A great trip is never complete without the perfect souvenir to remember it by. But not every souvenir is created equal (Remember trying to cram that over-sized stuffed animal that you won into the family station wagon?). Here are some ideas to create the perfect souvenir collection.
My first trip abroad was a group experience. I had been studying Karate for a couple of years and had qualified to travel to Dublin to compete in the 2001 AKJU (American Karate Jujitsu Union) Irish Cup.
The entire team wore matching red jackets complete with the team name and organization patches. Some members of the group had been traveling with the team for several years. It was easy to identify the veteran members of the group as many of them attached lapel pins to their collars to represent all the places they had traveled with the team. I loved the idea. So, at our first stop in Paris, I picked up my first pin. Since then, I have bought a pin for each country that I have visited.
As a family, we also collect a refrigerator magnet for each place that we visit.
Here are some things to consider when deciding on your perfect souvenir collection:
One thing to consider is the overall cost of the souvenir. If you travel a lot, the cost could add up pretty quickly. For my pin collection, I typically buy them for $2-3 USD each. Our refrigerator magnets run $4-6 USD each.
There is nothing worse than having to purchase and check an extra bag because you bought so many souvenirs that you cant fit them in your luggage. It’s easy to find yourself in a situation like this when visiting places like Thailand where there is no limit to the number of bargains that you can score. My entire pin collection fits nicely inside an Altoids tin.
Your time when traveling is limited. We always want to fill our day with as many activities as possible. Spending half a day visiting 37 different souvenir shops to find the newest additional to your collection doesn’t sound like much fun to me. Consider something that is relatively easy to find, so you can get back to exploring.
A souvenir is something that you want to treasure for years to come. Pick items that are good quality and made of durable materials. We learned the hard way when our ceramic magnet from St. Kitts fell off the refrigerator and shattered on the floor!
Also, make sure that each souvenir that you purchase is unique and easily identifiable. There is no point in having a collection of items that you can’t remember which trip they represent. After all, the French phrase “se souvenir” means to remember.
In addition to pins and magnets, here are some other great souvenir ideas to consider:
- Post Cards (customize with a note of your most memorable moment from the trip)
- Postage Stamps
- Paper Money
So, what kind of souvenirs do you like to collect? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!