These ideas for souvenirs will inspire you to start looking for souvenirs you’ll love to collect. From meaningful beach souvenirs, more useful souvenir ideas, and unique souvenirs in this list, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest.
Have a look at these examples of souvenirs below to begin your travel collection today.
CONTENTS – In this article, discover 29 great ideas for souvenirs you’ll love to collect, including:
- What is A Souvenir?
- The Best Ideas for Souvenirs While Traveling
- Cooking Utensils
- Hand-made Table Cloths
- Hand-painted Dishes
- Lapel Pins
- Local Candy
- Local Jewelry
- Lucky Charms
- Playing Cards
- Post Cards
- Professional Photos
- Recipe Books
- Refrigerator Magnets
- Sew Own Patches
- Tea Glasses/Steins
- Final Thoughts on Travel Souvenir Ideas
What is A Souvenir?
A souvenir is something you keep to remind you of a certain place, experience, or person. It could be a keepsake that is mass-produced, like an inexpensive trinket; a unique souvenir, such as a pressed flower you collect from the wild; or even a food item, like cheese or wine, that you will savor when you return home. A souvenir is a little piece of someplace else to remind you of your travels.
Some people collect souvenirs from their travels. Keep reading to discover the best souvenir ideas to collect when you travel.
The Best Ideas for Souvenirs to Collect On Vacation
The best ideas for souvenirs when you travel have the following qualities:
- Available in different places around the world
- Within your budget
- Fit easily within your suitcase or ship well
- Personally meaningful to you
- Suitable for display or storage at home
Below, you’ll find 31 great souvenir ideas submitted by expert travelers you might consider. You’ll also find tips for finding them, average price, and shipping considerations and other tips.
Does one (or more!) of these pique your interest and get your creative ideas flowing?
Have a look!
1. Fanciful Bookmarks
When you travel regularly with kids it’s hard to adjust to the idea that they probably won’t remember everything from the trip.
As much as you focus many of the activities on kid friendly activities to keep them interested and learning, not everything will make a lasting impression.
Ironically, they do remember some of the most ordinary things.
For instance, when it comes to the ‘big things’, like sunrise at Bagan, they’ll likely remember riding on the back of the e-bike to get there!
Worse, if you choose to give your kids pocket money, they might buy something totally at odds with your expectations that usually ends up in the trash after returning home.
Instead, look for something small and inexpensive that you can bring home and store away for when they are older. You want a souvenir so they can look back upon their travels and still reminisce about the time you visited some pretty extraordinary places.
Bookmarks are small, inexpensive and easily available.
They store well in your luggage and don’t weigh much. They’re perfect for the travelers who take carry on luggage only, too.
This makes bookmarks an ideal souvenir for any age.
You can put them away for yourself or your children and grandchildren. It’s only a small token remembrance, however it’s powerful to be able to hand down those memories of some of the very best of our families experiences.
From watching the sunrise over the Taj Mahal, visiting orangutans in Borneo, and spending a New Year in the snow in New York City, bookmarks provide a great remembrance of your travels!
Related Article: Choose from these 10 destinations when you’re traveling with babies.
2. Savory Cheese
One of the really cool ideas for souvenirs when you travel is definitely cheese!
Made in many countries of the world, you can find regional delicacies almost everywhere.
A few examples are the Camembert in France, the Gauda from the Netherlands, the Parmesan from Italy, the Pager Cheese from Croatia or the Bergkäse (mountain cheese) from Austria.
And these are only a few examples because the selection of cheeses in the world is overwhelming.
The best thing, it is easy to get because supermarkets or fromagerie (cheese store) mostly sell regional cheese in each destination.
However, if you are not sure about the taste, then be sure to seek advice from knowledgeable staff on choosing the perfect cheese beforehand.
Don’t worry about transport – it’s best to have the purchased cheese vacuum-sealed in the store.
You’ll discover cheeses in different price ranges, so you do not need to spend a fortune.
You can get a good and cheap piece for $6-12 US (5-10 euros). Of course, there are almost no limits to the top. Note that in Europe, the price is usually given in 100 grams, which is about 3.5 oz.
Cheese is actually the best souvenir for all kind of cheese lovers, someone who likes to cook, or gourmets.
3. Beautiful Clothing
Clothing is easily one of the best ideas for souvenirs you can buy while traveling.
Not only can you get some really unique pieces that you’ll never find at home, but they make practical souvenirs, too!
If it is a gift, your loved one will think of you whenever they put it on, and if it’s for yourself, well you can even wear it while on your trip.
Different countries around the world offer different clothing that is a part of their culture. Much of it is also handmade!
