Who doesn’t know the situation? You’re somewhere on your travels and they will cross your way, if you like it or not. We’re talking about souvenir shops and the First-World-Problem Nr.1: To buy or not to buy!
At the beginning of our journeys, I was buying a lot of trash, which no one seemed to be really happy about. It was stupid especially because my parents weren’t even excited at all. Just a little weary smile telling me ‘You are our daughter and we love you, but what do you expect us to do with this?’
And I can’t really blame them. What should they do with the useless stuff?
You’re somewhere in the world, travelling. You’re at a beautiful place and somehow you want to transport that feeling home to your beloved ones. But no matter what you do, a magnet or a cuddle toy just can’t transport that feeling.
I don’t want to say, it’s generally a bad idea to bring something home. There is stuff people are really happy about to receive including myself!
As far as our experiences go, people like anything that has to do with food and drinks. A good olive oil or spices for cooking, a Limoncello from the Amalfi Coast or a good Chablis from Burgundy – how can someone not like this?!
Bookworms will love books. Wine lovers will be happy getting a bottle of wine or wine utensils. Depending on the person, some might be happy about certain cosmetics.
A friend of mine collects socks from all over the world. Maybe you should also think about the person’s spleen.
All in all, you could say: Give what people might need or eat!
We don’t want to judge anybody and we were really happy seeing people had thought about us. It’s the gesture that counts.
But just another key chain, magnet, ash tray, glasses, figures or candles are just nothing to be really happy about. You just can’t transport that feeling you have on your travels with this stuff. People might even be angry about the ‘trash’.
All in all, avoid anything that you can’t eat/drink/use or something that just stands around.
Our favourite Souvenirs
As said before, we also had bought a lot of stuff that turned out to be actual trash. But there are a few things, we’re still happy about and don’t regret spending money on. Even if they only stand around.
‘Mapping Manhatten’, from Strands Book Store in New York, USA
Maybe the most beautiful book store I have ever seen. And a New York classic. Maybe even a sight for itself. Well, that might be a little exaggerated. We bought a book here and it stands in our shelf. From time to time, we love looking inside this one and somehow it still smells like in the store.
Donald Duck from the Disney Store in Venice, Italy
In some way I probably have mentioned that I’m a huge Disney fan. For the first time ever, I was visiting a Disney Store when in Venice and of course, I had to bring my favourite Duck with me. Years after, he still has a very prominent space in our living room.
Childish? Yeah, probably. But let’s not talk about it anymore!
A bottle of wine from the Chateau the Meursault, Burgundy France
This was not a very cheap purchase at the beautiful winery castle. After tasting a few of the wines, especially to bear the incredibly high prices, we took a bottle and save it for a good occasion. We already know when we want to drink it and really look forward to it!
Lavender products from Provence, France
Of course, this is a matter of taste. Not everyone likes the smell of Lavender. But then you should probably avoid Provence in general. We love the smell. We bought a soap and a few sachets for us and family.
Limoncello from the Amalfi Coast, Italy
It tastes really good, looks pretty and spreads joy around. Meanwhile we finished the good Limoncello, but thank god we can rebuy it in Germany.
Blue Curaçao from Curaçao
This might be the most obvious thing you can bring from this little Caribbean island. Looks pretty and it’s perfect for colourful tasty cocktails.
Buddhas from Thailand
I know it’s really inconsistent from us, to buy things that just stand around but in our defence: They’re small, don’t take too much space and are said to bring luck. And you better not spoil your chances!
What do you bring from your travels?
Souvenirs yes or no? Yes!
I don’t usually bring big things simply because most of the times I’m just carrying a small backpack that’s already a it full with a camera a notebook and some spare clothes.
But I love postcards so I always make sure to buy at least one from the city that I’m visiting. Then I always save the tickets from transports and attractions and if the oh try uses a currency other than euro or pound I like to save a note as well(my father used to collect different currencies).
So mostly the only souvenir that I actually spend money on is the post cards ?
thank you for your tips, we also love to buy postcards, but in some areas they don’t sell them anymore (probably because most travellers take their own photos nowadays 😉 )
Burcu & Jan