souvenirs - travel - travel tip

Souvenirs to AVOID When Traveling

We’ve all bought crappy t-shirts on vacation. BUT, since all of those t-shirts never end up being worn and find themselves at Goodwill three years later, let’s talk about some souvenirs you might actually enjoy. We all want the best souvenirs to bring back when we travel.

I absolutely love having a memento of a place I’ve visited. I’d much rather it be something wonderful that I love & use! I’ve had my share of bad and good souvie’s, and I’ve finally figured out what works for me.

Remember: a good souvineer doesn’t have to be branded with it’s origin. Think classics, quality & if you love it!

Some things to consider when you’re choosing souvenirs to avoid junk you’ll never use.

1 – Is it actually special?
Visiting “local markets” or “genuine shops” in tourist traps – think cruise port markets, the Union Jack covered shops in the middle of London, etc – are all mass produced. Even items that have a name printed or carved in are likely just produced for many areas with different names. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you’ve seen the same little wood carvings at ever stop. Think about if this is unique or special to that area, otherwise pass on it.

Look familiar?

2 – Can you easily transport this home?
My friend Sharyn diligently carried a beautifully crafted large ceramic bowl home for her mom on our trip to Morocco. We ended up having to walk over 3 miles to get to the airport…. and she carried that bowl the entire way back to London. Not to mention she’d still have to get it back to the USA. The more portable, the better (both for your suitcase and your home – less is more!) If you’re going to choose large or fragile items, consider having them shipped.

3 – Where will this item go/will you actually use it?

What I’m really asking is – is this actually a Tchotchke. My friend Lydia makes fun of me for using this term… but it’s true! Anything that is going to get stuck in the back of a drawer or closet or shoved on your already full shelves is not the thing for you. Choose items that you can actually use later, rather than admire once a month and eventually try to get rid of at a yard sale. If you don’t know what tchotchke is, here you go.

Souvenirs shouldn’t be junk that piles up in our homes and suitcases… it should be carefully chosen items that represent the trip you had and the new place you’ve visited. 

Do you have any souvenir regrets? Any favorites?

PS – How to choose the best souvenirs on your next trip