Holiday Souvenirs To Avoid

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Travel to any popular destination in any part of the world and you will see two things: plenty of tourists, and souvenir shops selling goods to them. Although it’s fun to bring home a memento or two from your travels, however, some of the things you can come across on your travels aren’t all that they appear to be. There’s a saying which goes, ‘if you can make it they can fake it’, and today it’s possible to buy anything from counterfeit alcohol to prescription medications in various parts of the world. But some souvenirs carry more risk than just being illegal goods at a bargain price, and they can have serious, or sometimes deadly, consequences. Luxury perfumes are a good example. They are often sold for a fraction of the price in countries including Russia, but they are likely to have been produced in makeshift labs and contain toxic ingredients, and they aren’t subject to any regulation testing whatsoever. Alcohol is another good example, and potentially poses a more serious risk. Although most travellers are happy to save a few dollars on their favourite tipple at the airport duty free shop on their way home, some are tempted by too good to be true prices on alcohol on the streets of popular destinations such as Bali. If you see your favourite vodka at a bargain price, don’t be tempted as it is likely to be fake. Then there’s cigarettes and cigars. The ones made by legitimate companies are produced to very strict standards, while fake cigarettes in some countries, including parts of Asia, have been found to contain anything from soil to rodent droppings. Counterfeit medicines is also big business today, from prescription medications to everyday over-the-counter products including pain killers and anti-diarrhoea remedies, often products which travellers sometimes need on the road. And finally, while toys make popular souvenirs, when it comes to fakes children are more vulnerable than most to the potential health and safety risks they pose. Besides being often manufactured from banned toxic paints or dyes, they may also contain small parts which are not allowed in regulated products, and which can be a common choking hazard for little ones.

Ben Hall


  • 5

    Posted by Matt 365 on 20th Jan 2020

    Bought some clearly fake mossie spray in Cambodia years leaked in my suitcase and MELTED my travel clock. I kid you not!!!!

  • 5
    Great Advice

    Posted by Susie Arnold on 20th Jan 2020

    Never ever buy anything you can consume unless you are absolutely sure its bonafide

  • 5
    Good warning

    Posted by Jacks Tomer on 20th Jan 2020

    I bought some cheap perfume from a guy with a pop up stall in St Petersburg - yes should have knonw it was too good to be true - made my skin come out in a horrible rash!