On your travels are you a magnet magpie, a postcard purchaser or snowglobe seeker?
Or perhaps you prefer traditional textiles and artisan art.
As travellers, we often seek out specific items to remind us of our adventures or choose to collect one thing on every trip.
We do this because we want to freeze time.
Souvenirs represent a moment in time.
They're an open doorway that keeps a moment alive in our hearts and our minds and a way to celebrate an experience, even when it's long over.
If you're considering what to pick up on your next adventure, here are my suggestions.
1. Moments Disguised as Everyday Items
As travellers, we often collect moments disguised as everyday items - the flight stub from a cheeky upgrade, a coaster from your favourite sunset beach bar, a metro ticket or a carefully peeled label.
Yet so often we do nothing with these items when we return - or worse - we lose them and the moment can be gone forever.
These Destination Travel Wallets come with a keepsake stash tin and solve the problem of what to do with the small keepsakes we collect on our travels.
Each travel wallet has an atlas quality map on the outside that you can plot your journey on and space inside to make notes and keep safe the small reminders you collect during your travels.
When you return you simply remove your passport and slip the travel wallet and your travel stash into the tin and label it. Job. Done.
Rifle through when you need to be reminded of your adventures.
There's plenty of space in the stash tin for small city maps, postcards, photos, keyrings, even that dodgy souvenir magnet that slides off your fridge door!
2. Cookbook (bonus if it’s from a cooking class or local restaurant)
Okay, depending on the size of the book and how you're travelling it might not be the easiest item to carry around!
Some of my favourite recipes come from small pamphlets and photocopied recipes I was given during various cooking lessons in India, Thailand and Indonesia and what a way to relive a moment with a special dish!
Plus, you’re in the perfect place to pick up the exact spices or special local ingredients required but do check you can bring them back into your home country.
3. Wearables (that aren’t tech)
One of my favourite items to seek out on my travels is jewellery. Especially if I get to meet the maker.
Sometimes it’s a small item that I know won’t last the journey but I'd like to share my journey with it for a while.
A great statement necklace you haggled your heart out for in North Africa can bring a smile to your face and a flicker of memory every time you wear it as well as brighten up a rainy day.
Or maybe it will be the low jangle of silver bangles from a wonderful trip to India that will take you back to a time far away from your office desk.
These small moments can gently pull us back to a different time and remind us to keep our travel dreams alive.
4. Traditional Textiles
There can't be a country in the world that doesn’t weave something.
Whether it's scarves, cushion covers, rugs, blankets, fabric or clothing the list feels endless.
I bought a gorgeous vintage rug in Iran and I absolutely love it.
Every time I walk on it I’m reminded of that day in the carpet store in Shiraz and the wonderful stories shared over tea - one part history lesson, one part subtle sales pitch.
Again, if you can meet the maker they can add another layer of knowledge to the product and the memory, it can help you appreciate the skill and work that goes into a piece too.
Definitely not for the commitment-phobic among us but this is something that has endless options.
If it is for you a tattoo could be the perfect way to capture a special moment from your travels, particularly if you seek out a traditional method of tattooing.
It's a personal choice of course but a huge plus is that this is one memento that won’t add extra weight to your luggage!
6. Engraved Country Flag Keyring
I love this flag keyring by Storyteller.
To me, they’re the perfect combination of geeking out on a country’s flag and a special memento.
They’re like a more up-to-date version of the patch sewn on your backpack but with the added bonus of being able to specify a special moment.
Definitely something I’m adding to my list.
7. Colour-in World Map (free)
For the minimalists among us who want to travel light this free digital map is a way to while away the time reminiscing about your travels as you colour in where you've been.
You can print it colour or black and white and it looks great printed onto board and hung with a simple poster hanger.
You can grab your free colour in world map here or click the map above.
The best souvenirs are the ones that trigger great memories
Before you go, do check out our keepsake travel wallets for a simple and easy way to create a memento of every trip you take.
You can view the different collections here:
You might enjoy these posts too:
- How to entertain yourself on a long flight
- 5 Super-useful gifts for someone going travelling
- Inspirational travel journals
I hope you've enjoyed this roundup. Wishing you lots of wonderful adventures making memories and collecting moments.