For example, in Peru and Bolivia, you will find sweaters woven out of Alpaca wool on every corner. In Myanmar, the long beautiful skirts (called a “Longyi”) both men and women wear are a must. And, you can’t forget about Kilts in Scotland.
Honestly, most countries have clothing that is a part of their culture – which makes it a great cultural souvenir.
As mentioned above, clothing is also practical too.
If you find yourself freezing in the middle of a ski holiday in Canada, then you might need to stock up on some cozy socks. And, while you’re at it, you might as well make them a souvenir and buy some with a maple leaf pattern.
This way, your socks are a souvenir gift to yourself and come in handy for the rest of your holiday.
4. Regional Coffee
By Daniel James of Layer Culture | Instagram
When collecting souvenirs, you sometimes overlook the simple things that hit the senses and can immediately transport you back to the place you were on your travels.
That makes coffee one of the perfect ideas for souvenirs and gifts when traveling around the world.
Whether it’s Blue Mountain from Jamaica or some fine high mountain Arabica from Colombia, you’ll find some of the best coffee in the world along your travels.
You’ll definitely want to carry it back home with you!
You could be somewhere in Africa, Asia, or even the Americas; think about places like Brazil, where you can carry back some great coffee for as cheap as $2. In many cases, you’ll find it’s presented in an ideal way to give as the perfect travel gift.
For the coffees you find in the higher end of the market, you can expect to pay around $5 a packet in its country of origin.
Once you have consumed the coffee, you are then left with the elegant packaging as a souvenir which serves as the perfect memento.
When buying coffee as a souvenir, or a gift, it is always best to carry back the beans for preserving the taste and freshness rather than ground coffee–but either is good. Especially if you are unsure which to carry back or if you know your recipient doesn’t have a coffee grinder.
Related Article: Coffee loving friends, have you tried these popular coffee drinks from around the world?
5. Small Kitchen Gadgets & Cooking Utensils
By Lori Sorrentino of TravlinMad | Instagram
If you’re a foodie or love to cook, you might enjoy picking up some small kitchen gadgets and cooking utensils from your travels.
They are another of the great ideas for souvenirs since they’re relatively light and easily packable.
In the UK, the Kitchen Cook Shop at the Borough Market is heaven for home cooks to browse. Chopsticks and bamboo mats are popular cooking souvenirs from Japan, China, and Korea.
In Mexico, the iconic tortilla inspires many cooking utensils you might need to make your own—from the small wooden tortilla presses to the adobe clay steamers and dipping bowls used to hold your favorite salsa.
And then there’s Italy, where food reigns supreme. You’ll love browsing shops for all sorts of kitchen gadgets you won’t find at home — they make the best souvenirs from Italy.
One of the most unique items you might come across is a Garganelli comb from Modena.
If you like making your own pasta, this unique wooden board and pencil-size rolling pin will have you making ridged Garganelli pasta in no time.
Plus, there are wooden spoons of all sizes and shapes, beautiful ceramic-handled cheese graters, truffle slicers, and wine stoppers to choose from.
And who doesn’t need another apron?
They’re lightweight and can help with padding your more delicate souvenirs when you bring them home.
So, when you’re looking to pick up a unique travel souvenir, just look to your favorite foods and what you might need to make them at home!
6. Hand-Made Table Cloths
By Bec from Wyld Family Travel | Facebook
If you are looking for an inexpensive gift or souvenir idea to take home that you can use all the time, tablecloths are a great option.
They fit easily in your luggage and take up very little weight as well as space.
Many countries have beautiful tablecloths on offer, but one of the best places to get handmade table cloths is in Poland. If you are visiting a city in Poland like Warsaw you will find them in most of the souvenirs shops.
There are so many different kinds, but one of the popular ones is dense lace on the outer and hand-stitched with thin ribbon.
If you are able to get out of the city you can find some smaller towns where you can watch them being stitched.
You can also find amazing handmade table cloths in France, Germany and Spain. All are very unique, colorful and come in a range of sizes so you can have one for any sized table.
What you pay will be up to you with some as little as $11 US (10 Euros) all the way up to $60 (50 euros).
Getting off the tourist strip will always have you funding cheaper prices and most of the time designs you may not have seen before.
While they aren’t as easily available in Asia, you can find them there, too. Most of the time they are smaller and not really made to hang over a large table.
Rather, they are intended to be more be a centerpiece for a smaller table.
Table cloths are also a great way to remember your trips.
As you sit down to breakfast, lunch, or dinner at your table, you can reminisce about where you got it from and any other favorite memories that come up.
