Think beyond the boring souvenirs of shot glasses and magnets. These cheap, cold trinkets will only collect dust or clutter on your refrigerator before eventually being sat out at a garage sale in your 5 cent bin. I suggest setting your sights on the the following creative travel souvenirs which will provide special long lasting memories.

My husband and I will purchase a postcard in every special stop of a trip. We both write a message, not letting the other see, and mail while on the road. When we get home we get not only a heartwarming souvenir, but a message from our partner in travel adventure. With six years of travel behind us, it is fun to look back and read these postcards, which now make up a travel diary. And an extra bonus is the low cost.

We love searching local farmer’s markets, jewelry stores, and art galleries for special long lasting finds. Often we are able to speak directly with the artist/creator. We add to our collection of treasures while supporting someone’s dreams. Some of my favorite personal examples of this are:
– Signed novels by Ciji Ware purchased in her local community of Sausalito, CA
– Signed bottle of wine purchased at Gustavo Wines. Winemaker Gus Brambila was portrayed by Freddie Rodriguez in the move BottleShock
– A heart shaped rock found while beach combing made into a ring at our local jewelry store
– Blown glass heart made by a local artist Paris Birdwell at Joshua Tree’s Farmer’s Market
– A wooden bowl handmade from South Carolina artist known as the bowl turner
– Antler wine bottle holder picked up in the Adirondacks
– An ink pen created with lobster shell by a local artist in Southwest Harbor, ME

I could go on and on but you get the idea. And let’s not forget the bottles of wine from local wineries purchased a long the way. We’ve turned these bottles into hummingbird feeders, candle holders and more.

If you must purchase a t-shirt, beer coozie or key chain, try to do so at a local establishment. My husband has purchased shirts and stickers from local guide businesses, bike shops, breweries and boutique wineries. Our hiking poles are covered in state park stickers reminding us of where we’ve been.

Happy travels and souvenir hunting!