It can be a real hassle to decide what to bring home from your holiday as a keepsake, especially when often it needs to be a multi-functional object carrying sentimentality, is lightweight, adheres to import restrictions and is inexpensive. Then if it’s a collection that you’re adding to, it also needs to be something that can be found globally but isn’t so commonplace that it’s not special and unique to the trip it was bought on.
Following a discussion within our Flight Centre content team – where one person revealed they collect a cookbook native to each of their travel destinations – we decided to pool together our team’s personal souvenir collections to come up with the ultimate list of ideas.
1. Cookbooks and spices (depending on border security)
2. Old air tickets – used as bookmarks
3. Material patches for a backpack, jacket or blanket
4. Local liquor or wine, or if short on room, beer and wine labels – Pro tip: dampen them to peel
5. Christmas ornaments
6. Postcards sent to yourself to stick on the fridge
7. Keep free travel/subway/train maps for covering coasters or books
8. Snow globes
10. Hotel ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs
11. Football/soccer jerseys
12. Charms for a charm bracelet
13. Matchbooks – from hotels/restaurants/bars
14. Instagram pictures – printed to create a wallpaper or framed poster
15. Local art prints
16. Hotel key cards
17. Foreign language dictionary
18. Textiles – think Indonesian batiks, Indian saris, Hawaiian prints, Mexican oilcloth, West African wax prints and Japanese florals
19. Women's fashion magazines in the local style and language.
20. Coins/currency – a nice idea is to cleaning the coins, look up information about the country and the cultural symbols on the coins, and mount them.
21. Tea/dish towels – to remember your trips when doing the dishes
22. A newspaper
23. Flags – to make into a blanket/quilt
24. Guide books
27. Ticket stubs – save them for a framed collage or scrapbook
28. Key chains
29. Doll representations of women in cultural dress – think Hawaiian hula girl or Japanese Geisha
30. A special treat like a designer handbag or sunglasses
33. Sand in labelled glass jars
34. Pack of cards – after 52 countries or locations you could take a single card from each deck to create 51 unique and personal gifts for family and friends (the 52nd pack would be to keep yourself).