7. Hand-Painted Dishes
By Noel Morata at Travel Photo Discovery | Instagram
One of the most colorful and practical ideas for souvenirs that you can use for different activities and gatherings are hand-painted dishes.
This beautiful metal platter dish (shown) is made in Mexico.
You can find a lot of these vintage looking dishes at markets while visiting Mexico city and many other city markets that sell a variety of Mexican inspired designs.
This particular serving platter features the famous beer called Corona Extra and it has a nostalgic image of beautiful woman in the middle.
It is colorful, vintage looking in an old style but mass manufactured for the cheap price which you can buy for under $10.
You might also collect other types of hand-painted dishes from regions around the world, like in Italy, Portugal, England, and China.
Easy to pack in your suitcase, a small dish is easy to bring home as a souvenir.
You can display it as a beautiful reminder of your travels, and if it’s food-safe, use for entertaining and every-day use to serving snacks and meals.
8. Small Lapel Pins
By Claire from Claire Pins Travel | Instagram
Souvenir lapel pins, also called pin badges in some parts of the world, are one of the great ideas for souvenirs to bring home from your travels.
They are small, light, easy to transport, readily available and very affordable.
You’ll typically find lapel pins at souvenir stores, gift shops at museums, art galleries and major attractions.
You may even find them at city halls, chambers of commerce, and government run tourist information centers.
To find more unique options, try independent bookstores, antique markets or thrift shops, where you might find a one of a kind vintage design.
Souvenir pins are usually sold for under five American dollars or five Euros, although original designs handmade by artists and popular collector series pins may cost substantially more.
While these pins can typically be found in well-known travel destinations all around the world, they are particularly popular with collectors in the United States.
Many people collect pins from different states, cities, National Parks, historic landmarks, famous theme parks and other significant destinations around the country.
This souvenir idea is a good choice for anyone who enjoys collecting an item from their travels, as they are easily available and the low price point makes them accessible even for children and other young travelers.
To display a small pin collection, consider using a hat, blanket, or small shadow box.
For a larger collection, you can make your own pin display board using a canvas print with a foam backing. Or, try decorating an office cork board to showcase your collection.
9. Delicious Candy
Michelle Moyer at Moyer Memoirs | Instagram
If you are thinking of bringing a souvenir home from your travel destination, you should definitely consider the popular local candy of the area.
Many countries specialize in certain candy dishes and taking some home would be a great memory of your trip.
Food is an important part of a country’s culture and candy is no exception.
Candy boxes are a great choice for souvenir ideas because they are inexpensive purchases that travel well in your carry-on luggage. You might even be tempted to try them out on your flight home!
Depending on how much room you have in your travel bag, you can get a few different candy samples for yourself and everyone on your souvenir list, or a whole box of a variety of goodies.
A candy box is a great souvenir for family and friends so that they can also enjoy the local food from your destination.
The average price of a candy box can be $1 for a small sample or up to $20 USD for larger expensive custom boxes.
For instance, take home a locally made cocoa candy bar from South America, a hand-crafted macaron from Paris, or a Turkish Delight candy box as one of the best souvenirs from Turkey.
By choosing an edible souvenir, you can’t go wrong, since memories of your trip will surround you when your tastebuds are awakened by the delicious candies!
Related Article: Love sweets? Check out these traditional candies of the world!
10. Artisan Jewelry
Yukti at Travel with Me 24 X 7 | Youtube
Another of the best ideas for souvenirs while traveling is artisan jewelry from local art shops.
Locally made jewelry depicts many things about the culture, society, mineral resources, and lifestyle of that area.
Also, buying local jewelry from artisans help them to promote their art whenever you wear it in the future. Local jewelry is the best gift for female and male friends, who may prefer funky bracelets and long chains.
So whenever you visit a new region or place, seek out some funky and artistic chunks of jewels that can adorn you and loved ones, as well as promote that place whenever you wear it. For instance, you can search out the rare Purple Jade gemstone on your travels!
Most people think jewelry is an expensive affair, but if you buy locally made beaded chunks of ornaments made from inexpensive stuff then it is very affordable, too.
Sometimes it cost around 5 USD per earrings – but all depends on size, artwork, and material used.
There are many options in jewelry like earrings, necklaces, anklets, bracelets, rings, friendship bands, amulets, waistbands, nose pins, hair ornaments, and lots of innovative stuff.
That is why jewelry is the best travel souvenir that can be brought back for self or for gifting friends & relatives after a great trip.
In particular, artisan jewelry from Turkey, India, Morocco, Greece, Egypt, Mexico, Russia is colorful.
