In many ways, the souvenir constitutes an underappreciated component of the art of great travel. If you wait until the last minute to shop for a little remembrance, you may end up grabbing a piece of tacky memorabilia that you cram in a closet rather than display with pride. Try the following tips to make sure you’re always happy with the items you bring home to remember your travels.
– Shop local. Rather than swinging by a tourist trap with mass-produced, flashy items made expressly to be souvenirs, get a little more creative. Try to find a local craftsperson and purchase something from them that suits your individual taste. If you find a cool item in a great shop, you’ll have a story to attach to the object you take home.
– Try the practical. An item with some function, whether it’s decorative like a piece of art or wearable like a scarf or jewelry, will give you more life than a little trinket. Wearable or displayable souvenirs also give you more chances to remember your trip if they become a regular part of your life.
– Grab some packaged foods. If you develop a taste for a particular local treat, bring it home with you. Just make sure it’s something packaged and well preserved that will keep for a long time, and in any case, make sure to eat it before it goes stale.
– Pick up an oddity. Some of the best souvenirs don’t come from stores. If you find an interesting item that someone else has discarded, you may be able to repurpose it into a souvenir. Creativity will serve you well if you take this option.
– An item that reflects your interests. If you’re a coffee aficionado, for instance, you might want to collect mugs from the cafes you frequent during your travels. Like other practical items, those that reflect your interests can serve as continual reminders of your trip as well as conversation pieces.