Traveling opens your eyes to new places and experiences
When we set out on the road, most of us want to go home with something to help us remember the journey. You might also want to find gifts for to family and friends back home. Whether it’s unusual or something that has a special meaning, finding the right souvenir isn’t always easy.
Here are 7 tips to help you score the best trinkets for the people on your list…and yourself
1. Consider your audience
By “audience” we mean, consider who you are buying for. Think about what your kids like. What are your sister’s interests? What can you buy that will have special meaning for your parents? Give with some thought to the person, not just as a way to cross someone off your list.
2. Go local
Rather than race into a big box store stocked with generic T-shirts and tourist-trap trinkets, take time to shop at a local shop in town. Visit a street fair or local farmer’s market, a boutique or art gallery that sells thing you can’t get anywhere else. Not only will you find gifts that are more unique, but you’ll also be supporting the local businesses and communities you visit.
3. Look for hand crafted items
Similar to the tip about shopping local, it’s also a good idea to check out local artisans. From paintings and photography to woodworking and hand-made jewelry, you are sure to find something that is not only unique but also reflects local sights that you’ve visited.
4. Buy something useful
Sure, the shot glass with the etching of the Grand Canyon is an easy choice, but a good gift is something you – or your loved one back home – will actually use. If your brother is a wine connoisseur, visit a winery and buy a special bottle he’ll really love. Small things like key chains, pens, notepads, and coasters might not seem like much, but they are something your mother-in-law will use. In turn, she’ll remember you every time she uses them.
5. Pick something with a story behind it
“The word ‘souvenir’ comes from the French phrase for memory or remembrance,” according to US News and World Report.
You are literally picking out something that should trigger a memory of a special day or place. It should bring up memories of your day at the maple syrup factory or a book about the birds you saw in the national park. If there is meaning behind the souvenir, it will always mean more.
6. Don’t forget postcards
These days, it’s easier than ever to take pictures, thanks to smartphones. However, your snapshots might not turn out so well. You could end up visiting certain locations on a rainy or cloudy day. Imagine you traveled all the way to Washington State, but Mt. Rainier never made an appearance. Postcards can capture the best local sites in a way you might not be able to. You can also frame postcards and hang them on the wall, so you see them whenever you walk into the room.
7. Make sure it’s legal
You should only buy souvenirs from legitimate businesses. Again, you’re supporting local businesses, but acquiring a souvenir any other way might actually be illegal. For instance, you should never take anything from a historic site, monument or religious. The same rule usually applies if you’re in a national park. Even picking flowers from a field can be considered a “no-no.”
Buying souvenirs for everyone on your list takes time and careful consideration. Use these 7 tips to help make your shopping easier. For more helpful tips, become a RV Advisor Member today.