You’ll find culturally relevant pieces of jewelry with lots of artwork, and may recognize meaningful references to ancient history in some pieces.
Japan, Sri Lanka, and California also offer beautiful ocean jewels like pearls, too.
11. Curious Lucky Charms
By Alyse from The Invisible Tourist | Instagram
Do you hope to learn more about a country’s culture during your travels?
Or bring back a completely unique gift?
Then it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for inexpensive lucky charms! They one of the most unique ideas for souvenirs!
Lucky charms, or good luck charms, are a wonderful way to maintain a connection to a country’s people and their culture.
These small objects usually have a long history or belief associated with them by locals, whether it be to ward off evil spirits or encourage good fortune your way.
Most of them can be picked up for only small change local stores, too.
While they come in different forms around the globe, some of the best Japanese souvenirs are lucky charms (omamori in Japanese).
The most popular are maneki-neko, small waving cats who are believed to beckon good fortune.
Even various colors of these cats have meaning, where red cats encourage good health, gold or yellow for wealth, black to keep away bad spirits or pink for romance.
Other kinds of lucky charms from around the world include:
- Four-leaf clovers from Ireland due to their rarity
- Blue eyes crafted from glass in Greece called mati to protect the wearer from those with bad intentions
- Scarab beetle charms from Egypt that date back to ancient times were believed to be helpful in the afterlife
- Elephant ornaments in countries with Hindu beliefs are said to help overcome obstacles and are associated with wisdom
Consider picking up some good luck charms during your next trip as a fond reminder of your experience!
12. All Kinds of Maps
By Casandra of Karpiak Caravan | Facebook
One of the most fun things about traveling is the travel souvenirs you find along the way to commemorate your trip.
There is such an abundance of souvenir options out there but consider buying a map of the destination you are visiting. Travelers love to look at maps.
You can buy a map of the destination you are visiting, framed or unframed.
This is not only one of the unique souvenir ideas, as each one is different, but it’s also something that people are much less likely to already have.
They make the perfect travel souvenir because they are both unique and inexpensive and they are beautiful enough to be part of a collection but not expensive enough to be difficult to obtain.
Maps are an unusual gift that travelers will appreciate for years to come when looking back on their vacations.
Then, the maps can be framed and used as art work to decorate the home.
Unframed maps can cost as little as $5 USD or if you fall in love with a framed map, it can cost anywhere from $30 USD and up depending on your destination.
Unframed maps are easy to transport and store. Framed maps can generally be shipped directly to your home so you don’t have to travel with them.
For instance, look for souvenir maps on a trip to Napa and Sonoma Valley when you’re visiting California wineries. Vintage maps with all the wineries listed would make a stunning remembrance of the trip hanging in your dining room!
Maps are great ideas for souvenirs for almost anyone who travels as they provide a beautiful reminder of the trip and allow you to look back on your time away.
13. Christmas Ornaments
By Jordan of Hamburg and Beyond | Instagram
Ornaments are one of the ideal ideas for souvenirs because they’re small, lightweight, and don’t cost a lot of money.
You’re easily able to collect them from most locations around the world and they provide a wonderful reflection of your travels every Christmas.
Depending on the material used and whether the design is hand-painted, ornaments can range on average from $10-45 USD.
It’s important to note that most tourist shops will sell generic ornaments. However, if you’re looking for a unique or special ornament, head down to the local markets.
Ornaments are popular in European destinations with Christmas markets, especially in Germany. While ornaments are believed to have started in Germany in the 16th century, they’re now widely used on Christmas trees around the world.
The best place to find an authentic ornament is at a smaller, local Christmas market.
They’re the perfect souvenir because they’re space-effective in a suitcase and cost-effective – just make sure to stuff them between socks so they don’t break on the way home!
The best part is that ornaments from travels can be reused and admired every single year on the Christmas tree, continuously evoking travel memories and stories from a certain location.
They also make a great holiday gift as they can be personalized for specific individuals.
Make sure you pick up an ornament on your next trip!
Related Article: You’ll find some of the most beautiful Christmas decorations at the Newport RI mansions.
14. Fine Art Paintings
By Rebecca McKellips at Whatever Packs Your Bag | Facebook
Visiting a new place is exciting, and you want to cherish those memories forever, the best way to keep those memories front and center is to bring back the best souvenir of your trip.
The best ideas for souvenirs you can bring home is a painting representing the place you have just been.
You are probably thinking this is a pricey endeavor, but the best places to find these great paintings are in the local markets.
Make sure you negotiate a good price, sometimes you can even bring back a matching set for the listed price.
