Which travel souvenirs should I collect?
If you’re a longterm traveler like us, you know what it’s like to carry all your worldly possessions on your back. The more you collect, the more you hurt. But if you don’t pick things up along the way, what are you going to have to look back on when you’re all done? Yes, you’ll have your memories, but it’s nice to have things to trigger those memories. Travel souvenirs are absolutely worth it, just be smart about what you decide to collect. You probably don’t need a decorated wood dick, but here are 12 ideas for travel souvenirs you can collect that won’t weigh you down, won’t break your bank, and that you’ll actually appreciate for years to come.
The functional travel souvenir. Spice up your wardrobe, stay warm, and collect unique fabrics/designs from each country.
They’re small, they’re cheap, they’re easy to find, and they can all live in one place once you get home.
“I love your earrings.Where’d you get them?” It’s so much more fun to answer that question with a travel story than with a store name. “Thanks! I got these from this adorable old Nepali woman as a git to myself after 6 weeks of earthquake relief work and a week hiking through the himalayas.”
100% free. Keep your boarding passes and admission tickets…but only if you’re going to do something with them. Frame them in a collage, put them in a scrapbook, or keep them in a memory box.
5. Christmas Ornaments
While Christmas ornaments may not be easy to find, keychains sure are, and turning a keychain into an ornament takes zero effort. Plus, every year when you pull your Christmas decorations out, you’ll be reminded of all your fond travel memories.
You can find them in every country. You can afford them with the change in your pocket. They’re always with you. And they take up absolutely no space in your bag.
7. Beer Labels
OK, this takes a bit of effort to cleanly rip the label off, unless you’re in a super hot place, those suckers will sweat right off. But what are you going to do with them? Put them in a scrap book, make your own coasters, create a peeve of art with them, or make a beer pong table.
Take your own, buy post cards, find a local photographer, just make sure you take care of them on the road so you don’t misplace them. I back all my photos up on an external hard drive and my laptop and keep those in separate bags. If I’m around good internet I’ll get them on a cloud too.
While you may not have walls now, hopefully someday you will. Paintings can be done a a style unique to that area as well as depict a scene that you lived. Roll it up, put it in a protective tube, and you’re good to go.
10. Bottle Caps and Corks
Free travel souvenir? Ok well, you have to buy the beer or wine, but you’re going to do that anyway. I’m not saying collect them all, but maybe save the ones that mean something to you. I’m going to string all our bottle caps together to make a garland for our travel souvenir clad Christmas tree.
We’re not recommending you do things that will leave scars, we’re just offering a positive spin on those scars you already have or will inevitably pick up along the way. When I look at my knee, I’m forced to remember motorbiking across Vietnam. My shoulder tells me a story of being knocked over by a wave in The Philippines. My toe reminds me of a ridiculous outing with my best friends in Australia.
What travel souvenirs do you collect?