Updated: February 9, 2022 | Has affiliate links

3 Top Souvenirs You Should Buy On Your Next Vacation


People shopping for souvenirs at local marketWhen you think of souvenirs, you typically imagine buying keychains, magnets, mugs, t-shirts, or snacks. Though these are nice to have, it is always best to buy more valuable and one-of-a-kind items that will remind you of your trip. Making unique gifts takes more thought, but considering some simple souvenir categories can help you bring special gifts when returning from your next vacation. Consider buying these unique souvenirs on your next holiday.

Souvenir buying is such a huge part of the travel experience that it generates billions of dollars of profit yearly. For many people, these souvenir items become great mementos, rekindling wonderful memories they spent at their travel destinations. While shopping for souvenirs is not the primary reason why people travel, it is definitely one of the most popular tourist activities. In fact, most travelers now actually make shopping a big part of their travel budget plan.

1. Authentic Apparel

Scottish hats inside a souvenir shop in Edinburgh
Scottish hats inside a souvenir shop in Edinburgh
See my photos from Edinburgh

As mentioned earlier, people usually buy t-shirts as souvenirs, but if you’re looking for a quality memento, don’t get t-shirts that feature the travel destination’s name or its most popular landmark. Instead, get authentic clothing items or fabrics unique to the country or place. For instance, a pair of stylish harem pants is a highly popular souvenir item from Thailand, according to a recent study by Club Med. Another example is a colorfully-designed shawl or scarf from Turkey. These items beautifully showcase the place’s rich culture, which serves as a great reminder of what the destination is like. You can also get a lot of use from these items since they’re stylish enough to wear, and you can also do a bit of DIY and turn them into throw pillow covers or a tote bag.

2. Hand-crafted Jewelry

People shopping for hand crafted jewelry on Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy
People shopping for hand crafted jewelry on Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy
See my photos from Florence

Another souvenir item that you should get is hand-crafted jewelry. Many countries or cultures have their own traditional designs and techniques when it comes to making jewelry. These designs are greatly influenced by their history, making these pieces unique to the place, so these jewelry can become meaningful souvenirs for travelers. When shopping for jewelry on your travels, look for the distinctive features of each piece that make them unique to your destination. For instance, if you’re in India, look for Meenakari jewelry, which uses floral patterns in colors of red, blue, and green set in enamel gold. In Kenya, there is the traditional Maasai necklace, which is very colorful and eye-catching. Many travelers gravitate towards souvenirs like these, not just because they are beautiful and unique, but also because they know they are supporting real people making the jewelry and their community.

3. Kitchen Accessories

Kitchen utensils at the Sibiu Village Museum
Kitchen utensils at the Romanian Village Museum in Sibiu, Romania
See my photos from Sibiu Village Museum

Souvenir items that people do not typically buy, but definitely should, are kitchen accessories. Same as jewelry, countries apply their cultures and traditions to the creation of household items, including kitchenware. That is why many tourists buy mugs as souvenirs from different countries. However, there are many other kitchen accessories that are much more interesting. For example, you can find colorful teacup sets in India. You can also look for delicate sake serving sets from Japan. In Italy, instead of just buying wine glasses, you can also buy uniquely-designed wine stoppers. Because of their designs, they can definitely serve as decoration in the kitchen so that when you see them, you are immediately reminded of your travels. They can even be conversation pieces for your guests.

Buying souvenirs is a great way to preserve memories of your wonderful travel experiences. Next time you go on a trip, you should definitely look for the not so typical souvenir items

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