When visiting Cuba, the artisan market in Havana is filled with locals selling everything from food, drinks, jewelry, and knick knacks. If you walk all the way to the far back wall, you will see booth after booth of artists and amazing artwork.
Any of these options would make a beautiful addition to your walls at home, but you will feel it when you see it. The perfect piece to remind you of your amazing adventure.
Likewise, in Florence and Venice Italy, you will find affordable canvasses in the city piazzas that are hand-painted by artists.
In fact, most major cities have these types of artisan markets, the perfect mix of food, trinkets, and handmade treasures.
They are almost always worth a couple hours of strolling through, and when you find that painting it will hang on your wall and always be a memento that brings you joy.
Related Article: Art lover? Plan a visit to these New England art museums.
15. Intoxicating Perfumes
By Elisa from World in Paris | Facebook
Perfumes can be an excellent choice from ideas for souvenirs to bring home from your trips.
There’s nothing better than a particular smell to remind you of happy moments spent during your fabulous holidays.
A perfume is something that you can wear every day, on special occasions, or when you feel down to cheer you up.
Perfume souvenirs are mainly marketed to women or girls, but sometimes you can also find good perfume souvenirs for men.
Perfumes can be expensive, especially if the most famous brands. However, the best perfume souvenirs are often the perfumes made with local flowers or fruits, which smell like the place you were staying.
A lavender-based perfume bought in a small shop of Avignon, for example, won’t be too expensive, but it can bring you great memories of your fantastic summer trip to the lavender fields of Provence.
In some places, it is also possible to create your own perfume. European cities like Paris, well-known for their perfumes, offer perfume workshops to craft your own perfume with the ingredients you like most.
This kind of perfume is not only a very personal souvenir (made by you), it is also the occasion to spend a fun day doing something different than sightseeing or visiting a museum.
16. Unique Playing Cards
By Charles McCool from McCool Travel | Twitter
When considering the perfect ideas for souvenirs, you cannot do much better than decks of playing cards.
Playing cards make an ideal gift for others, as well as vivid, fun, and practical reminders of places you have visited.
Decks of playing cards are small, lightweight, and easy to pack, especially convenient when you want to win the carryon game (and travel light). They are also TSA-friendly items and will not raise any security alarms, as other souvenirs might.
Plus, playing cards are sturdy so you do not have to worry about them breaking or being crushed.
Designs of playing cards vary between destinations and even within the same destination.
You may find Intricate artwork, photos of iconic buildings and scenery, or other images reflecting the destination. This will provide everlasting memories and inspiration of your visit.
Your gift recipient will have similar positive feelings and remember that you gave such a thoughtful gift. You can even buy playing card decks used by casinos in their gift shops.
Besides being convenient to pack and carry and uniquely designed to represent the place, playing cards are useful and entertaining. You can play card games—including a solitaire game, if you are a solo traveler—on train rides, flights, cruise sailings, at airports during delays, and during many other opportunities and situations.
Some decks even have game suggestions and rules, particularly in other countries.
Display your souvenir decks of cards at strategic spots around your house and work space to provide continual inspiration and good memories of your favorite trips.
17. Souvenir Postcards
If you’re looking for cheap ideas for souvenirs that aren’t heavy and don’t occupy too much space in your bags, then postcards are definitely the right choice for you.
Postcards usually cost less than a dollar and you can choose from tons of different motifs to find the most beautiful one of your travel destinations.
Postcards are also very easy to store at home.
For example, you can keep them in a small box, use photo albums, or even create your very own wall collage. Or what about displaying them as you would photos in photo frames?
When it comes to storing your postcards you can let your creativity run free.
If you want to add a special touch to every postcard you buy, write a few lines and mail it home to yourself. In this way, it’s not only a reminder of the place you’ve been to, but you can capture personal memories.
For instance, you can write about what you did on your trip, what you saw in each city, and your favorite sights and activities.
Plus you can also share how you’re feeling in the moment of writing, or the
inspiration that comes from traveling.
A postcard filled with unforgettable memories is definitely one of the best travel souvenirs!
18. Professional Photos of You!
By Stephanie of The Unknown Enthusiast | Instagram
While a lot of locations have interesting items to bring home, one of the best travel ideas for souvenirs you can get is not actually a “thing” – it’s a photoshoot!
Of course, you can take selfies or ask others to take a picture for you.
But a photoshoot is a priceless souvenir that captures you in the moment at the beautiful locations you are discovering.
What could be better than romantic pictures of you and your significant other near the Eiffel Tower, or pictures of you and your family on the beach in Costa Rica, or even just pictures of you solo wandering the streets of Prague?
