5 souvenir ideas outside gift shops

A lot of people spend hours of their traveling time thinking about what to get as a souvenir for themselves or friends/family. Instead of spending hours bouncing between shops looking for that perfect gift for them try something out of the box. You will appreciate the creativity of something you made yourself much more than the cringe you get when you see the bill from all the store bought souvenirs! Below are 5 ideas for your next trip to try:

Paintings


Every city has street artists all over so go by, visit them and see what they have painted. Some will even do custom painting for you if you ask.I have collected paintings all over the world and they are some of my favorite pieces. Plus this supports local artists and travelers trying to make a living. Nothing beats buying local hand crafted items! They are great conversation starters and most are fairly small so they will fit in some odd sized spaces in your place.

Tourists brochures 

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All those information brochures you get at the tourist information center or your hostel can actually be used as a cool souvenir. With all the writing and notes you put on them as you travel why throw them away? Instead, keep them and put them inside a shadow box coffee table and combine them with small Polaroids to create a once of kind piece. This makes an amazing visual conversational piece right in your living room.

Photographs


Instead of buying trinkets go out and take pictures. Find that favorite spot and snap a picture of the view that captures your heart. Take that picture home with you and go print it out on high quality paper. Put that picture in a frame and hang it on your wall. The sense of pride you will have from those pictures will be felt every time you walk past it as it will take you back to that moment when you took it. A great camera to use is the Nikon D3300. It is a great entry level DSLR for budding photographers.

Postcards

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photo via: maxandcopost.com

Why not go a little old school and pick up some postcards. Try finding one that captures an experience you had and write that experience down on it. Mail that postcard home to yourself and keep them in a collection on display. It is a great visual that carries a personal story attached to them!

Travel Journal


Keep a travel journal of your travels. As you travel more the details of your experiences slightly fade as time goes by. So why not keep those memories sharp by writing them down at the end of each day while you are traveling. It is a great way to keep personal memories forever!

These are a few of my favorite things to collect while traveling for a few reasons. One big reason I like these are because they keep the weight down. Traveling out of a backpack can be cumbersome when you have to much weight in your pack. (Trust me anything more than 40 pounds is crushing long term!) Another great reason to stay out of gift shops is it saves you money! What is better than saving money and still coming away with great souvenirs!  If you have any other souvenir ideas I please share them below in comments!

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