Odds are this may very well be 'tax deductible,' just keep damned good records. Several years back wife 2.0 and I did a month in New Zeland and save for her airfare wrote off almost everything else. Just finished year one (of a two year program) in "Vineyard Management." Talked to 'Tax Guy' and it was keep very good records, visit at least one winery/vineyard every day, etc. IRS didn't raise an eyebrow over that years return.
Back story to the above is I also worked for a well known winery (or actually a group of wineries) and when we stepped off the plane I had three cases of very good Kalifornia wine with me. Immigration Guy: "Hummmm, Mr Evans, you know your only allowed to bring in two bottles, why so many?' Expained to him why 2.0 and I were there, and the wine for for 'trading' with the local winery folks.
Immigration Guy: 'Any thing really good in there?' 'Oh yes Sir! Most of these wines would sell from $25 to $40 USD at retail (this was back in the mid-90's). Immigration Guy: 'Have fun!' 'Oh I intend too!' (Side Bar here: Those were the retail prices, but being a 'Student and a winery employee all of the bottles were 'odd lots' sort of thing where we had just a few left of each. My price averaged three to five bucks each.)
Gather no one had ever done a 'Like to trade a bottle of wine' at any of the places we stopped. But just as I suspected, most of the NZ wine makers had degrees out of UC Davis and had time in Napa/Sonoma County wineries. When asked 'what do you have? Their eyes would just light up! All of the stuff I had was either totally unavailable or prohibitively expensive. We drank a lot of very good wine over the course of the next three weeks.
Hey Fred I've been to NZ a few times myself. Great place great fishing. I'm sure we could exchange some stories perhaps on an Off fishing event or something. In your post I almost thought you were going to say the immigration guy was going to detain you until you gave him one of those bottles. LoL
So did I OTF, so did I. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. But that was Another World back then. Would I try that again? Not a chance.
Still have a full box of 'Their Flies' a purchased as an on-going memory of that trip. Much of the trip we stayed at Bed and Breakfast type places. Only thing (pre-travel arraignments) was asked if 'they' had a B & B AND dinner? Appears this was also a 'new question,' but why not? With that, you really got to meet your hosts and enjoy their company. Added immensely to the trip. A few stops were in actual 'hotels,' most older but kept up 'lick the floor' clean.
Average 'stop' was a minimum of three days so you could get a real feel for the ground, the people, etc. (My usual, packing/unpacking is NOT my 'bag. Pun intended.) A lot of these smaller places had 'Pubs' off the lobby, go in, have a 'tibble or two and ask about fishing in the area. Always had a few fellows give me good advise, "What time would you like to go out tomorrow(s)?"
(Bad choice of terms here) But the 'Pay back' was Joan and I took him/wife/sig-other out to a good dinner/drinks that evening. Total Hoot, and the next day more than a few 'Volunteers.' :>) In a couple of exceptional cases I asked the 'Bartender(is) what's his normal 'Call?' Buy a bottle and tell him/her to put his name on same (under the counter) and 'This is from Fred and Joan.' For what-ever reason Johnie Black Label Scotch was the norm; no idea why, save for a quaff was pricie as all heck .. even back then. Bottle 'price' was about $65.00 USD even in the mid-90's. Lordie only knows what that amounted to in NZ dollars, but far more. No way for 'him' to contact me/thank me, but that was EXACTLY the point.
But it was the idea that 'they' would (possibly?) remember the 'Ugly Murican's in quite a different light. Walk light and you'll be most welcome, even if you have to preference a question by saying "This may sound a bit dumb, but ...." Other person will understand, they will not take offense, and probably be happy to fill in the 'blank.'
Oh, before I forget!!!!! Learning to drive on the 'wrong side of the road' is a life experience. Not easy, first place you'll screw up is first thing in the morning pulling out of a parking lot. We'd turn right .... THEY TURN LEFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why not? If the 'trip' is appropriate (business or education) go for it. We 'older guys' call it a "punch list;" all the things we'd wished/vistited what-ever. The shorter the list the better. Memories, Ahhhh the sweet Memories and photos scrolling through your lap-top screen.
Off 'this' and back into your photo albums and savor, just savor the 'Good Times' ..... As an example one of my scrolling group of pictures (Pic3 on line) is a small restaurant in the Plaka in Athens. Leaving (air plane) late that evening and what the hell would I do with 'all' those Greek Dollars (or what-ever they're called -brain dead here). Same place wife 2.0 and I'd eaten at for the past two'ish Plus days. Pull all 'it' out and put it on the table (same waiter) and said 'We're off tonight, so save for a large tip, let me know when we've spent it all.'
I'm dead sure we got far more than the money represented. Far More.
It is a write off because it is done through a registered non profit for research reasons.. check out the link below the video... it won't be free but will be 30% cheaper and might drop ya a tax bracket.. while fishing for epic steelhead that have tiger blood in their heart and madonnas dna.. winnnnning!