Frugality, Simple Living

3 Tips For Avoiding The Souvenir Trap When Traveling

Have you ever looked at the back or bottom of items found in souvenir stores when you travel?

Most are not actually made in your vacation destination.  And most are very overpriced.

Identical items are being sold all across the world that are no different than what you can find at home in a local store. But we get sucked into buying them just the same. Pukka shell necklaces. Beach dresses in tropical prints. Straw hats. Any small miscellaneous item with the name of the travel location stamped on it. Cheap plastic sunglasses. Shot glasses.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the above items, but we buy these and more as souvenirs and yet most of them will end up unused, unloved, and taking up space somewhere deep in a closet.  Years later, when we finally decide to go through and declutter, it can be extremely hard to part with these items because of the memories associated with them- “I can’t give it away, it’s from my trip with ____ to ____!”

However, there are alternatives to the souvenir trap:

  • Buy a postcard from each location you’ve traveled to, and store them in a photo album.  Write the highlights of your trip on the back of each postcard.
  • Buy one or two really meaningful items that are locally handmade and that you are proud to display in your home.
  • Capture memories in pictures instead of souvenirs.  Make a family photo book once at the end of each year showcasing  the year’s trips, birthdays, and other events so that the photos can be enjoyed instead of buried in a file on your computer.

There were so many things I wanted when I saw them on our honeymoon trip, but I stuck with the second and third tips above and only took photos of the different places we visited/purchased 3 locally made bowls. I really enjoy having them on display, and I ended up being glad that I purchased them instead of many random, less meaningful things.


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