I remember on my first trip to Europe I traveled with a group tour. As soon as I got off the bus along the way, i would run to find a souvenir stand so I could purchase a magnet and T-Shirt/Sweatshirt. On that first trip I must have collected about 40 T-Shirts in total! Yikes! And of those, I have worn about three. When I think back to that trip, I wish I would’ve used that precious time exploring the stops we were at and taking photos of interesting discoveries. Live and Learn! 😀
Quality over Quantity: Try to learn what items are unique to the places you will be traveling and set aside some money to treat yourself to a little souvenir. Venetian glass, Moro Collection, Burano Lace, Spanish Fan, Toledo Opener, Street Artist Painting/Print, Italian gold bracelet in Florence, Swiss army knife or Swiss watch, etc. It’s really not so much the quantity or price of an item, but the quality and meaning behind the souvenir items you purchase.
My Little Venice Moro Collection
Here are some beautiful Spanish Flags. They made great gifts for friends and co-workers to bring back home.
Free: To make for interesting souvenirs, I like to collect Hotel stationery/brochures or drink coasters from restaurants or cafes that I ate at. Put these items next to the pictures of your hotel and of the restaurants in your scrapbook. This will bring great memories of your trip to life! How about those ticket stubs, restaurant receipts, subway tickets, entrance tickets, etc. I even kept my notes about which trains to take and the stops to exit. I figure they would go well with the pictures that I took while using the underground in London or the Metro in Paris.
I love saving the maps I use, train ticket stubs, Museum entrance stubs, etc.
Pictures – It takes some time out of your touring to take a lot of pictures. You won’t realize how valuable they are until months or even years after your trip. Make an effort to snap as many pictures as you possibly can. You will not regret it.
Special & Fun: I sometimes like getting some things that are not expensive but fun to have and really reminds me of my experiences.
Here are two stuff animals that I love. A Highland Cow and Scottish Sheep. Aren’t they adorable. I’m just a big kid sometimes.
Memories are Great Souvenirs: Most important souvenir is to keep a written journal of your experience. Don’t just write, “today we saw the Spanish Steps.” Wouldn’t it be more interesting to write about what first came to your mind when you saw the Spanish steps. For me, my first thought was watching Audrey Hepburn eating Gelato while sitting on the Spanish Steps in the classic movie, “Roman Holiday.” When you add your journal notes next to your picture, and the napkin of the Gelato that you purchased and ate while sitting on the Spanish Steps yourself, you will bring life to your scrapbook and picture album. It will give you a very fond memory of your vacation.