Souvenirs To Make Your Trip Memorable

Cheap and easy souvenir ideas for your next trip. Not to be morbid but choose them wisely as they’ll also be a reminder of you, once you pass away.

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Are you a souvenir collector? Do you buy a tee-shirt from every city you visit or are you more of a key ring person? Perhaps you’re more of an avid art collector?

It seems for some, taking a piece of your travel experiences home, can be as much about the trip, as the holiday itself. As a freelance writer, I’ve interviewed a couple of celebrities who usually found souvenirs tied to their craft.

Music Producer, Emoh from What So Not writes a song in most cities he visits, as a reminder of that city. In the case of one song, he wasn’t able to finish it, until he travelled back to the city he started it in!

Urban fantasy and horror author, Alan Baxter regularly buys books whenever he travels, usually to attend Comic Cons.

Keegan Allen (Pretty Little Liars) doesn’t usually keep souvenirs from set, but he somehow ended up with a sign off Toby’s letterbox, that was knocked over. He considers himself a photographer and so photos are part of the souvenirs he usually takes home, when he travels.

Meanwhile Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers) has taken a Thor hammer as a souvenir (they’re different from each movie) from each Thor movie he has filmed.

A souvenir is such a personal choice but I think it reveals a lot about the person.

I recently ran a poll on facebook and according to everyone I know who responded (basically everyone I know travels) the most popular souvenir items were:

  • Locally produced artworks
  • Tea towels
  • Blankets especially hand-made by locals
  • A book about, or that features the destination
  • Anything turtle related
  • Magnets
  • Pins like the Disney collectible pins
  • Christmas decorations
  • Alcohol related like shot glasses and stubbie holders

It’s common in places like South Korea and Japan to bring a souvenir back for friends and family after a trip, even a small domestic trip which is why you often see neatly wrapped packages of sweets at train stations and airports. Easy gifts, always appreciated.

I think a souvenir can tell you more about a destination than a photo, and the best souvenirs have a great story that goes with it.

I’m generally a collector of hotel pens and the notepads they provide as it’s always handy to have something to write with but magnets and key rings are easy to carry, as are postcards.

I still love sending postcards though because family keep them and it’s a nice reminder of a trip that gets hidden away in books or at the bottom of drawers, and pulled out unexpectedly. After my grandfather died, I found a postcard from when I was a kid.

Occasionally I’ll buy a nice photo frame from the destination as well. I remember I bought two identical ones from Disneyworld that were wooden, and gave one to mum with a family photo of us at Disneyworld (we hardly have any photos of the whole family together), but then their house burnt down, but luckily I had the same frame and photo with me in New Zealand so then the next Mother’s Day I think, I gave her mine.

In 2005 in San Francisco I bought a silver photo frame which had San Fran icons embedded onto it like the Golden Gate Bridge, a tram, and the steep windy street. I sent it to Jen with a photo of us on a cruise in the bay. After she died her family sent it back to me and now it sits on a bookcase. A reminder of a trip long ago. I’d forgotten about the photo until I saw it in the box and instantly memories of that trip with Jen came flooding back.

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They also sent back a hat Jen bought when we were on Green Island, along with her Akubra hat (like Crocodile Dundee). Little did we know that when she bought them as a reminder of her trip to Australia, that someday they’d be a reminder of her.

The white cap Jen is wearing in this photo is now hanging in my room as a reminder of happier times. You can view her memorial website and learn her story at

Choose your souvenirs wisely. Not only do they help support local tourism economies, they bring back memories of trips long ago, and one day, they might be all others have left to remember you by.

What souvenirs do you buy? What’s your greatest treasure? Comment below or contact me. Better yet, send me a postcard from your travels and I’ll read it out on my next podcast episode!

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