My writing includes my personal travel experiences, destination, history, and cultural information.
With years of travel under my belt, I have found some pretty cool ways to preserve my travel memories with the best possible souvenirs! In this article, I’m going to share my tried and true methods of choosing souvenirs and what to do with them when you get home. Read on, my friends, I think you are going to like what’s here!
Years ago, I purchased a laminated world map. I mounted it to a cork bulletin board with Multicolor-headed straight pins; commonly used for sewing. (Originally, I had tried colored tacks but found that the heads were too big). With each country I have visited, I place a pin on the map. It’s fun to look at the map, hanging on the wall and reminisce over the multitude of destinations that I have had the opportunity to visit.
Over time, the pin heads collect dust. I used a can of compressed air to blow out the dust and not disturb the placement of the pins.
When I travel, I tend to take an abundance of pictures. I bet you do too! For example, when I returned from Africa, I realized I had over 6000 pictures. 6000 Pictures! It took me a month to go through those pictures and pick the best of the best. You know, the ones that best reflected my adventure. I weeded out all the pictures of my feet, the roadway, the ones too blurry to figure out what the subject was, and the ones that had my finger over the lens! We’ve all been there, right? After the weeding out process, I was still left with hundreds of photos. I didn’t want to go through that many pictures, let alone ask my friends and loved ones to view them.
(I used the online booking app for tours, Viator. They offer so much pre-tour information, which allows you to “know before you go”! The vouchers are easy to download to your phone and you are all set! I used TripAdvisor for the reviews and past guest comments, which I found very helpful! And of course, for the hotel and flights, I got great deals using Kiwi.com. I highly recommend all three of those vendors when booking your next trip!)
Relive Your Trip Creatively
It turns out that there are several companies that will print your pictures in a stitch or glued bound book. You as the creator, have the ability to use a template for each page or go freestyle, choose themes and backgrounds, add captions or use filters and make lighting adjustments to the photos. These companies allow up to 40 pages per book and depending on you, as many as 20 pictures can be placed on each page. Once you have created your book, the company will print and bind the book in a hardcover format.
If my trip has multiple destinations, on the first page, I put the itinerary. Then I select five to 10 pictures per destination, choose a template per page, and add captions. On the last page of the book, I write my thoughts, best memories, and a few anecdotes and memorialize the trip in a couple of paragraphs.
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I love going back over the books and reliving the travel. And when friends and loved ones ask about the trip and want to see pictures, I give them the book to through. It’s a fun and creative way to capture the best moments of your travel.
Each destination we travel to has a specific tradition or something it is best known for. For example, Provence is known for lavender, The Amalfi Coast is famous for its Limoncello, and Barcelona for Flamenco dancing.
I buy small, inexpensive souvenirs depicting something that my destination is known for. In Provence, I purchased a sachet of lavender, and in Barcelona, a small porcelain Flamenco dancer. You get the idea. The trick is that your souvenir must be small.
When I return home, I tag each item with the date and destination. I then hang (like a Christmas ornament), these items on an LED lit artificial tree.
It’s fun during your travel to seek out and select the perfect item, allows you to relive the trip as you prepare the items for the tree, and finally, it’s a colorful way to brighten a room with fabulous memories. For cruisers, it’s perfect since you will be visiting multiple destinations.
Over time, the “ornaments” collect dust. I used a can of compressed air to blow out the dust and not disturb the placement or integrity of the items.
One Special Souvenir
On each travel adventure, I purchase a really nice souvenir. Again, something that is unique to the destination. A souvenir that will last for a good long while and one that is practical for use. In Florence, I purchased a leather purse crafted by the Medici family leather company. In Athens, while visiting the Plaka, I had a pair of boots custom-made for me, and in Hoi An, Vietnam, two handmade tunic tops. While in Zimbabwe, I found a woman who was embroidering the front of purses in an effort to begin her own business and I purchased from her. Every time I use those items, they conjure up fond memories of the destination.
Friends and Family Souvenirs
When I first started traveling, I would spend a ton of time (and money) seeking out souvenirs for friends and family. It finally occurred to me that these items meant more to me than they did to the recipients! I stopped this practice upon that realization. Honestly, I think the former recipients were relieved not getting “junk” from my trips! I saved money and time. Every once in a while, if I see something spectacular that I know someone will appreciate or really love, I’ll make the purchase and then save it back for Christmas or a birthday. This practice has been pretty liberating and I highly suggest you give it some thought.
My Thoughts On Souvenirs
I’ve heard several times, the expression “There are no luggage racks on a hearse”. Agreed. I also agree that one should invest in memories, in themselves, and that those memories stay with us for a lifetime. I feel like memories inspire us to live our best life and that we strive for more based on our experiences. That’s the whole purpose of this website, friends; to inspire all of you to live your dreams and to live Mallory’s Dream.
I encourage you to share your thoughts or ideas on the best souvenir tactics. Please leave your comments and thoughts in the section provided in this article.
© 2022 Dee Serkin