The top three souvenirs that people buy when they are on vacation are ornaments, t-shirts and postcards. These keepsakes however, often end up being thrown out within a year or two. The plastic Spanish fan, or the dancing hula girl ornament may be a fun thing to bring home, but when your vacation is over, they will end up gathering dust. When you are on your next vacation, think about what you are going to bring home, and choose something truly meaningful that you will want to keep forever.
A piece of jewelry
Jewelry is something that will last a lifetime, and will always remind you of the memories you made. If you are buying jewelry when on vacation, look for something that has cultural meaning and significance. If you are in Ireland, you could choose a ring with a Celtic knot or a Tree of Life. If you are in India, bangles have great meaning, particularly for brides. You could also choose a piece of jewelry that incorporates a gemstone found locally. For instance the Dominican Republic is known for the beautiful blue Larimar, and Burma is known for Jade.
A local painting
If you buy a painting from a local artist on vacation, you will be helping to support the artist’s family, rather than a big corporation. While you are traveling, take a trip to a local art fair and see if you can find something that captures the spirit of your vacation. Look for a painting that depicts a location that you have enjoyed visiting or an image of local daily life, such as a bustling marketplace or a beach scene.
If you are looking for a sustainable souvenir to bring back from your vacation, try and find something handmade by a local artisan craftsperson. In the Netherlands, you could buy a beautiful painted Delft vase, or in Venice look for a handmade marbled notebook, or a piece of sculptural Murano glass. Italy is also known for beautiful leather goods. When you are looking for a souvenir, consider if it is something that you will want to keep in your home for the future.
A vacation is a special time during which you can make some great memories. Instead of buying something plastic or disposable from the gift shop, choose something truly meaningful that you can treasure.