🛍 Functional Souvenirs
On Evelyn’s first day of soccer practice, she showed up with a soccer ball from Ireland and a Malaga C.F. scarf from Spain.
When you travel as much as we do, you have to control the amount of souvenirs you collect along the way, or they start piling up quickly. We don’t always buy souvenirs. However, when we do we try and find items that are functional (they will serve a purpose when returning home) and also meaningful.
Below are a few ideas for functional souvenirs to be on the lookout for on your next trip. Look for those things that have more purpose than just gathering dust on a shelf. You can usually find the best and most authentic goods in local markets.
Only clothing that you really like, that is made well, and that will actually be worn when returning home. Some examples include a wool sweater or socks from Ireland, espadrille (shoes) from Spain, or winter wear from Iceland from their well known brand Icewear
- Soccer Balls
We like to pick up a soccer ball for Evelyn with a local team as a souvenir. It gives us something to play with while traveling and it packs down easily for the flight home. Before heading home, find a sporting goods store that will help you deflate it (or pack a pump needle).
- Christmas Ornaments
Our Christmas tree is full of ornaments from all the places we have visited. It is fun to decorate the tree every year and reminisce about our travels. Ornaments tend to be small (avoid the glass ball style if you can) and they are easy to pack and bring back home. When I've been unable to find an ornament, I have turned magnets into one with a little ribbon and hot glue.
- Toys that are specific or handmade in the region we are visiting
A Rubik cubes from Budapest. A Steiff from Germany. A hand woven blanket from Cambodia or basket from Charleston.
- Local liquors (for the adults)
My husband and I love to pick up local liquors while traveling to bring back and share with our friends and family during special events. Some of my favorite have been pacharán from Spain, rum from Barbados, and punsch from Sweden.
- Cooking species or oils
Pick up paprika from Budapest, olive oil from Italy, and salt from Salzburg.