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Written by: Brenda Pomponio

Written by: Brenda Pomponio

Founder OFT

Why a travel souvenir?

What is a travel souvenir and what makes it so important? I believe we have all fallen into the trap of feeling compelled to purchase something when travelling as a reminder, a memory anchor or travel keepsake that we can display when we return home.

Are souvenirs important and what makes a good souvenir?

Add children into the mix and you’ll nod your head in agreement that each and every time you pass a shop filled with delightfully bright gift shop you cringe at what they will ask for. However, perhaps it doesn’t need to be like this? Perhaps souvenirs aren’t bad at all, perhaps it’s our approach to them.

A few years back, once our children got old enough to understand more consciously about buying and spending we decided to introduce them to souvenir spending with a bit of purpose and here is what we learnt.


souvenirs 1 1 - The Travel Souvenir

A Collection is fun

You can always be guaranteed that no matter where you travel there are a few quintessential souvenirs that will be repeated! Take the humble snow globe – we have always found one, and since a suggestion that my daughter collects one on her travels at each destination, it has become a winner. Not only are they kitsch and cute, she displays them pride in her room and they are often the topic of conversation. Think about what your children naturally love! Maybe they love to draw, so a novelty pencil or a badge to sew onto a blanket or sash. The idea is to keep it small, easy to purchase and pack in your bag and that they enjoy collecting.


Ever got to a destination and perhaps you really needed to pack that extra t-shirt or forgot a jumper? Well it’s certainly happened to us, and it’s been turned into an opportunity for a bit of destination branding! This can be the same for special garments too. I purchased a denim jacket for the Armani Shop in Rome on my first visit to Italy back in 2005 (yes pre-children). I still have it, it’s a classic cut, it hasn’t dated and I love it! Each time I wear it, I think of that time I bought it, the adventures I had. Not sure a jacket I’ve got at home gives me the same feeling.

 Digital to print

Oh, I certainly am a big fan of creating souvenirs from our photos and videos. Getting them off your computer and into print I know is often the hardest, however, if you can get into a habit of reviewing which images you like, printing a few off, then soon you’ll wonder why it took you so long. The kids love our prints turned into magnets for the fridge (these would make cute gifts to family too!). Recently I made a magazine style photo book using Social Print Studio and for $15US it was so easy! A cost-effective way of making a volume for each destination or city!

 Make it yourself

There is nothing like an experience to enjoy during a holiday and made even better if there is something to bring home from it. We’ve made our own masks in Venice, the children have made etchings on 2000 year old stone work in the Castel St Angelo and we all made mosaics with an artist in Verona. Such special moments made better with the fact we have something at home to remind us of that time.

IMG 8552 - The Travel Souvenir Travel paraphernalia

Call me weird but I love to keep all our travel paraphernalia like ticket stubs, receipts, maps and some brochures. I tuck them away in the suitcase and when I get home I sort them out. After our recent trip visiting three countries (Italy, Scotland and Denmark) I made three memory keepsake boxes and keep everything in there. There are amazing inspiring ideas on Pinterest!


IMG 8972 - The Travel Souvenir Just to remember

A souvenir doesn’t have to be bought at that moment when you travelled. Maybe you want to remember a trip, or a place (that you might not have been to yet) but it’s on your list and really important to you. We love maps and have them all around the house. Recently we gifted our son a map from Mapiful of Reykjavik – the capital of Iceland because he is so fascinated by it.

So there you have it! I’m quite a sucker for a good souvenir. Are you? Do you buy something special when you travel?

pinit fg en rect red 28 - The Travel Souvenir

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