Whenever I travel, I like to buy souvenirs for both myself and my siblings.
There’s something special about taking a piece of your travel destination back with you. It helps keep the memories alive and it makes for great stories if they’re on display inside your house 🙂
I’m really meticulous about souvenir shopping, though. I hate buying gifts for people only to find out they don’t really like it or are not using it. So, I like to do my best to increase the chance of success. (Sometimes this means dropping mad hints – much to the chagrin and amusement of the receiver.)
Without further ado, here are 3 things to consider when souvenir shopping – according to me 😀
1) Consider the receiver’s personality.
I’ll give you two examples:
My sister, @petrouspetals, likes cute little trinkets. It could be a jar full of Starburst wrapper stars or a pair of dainty stacked rings. Suffice to say, she likes pretty stuff. So, when I visited a little tea booth in China, I saw this cute jar of tea leaves and thought of her. It came in a pair so I kept one for myself 🙂
On the opposite end, my friend Paul likes cool sh*t. So I wanted to get something that visitors could look at and say, “Damn, that’s tight.” So the Chinese opera mask – which is kind of scary looking – was perfect for him. He actually still has it – even after moving once after moving out – and keeps it on his dresser.
2) Display items are visual first.
My favourite souvenirs are the ones you display on shelves. So, I like them to be visually interesting without being obnoxiously out of place. An example of the latter would be a jade dragon or a buddha statue.
An example of this souvenir that I got for myself was this set of maple leaves that were preserved in gold that I brought back from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. You can get them at the gift shop in Parliament.
3) Practical items are meant to be used.
The coasters below are an example of this. I like the white pair the most. Because of how sleek and clean it is, it can be inserted into your home decor without disrupting the feng shui too much 🙂
The thing you have to consider about buying practical items like coasters is simply this: Will this person actually use it? For me, I bought it as a display item and so far they’ve served their purpose. I considered a more subtle design – see #2 – so they could be used for display or with drinks without being an eyesore.
Maybe you’re the type of person that finds gift giving extremely easy. I certainly don’t. I actually have to start planning a year in advance and sometimes I even resort to asking the person what they want out of desperation. So I have to set guidelines for myself when shopping – whether it be clothes or souvenirs 🙂
If you are the type that needs a little assistance when souvenir – or gift – shopping for the people you love, I hope this post will help streamline the process by giving you insight into how I think when buying presents!
What are your favourite travel mementos? Do you have requirements when souvenir shopping?
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Photography by @petrouspetals