencies in cash or the making of payment(s) towards any credit cards, loans or other financial debt that is not incurred with respect to goods and services. You do not earn Qantas Points when loading funds to your facility, transferring funds to another currency balance or another member’s facility, when withdrawing funds from ATMs, cashing out your facility balance or for over the counter withdrawals. Purchases that are reversed, refunded or charged-back will not earn points, in addition to fees incurred.