We’ve all had that moment. The trip is over, the bags are packed, and the only thing that will remain of the trip is a Facebook album and fond memories. Even the most vivid and amazing trip can fade without a meaningful memento, some incredible curio found after a wonderful day of sightseeing. Here’s a few of our favorite kinds of souvenirs. Most of them can be found on any trip big or small, but all of them will serve as a regular reminder of your journey.
Old Photographs – We always love swinging by a few antique stores, and when we’re there we have the chance to add to our collection of bearded men. Nothing starts off a story like describing where you found a picture of a man with absolutely intriguing facial hair. Although we aren’t suggesting you have to pick bearded men, try to have a theme for your collection – houses, animals, creepy dolls – the possibilities are endless! We always make a note in pencil on the back of when and where we bought the photograph.
Find these in: antique stores, garage sales, flea markets
Pint glasses – For those who enjoy a pint on draft, there’s nothing better to remind you of that perfectly poured head and rich flavor than a pint glass from the brewery itself. Who needs normal boring matching glasses when you can have a shelf full of memories of delicious craft beers? If you are tight on space, you can collect bottle caps from your favorite breweries.
Find these in: breweries
Menus – Too often we’re caught describing some wonderful dish where we only remember that it tasted good. Some menus also incorporate little tidbits and unique art, making it just as worth taking home as anything else you might find in a gift shop.
Find these in: restaurants, breweries
Nonperishables – Using all of your senses is the quickest way to bring back memories from your journey. Jars of jam or preserved fruit can be a wonderful way to commemorate a trip, and a sweet surprise when you finally decide to break into them! Don’t limit yourself to sweets, there are lots of tasty pickled peppers and other more savoury treats that can be just as good.
Find these in: farmer’s markets, restaurants, boutique stores, certain grocery stores
Postcards – Postcards have made a science out of taking the absolute essence of a location in the form of a picture. Whether you’re keeping them, mailing them to a friend, or even mailing them back to yourself, it is a great way to capture the immediacy of that day. Although postcards are a standard souvenir, make them creative by writing down your favorite memory of the day before you fall asleep.
Find these in: convenience stores, museums, airports (although we suggest avoiding the last due to price mark ups)
Art – For those who somehow still have space on their walls. You can find some wonderful things out there that you’d never see if you hadn’t left town. There’s no better way to enjoy that intriguing painting of a fish than by bringing it home.
Find these in: art districts, galleries, museums, private collections, or directly from the artist
Tchotchkes – From a tiny scale replica of the Statue of Liberty, to a little baggy of polished semi-precious stones that can be found in the area, tchotchkes are basically everywhere you can travel to. They’re perfect for that cheesy little gift for someone back home, or to round out the empty space on your bookshelf. Don’t go overboard on these, we recommend consolidating them to a single area of your home.
Find these in: anywhere that caters to tourists
Soil – There’s nothing more down-to-earth than, well, earth. Bring a few small jars with you and you can bring home a memento that nobody would be able to order out of some catalog. Obviously be mindful of local laws for removing the natural resources.
Find this: everywhere