Besides taking a gazillion pictures, souvenirs make for fun little reminders of our adventures. The problem is deciding what trinkets to bring home. I don’t know about you but I get this sort of panic that I may never come here again and end up grabbing every gaudy item possible to commemorate my trip. Those overexcited moments on vacation when I can’t seem to buy enough memorabilia often leave me stuck wondering how I’m going to get all this crap home. Luckily, I have learned to tame the shopping beast and have found the perfect souvenir that brings me daily enjoyment.
Now when I shop for souvenirs I focus on items that will give me the most satisfaction and evoke the most feelings long after a travel has passed. For the kids, that means a themed toy like a rubber alligator from Florida or my daughter’s favorite Mexican doll from Old Town San Diego. Sure, I’ve done the t-shirt thing, but they usually end up as gym shirts or cleaning shirts. As for the kids, they grow out of them too fast and the shirt gets thrown in a box within months. I have grand plans of making a quilt out of their souvenir t-shirts one day, but let’s be honest, I will never personally make a quilt. That’s my mother-in-law’s arena.
I still like my postcards, because they are easy to store and cheap. But, unless I incorporate them in a display they just get put away, never seen again until spring cleaning. I do have a multi-photo frame that I use to display vacation and holiday pictures and sometime intermix postcards and scrapbook paper with the photos to add some flare and excitement, but I rotate the photos out so often that my postcards get maybe a month of display time before being put in the postcard book.
I try to get a charm for my travel charm bracelet, but they are hard to find in some places and I usually waste too much time on the hunt. Again, the charm gets put on my bracelet and put in a jewelry box, only worn on rare occasions. I have toddlers so my jewelry wearing has become limited. Now I have a new focus.
So what is my new favorite souvenir? Coffee mugs! Yes! I also always pick up a shot glass as well; because it’s no secret HotMama likes her tequila. Although, the shot glasses make for a cute display on my bar, my coffee mugs get daily use first thing in the morning. I start every morning with a pot…uhm…I mean cup of coffee so when I pick out my mug I’m actually deciding which mental vacation I’m taking that day. It starts my day off in a great mood. As I drink from that beautifully colorful piece of porcelain all the positive feelings of bringing somewhere I love come rushing back. I can feel my toes in the sand and the Florida sun on my skin. I can hear the Vegas slots machines ching-chinging. I can smell the pine trees of the mountains. It’s a wonderful way to start my day.
I encourage everyone when hunting for the perfect souvenir, think about your everyday routine and find something that will be a daily reminder of your adventures as opposed to something that will get stored upon return. Here’s to great travels and great memories!