Consider that your photoshoot doesn’t need to be by a major landmark. Street or nature shots that highlight the unique feel of your location can be just as fun and memorable.
To find a good photographer, you can search hashtags on Instagram.
Tags that include the location and words like photoshoot or photographer work well. For example, #parisphotographer or #francephotoshoot.
For Google, try searching for a travel photographer or lifestyle photographer, e.g. “Costa Rica lifestyle photographer”.
Expect to pay between $200-300 USD for a 1-hour photoshoot, with delivery of the pictures over email.
Even though a photoshoot might be more expensive than most souvenir ideas you could collect while traveling, it is a vivid way to remember your trip for years to come.
Related Article: If you’re not ready to invest in professional photos, learn to take better travel photos yourself.
19. Regional Recipe Books
Recipe books, or cookbooks, are one of the best ideas for souvenirs to collect during your travels.
Smell and taste are closely linked with memories–so what better way to re-live your favorite travel memories than by recreating your favorite dishes that you have tried abroad?
As you travel to more places, you can build your collection of recipes from all over the world.
This will allow you to indulge in different cuisines as a regular part of your routine.
In addition, you can try pairing your favorite international recipes with a regional wine for fun food and wine pairings.
This souvenir is a perfect gift for yourself or for anyone in your life who loves to cook. (Who knows? Maybe the person that you gift a recipe book for will be willing to cook a new recipe for you!)
Recipe books are an ideal souvenir because they are usually compact and easy to travel with. Recipe books can often be found in book stores or souvenir shops abroad.
If you cannot find a recipe book translated to your language, you can make note of your favorite recipes while abroad and then order a translated recipe book online as a keepsake when you return.
Related Article: If you’re a food, read this round-up of the best cuisine in the world
20. Interesting Refrigerator Magnets
One of the best travel souvenirs to buy when visiting new places is refrigerator magnets.
No matter where you visit, you are sure to find fridge magnets in tourist shops, attraction gift shops and even at the airport.
Whether you are visiting castles in Wales, sightseeing in London and New York, island hopping in Thailand or heading to Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful erupting, fridge magnets make great travel souvenirs.
That’s because they are readily available, cheap, and most importantly, do not take up much room in your luggage.
Fridge magnets are lightweight, often robust, but even if they are made from ceramic and are fragile, they can be easily protected by rolling up in your clothing or placing strategically in a sock inside a shoe.
Fridge magnets are easy to transport, and you can quickly build up an impressive collection to display at home, either on your fridge door, metal door, or on a magnet board.
They can be a permanent reminder of the great trips you’ve taken and can become a talking point for anyone visiting your home.
Fridge magnets also make great gifts for friends and family. You can buy several without adding too much weight to your bag on your return trip, and that way, you can remember everyone on your list.
They also make great souvenirs for kids over the age of 3. So, if you haven’t already, start your collection on your next trip and watch it grow.
21. Precious Rings
By Victoria at Guide Your Travel | Facebook
While it’s good to bring back useful souvenirs, it’s always more fun to concentrate on pretty things that you can look back on and reminisce about past trips.
Bringing back a ring from every destination you’ve visited will not only fill up your jewelry drawer, but also provide you with the perfect souvenir that won’t take up much space in your travel bag.
Plus, you can wear rings for many years to come.
Rings don’t need to be expensive either.
You can find basic silver rings for around $10-20 USD, but of course there are always more expensive options to choose from. Check local markets or even second hand stores to find those hidden gems.
In some countries like Mexico or Indonesia, silver hand-crafted jewelry is traditional and you can find them in many corner shops but also more official workshops.
You can sometimes join courses to make your own rings which will be more expensive but also a fun activity to try during your travels.
Of course, a more budget-friendly option is to buy a ring from a street vendor which might not be made of authentic materials but will still be pretty and if you take care of your rings should last for a while.
22. Beach Sand from Around the World
No matter where you go, it’s always nice to have something as a reminder for yourself or even for others.
That’s where ideas for souvenirs come into play.
For someone who loves the beach, some kind of takeaway is ideal. Most people would think of collecting shells or sand; however, you have to be very aware if this is allowed by location. It is seen as an environmental issue and some countries prohibit this by law.
However, usually souvenir shops close by have some sort of variation that you can find.
A favorite is a bottle of sand. This is a little glass jar only about 2 inches tall filled with sand from that country.
It’s amazing to see the different textures and colors of the sand side by side from different places throughout the world.
Of course, prices throughout the world are very different but it can cost anywhere from $5-10 US.
