Say whatttt?! It’s Tuesday and I’m actually getting my blog post up? This Tuesday is uncharacteristically quiet here, and I am not complaining! I’m so happy to be back with a #TravelTuesday post today! And a v. useful one at that!
We’ve all been there. You’re on vacation, and completely caught up in the place you’re currently exploring. You wander in to a shop and simply can’t leave without that super tacky glass sculpture of a local animal or that shark tooth in a jar.
Chances are, the second you get home, your tchotchke seems instantly pointless, and in the words of Marie Kondo, doesn’t spark joy. Trust me. I’ve been there. In fact, I have literal BOXES of trinkets I’ve saved (including napkins) from every trip I’ve ever been on. Seriously. You should see my box from my very first trip to Disney when I was 7. It’s wonderful. HAHA
Over the years, I’ve realized that the souvenirs I buy while on vacation aren’t always the things that make me feel the way I did while I was there. My boxes of
crap treasures are sitting collecting dust, unopened. (At least my boxes look cute tho. Check out this super old DIY I shared!) It’s the things that I’ve purchased that I use on a weekly basis that help bring a little piece of every place I’ve been along with me in my daily life.
So if you’re like me, and love shopping for little things that will help you remember your most recent vacation, sit back and start scrolling. Because I’ve rounded up a list of souvenirs I pinky promise you won’t regret buying! (Or picking up for free!)
…or Local Recipes. This one is probably my favorite thing to pick up while on vacation. Wherever I happen to be in the world, I find myself completely immersed in the culture. And everyone knows that if you really want to know a culture, you eat their food. I like to find local markets and pick up non perishable food items and treats that I can bring back for family and friends. (And for myself of course!) The worst thing about this souvenir? I always end up eating it by the time we get on the airplane. (Seriously. I bought a pack of Orangina and of these cookies on our second to last day in Paris to take back with me… I only had ONE left by the time we got back to The States. LOL) Another thing I like to do? Seek out local recipes. It’s funny how sitting and chatting with locals you’ll find out how they make their “world famous” dish, or they’ll point you in the right direction to find a local cookbook to take home with you. How else do you think my dad and I got the recipe for the greatest Chili con Carne in all of San Antonio?
I always, without fail, purchase a shirt from wherever I am. I’m one of those people that don’t find this tacky, and love to wear them as a reminder of the places I’ve been. However, my favorite apparel item I’ve ever boughten is a scarf that I picked up at a local boutique in Jackson Hole. Every time I wear it, I can practically smell the fresh mountain air. It doesn’t say “Jackson Hole” on it, it doesn’t have mountains or elk or anything really that would hint where it is from. But to me? It’s the perfect reminder of one of my favorite places. So much so that I call it my Jackson Hole scarf and everyone close to me knows exactly what I’m talking about. Another favorite item? Gloves from Hudson’s Bay in Banff! Every time I wear them people ask me if I’m Canadian. Then I get to tell the story of the time I was on my honeymoon in June in the Canadian Rockies and it snowed… so I needed a pair of gloves! Plus, they made for killer pictures 🙂
Postcards are probably the cheapest souvenir you can buy, and honestly, they are the coolest! We like to collect a postcard from every place we’ve been, and write a little something about what we loved most about it on the back. We keep our postcards together in a little box, and we love pulling them out and looking at them from time to time. We also like to keep ones from our most recent trips on our fridge! They make us smile every time we see them.
Something Handmade by a Local
Art and jewelry are two of my favorite things to pick up on vacations! Rings, earrings, necklaces are all small things that don’t take up space, but can remind you of a place you’ve visited every time you wear them. Local art is always a great thing to pick up too! Just be sure to choose something that matches the decor of your house already (think colors and styles) so that you don’t get it home from half way across the world only to find it has to sit in your basement because it clashes with everything else in your home.
Okay. I lied. This is my favorite kind of souvenir! Every location we visit we buy a Christmas ornament. They have them out at local shops all year round (a lot of towns will even have a Christmas store you can visit) and they are all so unique! Our Christmas tree is filled with ornaments from the places we’ve traveled together, and hand made ornaments gifted to us by family and friends only. It’s the most mismatched tree ever, but it is SO special to us. We love pulling our ornaments out and walking down memory lane every December. (Who am I kidding? Every November. HAHA)
Just Take Great Photos
The last souvenir is the cheapest… it’s free! I know I don’t tend to think of the photos I’m taking as a souvenir. But in reality, these are the things that connect me to vacations past most long after I’ve packed my suitcase and headed home. Once I’m home, I like to go through my favorite photos and turn them into tangible objects, like canvas prints, photo books and even coffee mugs. Websites like Shutterfly help you do this this so easily! Think you won’t take a picture that’s souvenir worthy? Don’t worry. I’ve got you. Click through my series on capturing your travels!
Also… we really love to take videos and make a little video of our trip when we’re done. I LOVE rewatching my travel videos. Especially when I’m having a rough day. They always make me smile!
What kind of souvenirs do you like to buy? Are there specific items you like to collect from every place you go? Leave it in the comments below!
Alright friends. It’s a very busy Tuesday for me, so I’m off! I hope you all have a wonderful night. I’ll be back tomorrow!