travel and life with lee mylne

Gifts & gimmicks…as I head to Spain

Travel writers are often on the receiving end of small gifts and gimmicks from tourist boards and marketing companies plugging a particular destination.

Sometimes these can be useful travel aids – things like adapter plugs or alarm clocks – all branded of course. Over the years I’ve been given jackets, scarves, gloves, beanies and sun-caps, carry-0n wheelie bags (usually at conferences), all manner of satchels, books, pens, notebooks, watches, toiletries, key-rings….again, mostly emblazoned with the giver’s logo.  Sometimes, especially in the case of the cold-weather gear, it’s the host’s way of ensuring we are properly equipped and comfortable!

Some are not so useful, but rather a gimmick designed to make an impact or say something about the place. To make us remember them, talk about them…even if we’ve not been there. These are usually the things handed out at promotional events. Like the miniature rolling pin that the Austrian National Tourist Board sent out with an invitation to a strudel-making class earlier this year (then there was the apron to bring home). Or the snorkel that once arrived in the post, along with an invitation to a lunch hosted by Queensland’s Tourism Whitsundays.  Soft toys, too – a lovely squishy orangutan has lived in my office for many years, courtesy of a Borneo promotion, and I also remember some penguins from Phillip Island in Victoria that went to appreciative small people.

Some of the less useful things (really, how many caps does one woman need?) find their way into the charity bag, but others have been doing good service in my household for years.

This week, as I prepare for a trip to Spain with tour company Globus, a parcel arrived along with my tickets and itinerary.  In it was a branded Globus strap for my suitcase, and a smallish zipped  satchel. I guessed more documents, and laughed out loud when I opened it to find a miniature cheeseboard, along with cheese knife, pate knife, two forks and a corkscrew bottle-opener!  Not the sort of thing to toss in my carry-on luggage, but certainly useful.

Yes…Spain.  The Best of Spain, according to Globus.  Madrid, Seville, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona.  All new territory for me.  Once, when I was young, I went to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.  Later, I went back to northern Spain to lounge on the beach at San Sebastian. But that has been the extent of my Spanish experience.  This time, I’m looking forward to exploring the big cities on assignment for Australian travel magazine Get Up & Go.

I’ll be blogging whenever I can…

23 Responses to “Gifts & gimmicks…as I head to Spain”

  1. Bev

    I love my Globus cheesboard – don’t get to use it very often but I took it on an escorted tour to India and a couple of night’s felt like getting away from my companions and wanting to eat simply – cut up bread, cheese and fruit – had a small picnic in my room. It’s a keeper.

  2. melanieb107

    Hola Lee,
    Granada is home to a wonderful leather/bag shop, run by an American, if my memory serves me, who has resurrected an old Spanish leather art. Beautiful, hard leather bags/book covers/wallets etc with distinctive patterns. As for Seville, aaaahhh, Seville… one of my favourite cities in the world. You are in for a treat.

  3. Virginia

    Spain, eh? You lucky, lucky girl. Watch out for pick pockets in Sevilla though.

  4. Jenny

    Sounds so exciting!! I’m supposed to visit Turkey in a couple of weeks…might need to put that on hold:( Happy adventures!

    • Lee

      Thank you! Hope you get to Turkey sometime – it’s wonderful. But many years since I was there.

  5. Tommy

    Now I am cheesed off. Another trip away. Living on the edge.

  6. Caroline Peters

    Oh that’s my neck of the woods in Spain … you’ll love Seville and if you get the chance to visit Mijas (at Fuengirola) and Nerja (The Caves) (north of Malaga) they are a must! Have a great time and look forward to reading your blog! x

    • Lee

      Thanks Caroline. I’m on a tour, so will go where I’m taken. Not much free time, but maybe your recommendations will be on our itinerary xx

    • Lee

      Thanks Caroline – what a shame you aren’t visiting now! Thanks for the tips…can’t see these places on my itinerary but you never know…

  7. candidkay

    I know you’ll have an itinerary, but if you get a bit of free time and want to try out local cuisine in Barcelona (I know you love food as much as I do:) ), check out (Alkimia), 3 Food People & Music ( ) or Tickets ( ). I’m living vicariously through you until I get to Costa Rica later this year:)

  8. eatdrinkandbekerry

    Sounds like the perfect thing for a food writer :) Enjoy Spain. Looking forward to the posts.

    • Lee

      Thanks Kerry…and yes, it’s the perfect little picnic set! I’m looking forward to the Spanish food too!


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