Experience is so much more important than any material object could ever be. Nonetheless, my inner hoarder refuses to come back empty-handed. At the same time, it’s important to support the local economy.
A packed itinerary and a low budget often don’t allow us to splurge in shopping. Here are some souvenirs that will always give you something to refresh your memories without even touching your wallet.
Save some change
Saving local currency is always a fun keepsake. It also makes for great conversation with friends and family visiting as they marvel at each one.
Stop for some of your favourite spices or coffee
Stopping at the farmer’s markets to purchase local herbs, spices and coffee is a wonderful way to bring home a taste of that destination.
Keep the maps
I love maps. Most tourist destinations like hotels, hostels, airports, and amusement parks, have maps in their lobbies and offices. Not only are they great to circle spots to see and go, but they will also serve as inspiration for future trips.
Collect all the flat things
Boarding passes, ticket stubs, receipts, stickers, fallen leaves, wristbands from concerts, are all examples of items to add in your journal. I like to bring tape and a pair of scissors with me to pair these with little blurbs at the end of the day or in the plane.
Pick up a rock
I found that sand was too difficult to collect because I’d get my hands dirty to I opted for a small rock. This souvenir is ideal for beach vacations. However, please keep in mind the legal and political policies of carrying earth products across borders, you can be stopped and searched.
Making new friends is a wonderful gift. It feels great to click with someone so far from home. Be sure to exchange emails or connect on Facebook or Linkedin to stay in touch even after departure.
Take lots of photos
A lot of people don’t like taking pictures while on an adventure because they feel it interrupts them from being in the moment. However, I still insist otherwise. With digital photos, we have become accustomed to taking thousands of photos. Pretend you are using a film camera and take a handful of shots that best represents that location.
Get a local newspaper
Just like maps, newspapers are also pretty easy to find. I love these because they have dates and location listed on them so you don’t have to try and think back to the exact moment of your trip. Most places have English papers which make it easy to catch up with the local stories.