To buy Souvenirs or not to buy? That is the question.....

Travel Forums General Talk To buy Souvenirs or not to buy? That is the question.....

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1. Posted by Cottonwood (Budding Member 37 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

When one travels to where ever you travel to around the world, do you make a point to buy a souvenir of some kind or do you leave it with a few pictures...or a lot...and nothing else?

The more I travel lately , the less I buy and the more pictures I take. I have found I have that I really don't "need" anything at home from "the rest of the world" other than the memory of the hopefully fun trip. In rare cases, I have bought something more as a gift simply because it was so unique to me or my family/close friend.

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 6461 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I quite like having souvenirs around the house. Even just fridge magnets can be a bit of a fun reminder of a great trip. Or maybe some nice artwork, nothing touristy. For example, we picked up a nice photo in Budapest that sits in our living room. Nothing particularly Hungarian about it, but it is a nice bit of art and another reminder of a great trip. Actually, I probably would never have remembered visiting that photo gallery if it wasn't for the fact we bought that photo.

Even better is when you buy something of use while travelling. I bought an old Kodak camera in Barcelona when the one I had broke down. Got some great photos on the trip with it and have this nice old (rather attractive) camera sitting around the house now as a constant reminder as well.

So yeah, I'm a fan of souvenirs, provided they are tasteful.

3. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1031 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Flags! I like flags - a bit of a vexilollogist! I have a few flag fridge-magnets that do nothing other than display the flag of a country i've visited (and they're light and easy to carry in a backpack). I now buy less flag fridge-magnets and take more photos with national flags in them. 😀😀😀

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1125 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

Very seldom. I have travelled too much with people who get to something worth seeing and immediately head for the gift shop rather than spending our limited time seeing the main event, so I've become a bit negative about manufactured souvenirs - made in China.

The exception is when you get somewhere with something distinctively locally made, if there's a particular style or craft from the area. I bought a Shapka hat in Moscow one winter when my regular hat wasn't up to the cold, and I keep thinking I should get a carved wooden Tiki from New Zealand because it's one of my favourite places and I've nothing from there.

5. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 324 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

I occasionally buy souvenirs but I have become more and more selective. I tremendously enjoy looking at souvenir shops, though - the tackier the better.

My favourite souvenirs are those in my CD collection. I often buy CDs, not folk music but contemporary rock and pop, sung in the local language. Youtube helps to do some research beforehand and prepare a list with names of singers and bands that befit my musical taste. I also got some nice ones from buskers I enjoyed.

I like buying a piece of clothing, an accessoire, or practical things that can be used in daily life, like a designer egg whisk from Denmark, linen shopping bags with an image of the respective city, a tablecloth from Rome, a set of towels I from a North Sea island, and I still have the hair elastics I bought in Australia...

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3920 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I like to buy one good quality item rather than a few cheap or tacky items which will end up in a draw not being used. On a few trips recently I've bought a piece of artwork from a local artist which are a nice way to be reminded of my trips I see them all the time on the wall. I also like functional souvenirs such as place mats and table throws. When I was last in Japan I had room in my suitcase so I went to the 100 yen shop and bought a doormat (among other things) so now every time I come home I'm reminded of my favourite country!

I also like to buy a fridge magnet (tacky is ok) from each place although my cooker hood is now running out of space.

7. Posted by MilesTX (Budding Member 14 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

A problem with refrigerator magnets is that many newer refrigerators have stainless-steel doors, and magnets generally don't stick to SS.

I try to purchase a small, light-weight trinket in every "new" nation, for hanging on the Christmas tree. Kitchy is fine, and it's helpful if the object has the name of the place on it so I don't have to remember.

Every December when we decorate the tree we get to remember all those vacations.

8. Posted by king_golo (Respected Member 97 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I have come to like the idea of getting a fridge magnet from wherever we go. It's nothing too expensive or too heavy and it looks nice on my fridge door. Apart from that we tend to buy few souvenirs, only if we really like a piece of art or so. But I'm with Kathrin regarding visiting souvenir shops - it's too much fun to miss it. I'm pretty sure that we'll come home from Japan with quite a few souvenirs, as this country is one of the more exotic places on my list.

9. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 711 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I try to buy only locally made items, and back when the grandchildren were little I would buy them clothes (preferably without logos of the place - just relatively nice clothing) or I would buy one granddaughter a little coin purse from each place. Now I just get a little something for the great grandsons (although I did buy the them each a drum from Tanzania).

Mostly if I'm going to buy something, it will be food from the place. So I just sent my husband some cheese from the Netherlands, plus mustard with horseradish. I like cheese, but I hate both mustard and horseradish so it is in no danger of me eating it. ;)

10. Posted by Tabithag (Full Member 121 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

For me, unless we're right at the end of a trip, or I'm prepared to ship it back, souvenirs have to be small, light and not too fragile, so that they can be in our backpacks for the months that we're on the road. I like to buy a small silver charm from countries that I visit, which goes on a bracelet back home, or other pieces of locally made jewellery. We also do the small and kitsch pieces for the Christmas tree, and I've bought a number of backpack badges, which I plan to put onto a couple of cushion covers eventually.

Otherwise, we have bought things like a couple of dot paintings in Australia, an artglass vase in New Zealand (that reminds me of the rolling green landscapes there), and a sake set and chopsticks from Japan, which we carry for a bit, but when it builds up, we ship it home. It's easier on a short trip when we have fewer moves and might use a suitcase, making it feasible to buy bits of pottery from Seville etc.