How To Collect Authentic Trip Souvenirs That Capture the Locales' True Essence

Trip souvenirs. What images does that word conjure to mind? Overpriced, low-quality merchandise that gets donated to Goodwill during your next spring cleaning? Or how about random trinkets brought home to hand out to friends and relatives? After all, nothing says, "I missed you while in Paris" as much as a mass-produced Eiffel Tower keychain that breaks in a month. Right?
Okay, maybe not so much. How about changing things up with authentic vacation souvenirs that capture the true essence of your favorite locales? Here are our 5 favorites.
  1. Tickets & Passes
These make some of the best travel souvenirs and are the easiest to collect. So simply keep your Louvre Museum ticket and don't throw away that London Tube Oyster pass. Some places make their passes look downright frame-worthy, featuring work from local artists. 
Not to mention, they represent your personal experience. Your ticket to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway will transport you right back to that night, much more than any "I heart NY" sticker ever could do. 
  1. Food
The most delicious addition to any good travel souvenir collection. Food also makes for a wonderful, cost-effective and easily personalized friend and family gift. 
First, go to a local supermarket off the main tourist route to get a more extensive selection and lower prices. 
Second, find food that is shelf-stable, easy to transport, and preferably unique to the place your visiting. If it has pretty packaging, that's a plus. 
Third, specialize the gift by your friend's taste. Have a tea lover back home? Check out the tea aisle for local varieties they might love to try. Chocolate lover? Well, who doesn't love foreign candy?
  1. Nature
Bring the beauty of nature home with you. Just pick up small rocks, sand, shells, flowers, or leaves at your dream destination. Then DIY it into your home decor. Dry and press the flowers from the mountains or capture a small piece of the ocean by collecting sand, shells, and water into a small mason jar. Follow your imagination. But also check first if taking a bit of your destination home with you is legal. For example, it's best to leave US national parks undisturbed.
  1. Photo Magnets
Your photos are some of the best souvenirs, but all too often, they're left buried on your camera roll. Get them out in the open by ordering easy to hang photo magnets. Available through our app, photo magnets let you turn your memories into souvenirs. Simply snap, download our app, place your order, and receive your personalized magnets in the mail. They pair great with our line of magnetic Chalkboard Maps that let you turn your wall into a display of your travel memories and souvenirs.
  1. Menus & Business Cards
Similar to #1 on our list, menus and business cards make excellent souvenirs. No, we're not talking about the fully laminated menu from the sit-down restaurant you went to in Munich. Instead, ask if the restaurant has a "take out menu." Many will happily provide you with a small, paper menu designed for diners to take home with them. Also, while visiting a cute business, check to see if they have business cards by the register. Their adorable logo will take you back to your visit to their shop every time you look at it. These also make excellent traveler souvenirs since they won't add weight to your luggage.
Do you have a favorite souvenir you always collect on trips? Let us know over on our social media. Check us out on *Facebook* or *Instagram*.