You’ll find this option in many Caribbean destinations, as well as different types of souvenirs with sand in it.
For instance, you’ll see some much bigger glass bottles with ships in it and other shapes like small plastic sandals.
As with anything glass, you have to be careful when packing this so be sure to wrap it within some piece of protective cloths so it makes it home safely.
Related Article: Check out this lesser-known island in the Bahamas where you’ll find pink sand!
23. Lovely Seashells
By Nikki of She Saves She Travels | Instagram
One of the best travel souvenirs that provide memories for years to come are seashells.
While traveling to a beach destination, hunting for seashells is a fun activity. Finding the perfect seashell – or a collection of them – is a fun time for kids and adults alike.
Before collecting seashells, be sure that local laws, customs, and guidelines don’t prohibit taking them.
Sand and seashells play a vital role to the environment, so in certain ecosystems, there may be laws in place to prevent tourists from removing them from the beach.
However if you’re in the clear, it’s one of the most rewarding souvenirs!
A fantastic place to find the best travel souvenirs is conch shells in the Caribbean.
It’s one of the top things to do in Turks and Caicos, and they are a common sight at the white-sand beaches on the island.
Here are a few tips to collecting seashells and transporting them back home:
- Look for a variety of colors and sizes
- Be sure to clean them with water before prepping to bring them home
- Gently lay seashells between layers of paper towels, napkins, or clothes and place them in a suitcase.
- If possible, keep seashells in a carry-on instead of checked luggage. (Check with customs, because some large shells, like conch, are not allowed in carry-on for safety reasons.)
- Anticipate that delicate seashells may break on the way home, despite being packaged well
Once you’re home, clean them with soapy water to prevent any smelly microorganisms or mold.
Once completely dry, you can display them on a shelf, in a vase, or attach smaller shells to a photo frame…the possibilities are endless!
24. Sew-On Patches
Most people love to gift souvenirs from their travels.
And, if you’re reading this post, then you probably fall into that category. But, sometimes it is nice to buy yourself a memento from travels near and far.
Sew-on, cloth badges are perfect for this.
They are lightweight, small, inexpensive, and you’ll find an unlimited number of different designs from around the world!
With a seemingly endless number of patterns, shapes and designs to choose from, your hardest task might be choosing just one from each place you visit.
But, given how popular cloth badges are all around the world, you can pick up one per country, state/region or even one per city.
Plus, many individual attractions, national parks or events have their own badges to add to your collection. A perfect token to look back on in the future and reminisce about travels, adventures, and cool places.
As an inexpensive souvenir (typically between $3-8 USD per badge), what you do with your badges once you get home from your travels is much more important.
Perhaps, you’re just happy to keep them in a box to pull out from time to time.
But, you can also frame many badges together or sew them onto a blanket, backpack, instrument case or the like. Thus, you’ll create a priceless collection of your travel memories!
25. Silver Spoons
If you are looking for small ideas for souvenirs that will not take up precious luggage space, is easy to transport, and is an affordable option (less than $10 US each), a souvenir spoon is a great keepsake to bring home to help you relive your travel memories.
Collecting souvenir spoons has been a popular hobby since the mid-1800s when the idea grew from the birth of leisure tourism in Europe.
Embellished spoons at tourist attractions around the world are still a familiar sight today.
Marked with the names of cities or famous landmarks, you will not have a hard time keeping your collection going. Sometimes just the spoon handle is decorated, others feature additional design.
The most popular are those that have had their handle transformed into something like the buildings of New York City or the map of a country.
You will have a huge appreciation for them with all the memories they bring back every time you look at them.
The spoons are like a chronicle of your travels; they have many stories to tell.
Souvenir spoons are a great visual reminder for those who do not want to add unnecessary clutter to your home, but still want to be able to display your cherished travel memories.
26. Postage Stamps
Postage stamps: They’re not just for letters anymore! If you’re looking for unique souvenir ideas, then stamps are a great option.
They reflect the culture of a place, events of historical importance, the local flora and fauna and event art forms.
A tiny piece of paper can often surprise you with something quirky and fun.
Did you know, in 2019, the British Postal service, Royal Mail issued a stamp collection featuring classic video games like Tomb Raider? Several countries across the world are known to issue limited edition stamps to commemorate important events.
If you are lucky to get your hands on one, they can prove to be valuable in the future.
Stamps are available in a wide variety of designs and make great presents for your friends and family at an affordable price. In most places, you can get several stamp sheets for less than $5 US.
Some post offices even provide you with the option to personalize a stamp with your own photograph and message! For example, India Post launched this service in 2011 and it remains popular to date.
