When traveling, sometimes it is hard to think about something memorable to bring back with you that won't just collect dust on a far away shelf. Speaking from experience here! I love souvenirs and used to indulge in the dumb, useless kind. My friend Meghan and I used to get one another shot glasses when going on trips.. definitely dust collectors. We have long since stopped buying those. Don't give up hope if this is you, I recently found a beautiful holder at Michaels for shot glasses and a few on Amazon as well. But I have a few suggestions for those of you still pining for souvenir ideas for trips that you will be taking!
A couple of years ago, a family friend gave me a new suggestion: ornaments. Every year that she gets her Christmas tree and pulls out her decorations, she is able to reminisce on each wonderful place that she has traveled to. Talk about two amazing activities rolled up into one! Joe and I adopted this tradition and have slowly started to build up our ornaments from trips, no matter how small. The best part about this is that something as simple as a key chain can be turned into an ornament by taking off the ring and adding a stylish ribbon!
The other keepsake that I now enjoy is a piece of art. I have found that buying a small print or photograph gets more attention and appreciation in the home than a t-shirt. When I was in China a few years ago, I splurged and bought a couple of professional photography prints in different sizes. I am now able to switch the prints around when I get tired of seeing the same thing and they are great conversation starters. Another frame-worthy wall piece is a map of the place that you visit. I recently bought one in the Caribbean when there with my husband on our honeymoon. It is fun to have the map hanging on the wall so that you can remember where you traveled to.
The last suggestion that I have for a trip keepsake is a shadowbox. While large shadow boxes can be expensive, it is possible to find inexpensive plastic boxes. A coworker of mine has a whole wall of these, each trip gets its own box. The boxes are the same size and the souvenirs have to fit inside. Typically she includes a plane ticket, show stub or city brochure. If it was an international trip, it could include trinkets and currency from the country. If it was a beach trip, it could include sand and shells. The boxes then go on matching shelves to make a unique display of their own!
Whether you collect Starbucks "You are Here" mugs or save your money to enlarge a photo or print a canvas, there are many unique ways to help your travels stay alive in your memories!