Thinking of gifts for local friends or domestic hosts tends to fail in prolificity of ideas, compared to the wide menu of presents for hosts abroad. For those, you can relate to your origin, and with that, deliver regionally rare traditions and national symbols - anything picturing your home.
However, year by year, this has become a challenge, too. Exuberant traffic, the Internet and trading infrastructures tend to smear cultural differences and we are forever more likely to become visitors to foreign hosts even in our homeland. In this matter of globalization, the prime is still held by tourism, the foremost favourite leisure activity. Such is the traveling abroad even at low-cost minimum e.g., which serves precious cultural interaction and therein the sought-after online system of Couchsurfing.
For that purpose, in particular, you may found yourselves run out of prolific inventions, or catching up with the last hours before your departure, evading cheesy duty-free gifts at the airport. How great soever your time and place delimitations are, take a stance of a cool head and bear in the notion that:
Visitors' gifts shall meet host's culture.
Gifts are nowhere imposed as obligatory standards.
Gifts depict more or less a natural "bon ton" to bring something along.
They could be taken as offensive in some cultures, as a mean of payment.
Thence get some quick insight in advance, speak with the host.
Be natural and present your gift as your local tradition.
Remember that it is a sign of thanks and that this sign will be taken as a trait of your culture.
Therefore do not exaggerate in the price, the size and the material.
Think of creative affordable gifts with an authenticity of your homeland.
Be natural with handing it over, too, in person, either against the entry, against shown accommodation facilities, but least eventually at the end of your stay or when the host is in rush - wait for the atmosphere, but no pomposity is needed - even Couchsurfing system is deemed to show mutual goodwill. It is not a competition!
Keep in mind that there are guests, who do not see it a must at all, and hosts, whose immaterialistic or religious commandments make them not appreciate the value entertained by you! And still, you will see, that even people without bonds to "things" have a good, openminded and socializing heart and that for them "providing roofs" for those in needs conveys pure natural matter of fact for them!
Small thoughtful gifts, rather than pricey ostentatious master size presents, are capable of sizable wonders!
Are you here? Now allow yourself some inspiration from the below "indigenous atmosphere enhancers" divided per (1) way of production, (2) the source of purchase or (3) their purpose:
TRADITIONAL OLD TOWN MARKETPLACE
A congenial variety of stallkeepers will actually help you decide whether your host would appreciate and use local spice, handmade local animated characters, landscape-picturing souvenirs, mini liquor bottles, carved or entitled cups, pragmatic aids, and tools with authentic design (bottle opener, matches, saucers), local waffles and chocolates, rare fruits or vegetables.
WOODENWARE AND WOODEN TOYS SHOPS
Now, these provide social fun and experience of ancient local tradition, e.g. national board games, original brain teasers, regional car models, and renown original movie characters.
This does not necessarily mean sculptured or engraved. With to-day timesaving facilities you can simply burn a CD/DVD/flash disk with local music and related lyrics. As a bonus, your "signature" may also come with an optional creation of a CD cover designed by you and printed on a photo paper. Tested by decades, puzzles with a local landmark, jewelry out of local material beads, or "home taste" delivered by baking or cooking local traditional recipes, these also promise delightful impact.
"UPGRADE" HOST'S COLLECTION
Getting to know the host a little bit closer via discussion, scrutinizing profile picture or discovering some profile presentation works very much in guest's favour. This way you may learn that the host or the hostess is a "magna" enthusiast about musical instruments (drumsticks, mouth organ, plectrum), cards, saucers, keys' or bracelets' appendages. If the host turns out to be a traveling fun like you are, any relevant equipment proves welcome.
PRAGMATIC UTILITIES FOR HOSTS HOSTING FREQUENTLY
From a bath towel, over a serving tray, a travel book, a world map, a toothbrush cup, a mini pillow, tea collection, etc.
AS A LAST NOTE, for your own pacification, beware of the omnipresent and proven truth that nothing compensates own invitation to your homeland (in exchange). And if you really believe that your gifts, thereto such an offer, still do not weigh the warm hospitality, you can always leave something of your possession behind, provided that it is in acceptable order. As an explanation for the wonder-struck host, you can claim it would not be worth taking back and deems practical for the host. Likewise, you may invite the host for the meal or cook on your own. Couchsurfing gives you a magnificent enumeration of "thank you" expressions.