Every time C & I go someplace new, souvenirs are a big part of the things we haul back home. There are many souvenir articles available and travelers are always confused about what to buy. Some like collecting similar type of things from popular destinations like shot glasses or thimbles. While we usually always buy magnets and pennies from most places we also like to bring back a little of the place’s culture with us.

Here are some common souvenir ideas for your next trips:

Pressed pennies – These are incredibly popular in the US. You put a penny and 2 quarters in the penny pressing machine, select from 4 available designs and crank the machine handle. Viola! You now have the cheapest souvenir of your trip. Preserving these pennies is a bit of work, but penny passports are available to make it a breeze.

Magnets Magnets stuck on refrigerators are the most universal reminders of trips to faraway lands. We have so many hanging on the giant fridge in our kitchen that soon we may need to find another magnetic surface for newer ones. I love picking out unique magnets depicting places and activities we can actually relate to. This one I picked in New Orleans accurately reflects that trip for us since eating the seafood was a highlight of our trip.

Handicrafts – Things produced by the local artisans make great souvenirs. So far I have Navajo sand art from Arizona, colored sand bottles from Petra and Mardi Gras masks and beads from New Orleans. We also have handmade pen-stands and letter keepers from India. I love buying handicrafts because they are really unique to a region and mostly intricate works of art.

Things for home – In the past I used to avoid buying things for home since I was renting and always moving to different places. However since we took the plunge and bought our own house, I have let myself go. Our house now has reminders of our trips in various nooks and corners. Glass and metal hanging lights hang from our window, a saucer from Petra graces a corner shelf, a similar saucer from Los Angeles rests on the kitchen sill. Everytime I go back home to india my bag is stuffed with souvenirs for the home. I have a Ganpati frame adorning the entrance of our house, miniature pottery from Kumbharwada (which literally means potters colony), Pune, India sitting pretty in the guest bathroom and beautiful fancy serve ware waiting to be used in the kitchen.

Are you looking for some unique souvenir ideas? Check Part 2 of this post here. 

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