Souvenir is a French word meaning memory. When we bring home souvenirs from our adventures, we are literally keeping memories of our time in the places we visit. Often you find there is one type of a memento from your travels you keep bringing home every single trip. You will pick up this souvenir at each location as you establish a collection because it makes you commemorate fondly on each place you’ve visited.
Our team is sharing our favorite souvenirs to collect. Hopefully, we will give you some ideas for collecting your own travel memories.
I picked up the habit of trying to find a good deck of cards when I travel, featuring landmarks from the city I am visiting. My grandmother did this whenever she traveled, and it always made playing cards more interesting, as she will tell me stories about the trip she took while we play.
I also enjoy looking for fun magnets from places I visit!
My favorite souvenir to get from trips is probably any sort of paper ticket or boarding pass. They’re small and weigh almost nothing and saving them reminds me of the experiences I had while on the trip (like a museum or boat ride). While I haven’t done this yet, I hope to make a collage with the tickets I have collected over the years with the photos of the places I’ve been to!
My go to souvenirs are postcards and something I can use or make into a Christmas ornament. Postcards are great because they are inexpensive, often have a photo that I would never be able to capture, and allow you to record a memory of that day/trip. Growing up, my family’s Christmas tree was always very eclectic. The ornaments help us to reminisce each year and provide a timeline of sorts.
Besides collecting stories as souvenirs, I also bring home refrigerator magnets from every place I visit. We have quite the collection. I just started collecting Starbucks Been There Series mugs. They tell a descriptive story about a city. My favorite travel keepsake is a unique piece of jewelry, usually a ring or bracelet purchased from a local artisan. I have found the best pieces in small shops, local stalls, and street markets.
Here are a few more fun souvenir ideas for starting your own collection of memories:
local artisans crafts are a great way to support the local community
food: chocolate, spices, and tea are great choices, but remember to check the restrictions on other permitted food items.
alcohol besides bringing home liquor unique to the area you are visiting, the bottle, once emptied, is a great collector’s item.
clothing and accessories, especially unique items like a handmade scarf, leather shoes, and traditional local pieces
toys: dolls, puppets, miniature cars, and stuffed animals
writing material: pens, pencils, or notebooks
replicas of local iconic buildings or statues
stickers or buttons pick these up, sometimes for free, at venues, restaurants, breweries, sports events, festivals, and souvenir shops