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How To Choose the BEST Souvenirs When Traveling

So…. what are some good souvenirs to pick up on your travels?

Here are some tips to avoid choosing bad souvenirs that take up space & aren’t useful. Just say “NO” to t-shirts and tchotchke Below, find some ideas on what souvenirs to consider that you’ll love! No buyers remorse.

Jewelry & Accessories
I love jewelry & accessories. They take almost no room, and they’re an awesome conversation starter. You can wear them any time and carry a little piece of your trip with you! 

Necklace: Chelsea Market, NYC
Bracelet: Little stand in Stockholm, Sweden
Ring & Earrings: Ixtapa, Mexico

Scarf: Camden Market, London

Something You Can Use
I’m fully addicted to coffee…. and coffee cups. I actually have to pace myself on this because I’ve already got a cabinet full of cups… 
But these are one of my favorite kind of souvenirs. Rather than a predictable I <3 NY mug, I chose one from the Brooklyn Flea. Instead of a “Starbucks Nashville” I have a few from my favorite coffee shops. This is an easy souvenir to reflect your personal experience with the city without going the tourist route. 

Bongo Room, Chicago, IL
Frothy Monkey, Nashville, TN
Brooklyn Flea, Brooklyn, NY
West End Cafe, Nashville, TN

Home Decor can work – as long as you have a place for it! I acquired this beautiful little dish in Morocco and it’s made its way from my nightstand, to my desk, to my vanity, and back again. It’s gorgeous and authentic – and I love it! Best of all it’s functional. I keep bobby pins, rings, Chapstick  and other “littles” in there to avoid losing. Other good home goods could be a throw blanket, print, antique bud vase…. but make sure it’s something you love very much or very functional. You don’t want your keep sakes to end up being garage sale trash.

I’ve had it for 7 years and still use it consistently!

A 1900’s map reprint on fabric we picked up in Seattle & framed for the reading nook!
Free is Fun
I love free just as much as the next girl, but a lot of the free souvenirs you’ll find are likely junk. However, something I’ve grown to love collecting is books/boxes of matches. As smoking becomes more faux pas (yay!) the matches become harder to find (boooo). A lot of places still have them around, you just have to ask. Chat with hostess, bartender, or a front desk associate as hotels, bars and restaurants are your best bet. I have dozens of boxes – it’s my favorite souvenir to search for! I also have some sweet friends who bring me matches from their travels, which is super fun.

Local Treasure
These can be something that area is known for. For example, my friends who visited Thailand both came back with these beautiful silk house robes. What a fun souvie! My goal in Italy is to find a beautiful leather purse, as the leather goods are incredible there. 

Think about your personal preference and what you love — how can you find a souvenir that works for you & that you’ll cherish forever?

What are your favorite souvenirs you’ve collected over the years?

One comment on “How To Choose the BEST Souvenirs When Traveling

  1. In fifth grade my good friend who traveled lots went to Honduras. She brought me back a beautiful red, green, and "natural" handwoven basket, about the size of a dessert plate. For 15 years I used it to hold my keys and wallet, later phone when I got home. A few years ago my dog destroyed it and I was heart-broken. But seriously, iy was a great souvenir! On my recent trip to Florida I picked up a sterling silver palm tree pendant/charm, a Florida mug from Starbucks (had my eye on it), and a flamingo magnet. I actually needed a magnet, believe it or not, and I have a thing for flamingos.

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