Tourist destinations like Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu even have a subscription service.
Simply pay a small fee and the local post office will send you gorgeous stamps for an entire year.
To sum it up, stamps are easy to store and preserve, are cost effective, and allow you to bring back a fond memory from your holiday.
27. You Gotta Get A T-Shirt!
An excellent and one of the most popular ideas for souvenirs are t-shirts.
These handy items are available in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors.
This makes them especially good for families because each kid can get their own, customized to their individual preferences. Depending on your itinerary, t-shirts can showcase city names or historical sites.
T-shirts also have a wide price range but tend to be a more affordable souvenir choice. Prices range from a couple of dollars in southeast Asia to $20+ in the United States and Europe.
Since they are made of cloth, t-shirts can also roll up fairly small in any travel bag.
They can even act as backup clothing during unexpected mishaps. This makes them an incredibly versatile souvenir choice.
In the meantime, t-shirts are also a valuable wardrobe addition once you return home.
Unlike a small collectible, a souvenir t-shirt won’t sit on your coffee table collecting dust! They also make for happy memories and good conversation starters whenever you wear them.
In addition, parents tend to save trinkets from their children’s childhoods.
Saving all the travel t-shirts from each trip the family has taken can also become a creative bonus when your child is grown.
Depending on how many t-shirts you have, get them all made into a quilt when your child turns 18 or 21. Give the quilt to them as a high school or college graduation gift.
28. Unique Tea Cups
By Lindsey Puls of Have Clothes, Will Travel | Facebook
Collecting teacups while traveling may seem odd to some.
However, it can be a great souvenir to remember your travels, as tea culture varies greatly from country to country. Plus, the cups can be very beautiful to display in your home.
For example, in Japan, the teacups (called Yunomi) do not have handles. That allows you to enjoy the warmth of the tea.
Then, in Turkey, tea is not actually drunk in a cup, it’s drunk from small tulip-shaped glasses (called Ince Belli). You must hold it by the rim, so you don’t scorch your fingers!
In Argentina, tea (called Mate) is drunk through a metal straw (called a bombilla) from a hollowed-out gourd. When visiting Argentina, don’t miss the opportunity to try it!
As you can imagine, it doesn’t take long to build up an interesting collection of teacups/glasses/gourds!
Prices of teacups can vary greatly depending on where you buy them, what they are made of, if they are hand-painted, and other factors.
In most tourist souvenir shops, you can expect to pay between $10-$20 USD for a simple teacup.
However, buying, say an Imperial Porcelain tea set from Russia can cost close to $1,000 (with one cup being about $80 USD). As with art, prices can vary greatly.
Related Article: Tea Connoisseur? Read about the best teas and unique tea culture of the world.
29. Tasty Wine
By Zoe from Together In Transit | Facebook
If you are seeking for ideas for souvenirs to collect from your holidays, or to gift someone else, you should consider a bottle of local wine.
Of course, this is depending where you travel to in general, but you’d be surprised that many locations have their own variety of wine to try and enjoy.
Wine is sold within many different price ranges depending on where you buy it from, such as from a little local shop or the actual winery.
It also depends on the country, such as the average price for a bottle of red wine in Italy is $7 USD. Whereas traveling to a location like Qatar could be more expensive simply based on if the wine is made locally or if it has been imported.
The most popular destinations to bring back wine is from Bordeaux in France, Tuscany in Italy and Paso Robles in California.
A personal recommendation is the local Sicilian wine from the local Baglio Baiata Alagna winery.
A top tip for transporting any bottles of wine safely back home is to make sure it wrapped up between your clothes or suitable packaging inside your suitcase for protection. The last thing you want is the wine leaking out at baggage claim.
Also, since it’s a liquid, it’s something you must put in your check-in suitcase, unless you have bought mini bottles that are allowed within hand luggage!
Else you could consider shipping some wine separately with local delivery companies.
Just make sure to find a suitable one that ships internationally or use a well-known company like DHL.
Related Article: You might be surprised, but these New England wineries and vineyards turn out spectacular wine!
Final Thoughts on Ideas for Souvenirs
So, which of these examples of souvenirs would you want to start collecting?
You might even pick more than one, since many of these souvenir ideas are affordable, easy to find wherever you go, and don’t take up a lot space in your suitcase.
Whichever you choose, you can be assured that they will be a fond remembrance of your travels!
Looking for more creative ways to savor your trip? Try these travel journal ideas.
Save these ideas for later on Pinterest!
All photos provided by authors or courtesy of Canva Pro, unless otherwise noted.
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