Got a favorite souvenir do or don't? Ever received a terrible souvenir? A great one? Share your souvenir experiences in the comments section.
I tend to travel more than many of my co-workers and several of them like small souvenirs from my trips. One always wants a magnet (easy enough, but I did once buy at the airport). Another collects Hard Rock Cafe bears (which breaks the plush toy rule). Another friend specifically asks me to bring an interesting rock (about fist-sized) from wherever I go (a freebie, but I think it breaks at least one rule).
The key for all of these is that my friends have asked for these things. I'd never want to give them something they wouldn't like.
Very good answer, bejacob
Just like my liking coins from other countries. I wouldn't be surprised if lots of others didn't like them, also.
Very good post, Eb. Like Be, I travel a lot, most of my co-workers (computer users) rarely. When I started traveling several years ago, I was bringing back all kinds of - pardon my French - ****, like the Eiffel Tower key chains and Mona Lisa pens. I also made the mistake of bringing back something to each of my colleagues, which caught on, as now they all do the same. As a result, we all have a veritable shrine of junk from each other (a paper flower from the Pope's visit to Mexico City, an acorn and sea shell from Croatia, chocolate covered Maca nuts from Hawaii, maple syrup from Canada, magic fairy dust from the Magic Kingdom - well, there's a private joke to that one, rows of magnets and the list goes on), all of which will be tossed whence I retire. No one asks for anything (though if they did I would attempt to accommodate) and I finally learned my lesson, even to the extent that I rarely purchase for the g-littles - an exception would be books from the Smithsonian children's book store. After buying overpriced plush camels in Dubai earlier this year for my g-littles, I bought nothing for them in Sydney. They'll play with it for a day and then it will be forgotten. I don't even purchase but a rare souvenir for myself anymore (last one was a hand carved wooden bracelet made by a university student in Prague, nothing expensive, but I will fondly remember the trip each time I wear the bracelet. It didn't break the bank and more importantly, didn't take up space in my luggage.)
The best souvenirs are the memories we make along the way, the connections made and perhaps a few photos (or a thousand ) to document the experiences. In Bejacob's case, it's postcards, and right on!
Just one more thought/observation... If there is something I just have to have (like say a Sydney Opera House ball cap for our concert band director or a coffee mug for another friend), I will always purchase these things from the actual store within the publicly funded attraction itself, rather than from Joe Blow's souvenir stand on the sidewalk or corner, even though it will cost over twice as much, because the funds spent in the store (for instance inside the National Archives) helps to keep these important places of historical, cultural and national/world significance funded; my souvenir $$ better spent.
Those are both really good posts, pluto77 . Thanks for the thoughts.
I buy lots of postcards like bejacob, usually getting them at the best buy in multiples, whatever that is.
In Yellowstone Nat'l Park, I donated to the park society and got a buffalo. I like it and the cups I bought at the end of season sale at the lodge at Old Faithful. I bought 2 and broke one. It's HUGE and my son looked them up and found they were considered collectibles. A cheap little plastic Yellowstone snow globe with a buffalo grazing is in the scene and the bottom was broken in a place when I bought it at clearance, but I like playing with it anyway.
A friend brought me spoons from places she'd been, so I started collecting them when I saw one I liked.
Tee shirts and sweat shirts I've bought from a destination are hardly ever worn, so they're out.
I was thinking that your office might decorate a tree with all of your mementos that have been collected to at least put them to use?
This is a great post with lots of great advice from all! Though I don't really follow this rule myself... My maternal grandparents love figurine type stuff or artwork (they have a lot of carvings and what not) that represents a place visited, so I always buy them say a figuring of the Eiffel Tower or of the Colosseum, etc. I guess it just really depends on the person.
Oh, and in Tokyo, at NRT, I enjoyed shopping at the airport! Found some weird snacks to bring back... shoyu or kinako Kit-Kat Bars anyone?