The best of memories are often made when an individual is traveling and exploring. The whole experience of discovering new places, meeting new people, trying out new food and doing uncommon activities is what makes traveling so much fun. The endings of such vacations are almost always upsetting and the feeling of going back to the normal life kicks in. One wants to grasp in as much as he/she can in whatever he/she can and take back home as memories. And most of the times, apart from pictures, these memories can be taken back home in the form of souvenirs. The word souvenir has its origin in the French language where it means to remember. Souvenirs can be described as – an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it. Souvenirs can be bought for keeping it with oneself for the sake of memories associated with a particular place or they can be bought for the sake of gifting it to others as a token of love from your trip. Here are the top 10 common souvenirs.
10. Mugs and shot glasses
Mugs and shot glasses are one of the most common souvenirs across the world, especially in European countries. These mugs and shot glasses are cheap and are useful and they don’t just lie around the house as some useless objects. These mugs usually have some common local catchphrase or a picture of the local landscape printed on it which gives it a local touch. The shot glasses are usually printed with the symbol that widely represents the city or the country.
‘A person I love went to XYZ place and all I got was this lousy t-shirt’ is a fad these days. You go to any souvenir shop and you will find t-shirts, of all sizes, as souvenirs. They too, like mugs, are printed with the common local catchphrase or landscape or sometimes just simply the name of the city or country. These are great as gifts for kids as well as adults. T-shirts are not the cheapest souvenir around so you may want to stick to buying one for yourself and your close ones instead of all the people back home. Of course, unless you’re willing to pay a bomb.
8. Local handicraft
Pashmina from Kashmir, handicrafts from Rajasthan, Sarees from South India are some things that can be bought as souvenirs in India. Similarly, on a global level, wooden boots from Holland, Swarovski from Austria, boomerangs from Australia are commonly gifted as souvenirs. These things give a very local touch to your keepsake as a gift and because they are all made locally, these are usually very cheap. These items sell like hot-cakes as they wonderfully wrap a culture in them. And as they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans.
7. Posters, Photos and Postcards
Posters and post-cards capture the essence of the city like almost nothing else can. The cityscapes and the landscapes on these posters or post-cards are the most iconic photos with their enthralling beauty. They extremely cheap and do not take up any place in your house. Post-cards, especially, can be extremely personalized with a message at the back to tell about the picture on the post-card. Photos as souvenirs are something that is not very popular among Indians but other foreign travelers often take a beautiful picture and give it to someone they love with a small brief about the photograph at the back. This makes it very personal and conveys your memories attached to a place.
6. Local dry food items
They’re not the most common souvenirs but one cannot leave out the fact that we have all been given a food item from a place. Be it Maysorepak from Bangalore or Swiss cheese, food items that are have a long shelf-life and are allowed on planes make for a good and a tasty souvenir. Food tells us a lot about a certain place and food items can therefore be considered as a pretty viable option for a souvenir. Alcohol can also be added in this list. Chocolates are other common souvenirs. French wines and Russian vodka would make for some very good gifts as souvenirs; not to forget some very happy people at the receiving end of this gift.
5. Artifacts and Household Items
A lot of people who are into traveling have shelves at home on which they specifically keep all their travel memorabilia. Mostly it is a show-piece which may be a famous building, a monument, local artifacts etc. These artifacts add a lot of charm to the house. They may go a bit on the expensive side but they’re certainly worth it if you’re an avid collector of these things. Many a times, specific parks, monuments, sight-seeing places have their own collection of these memorabilia. One should always buy the genuine one.
Nothing is a better idea for a souvenir that jewelry if it is a woman that you are gifting it to. You have a variety of choice. You have small jewelry such as simple earrings and big ones such as necklaces. You always have the choice of buying jewelry that suits your budget. But the best part of buying jewelry as a souvenir is the number of places you can buy it from. You have the expensive and the branded stores and at the same time, you have stalls on the street-side which sells impeccably beautiful jewelry. The best examples of these would be the small markets of Delhi and Mumbai which are home to about 100 stalls.
Bags with names of cities all around the world are a common sight these days. These bags can be college bags, totes, shopping bags etc. They’re extremely handy and useful. They’re not very expensive so you can easily buy these as souvenirs to gift people. Like jewelry, you have a carried choice in what bag you want to choose. The price also varies but it’s never too high. Purses are also an option but they do not really count as a souvenir as they do not have much association with the place you’re buying it from.
2. Hats and Scarves
Hats and scarves are undoubtedly some of the most common souvenirs that one can buy while traveling. I can open my cupboard and find 5 hats and caps from 5 different places. The idea behind it is that they are cheap and useful. Scarves can be gifted to women as they are extremely fashionable, useful and not to mention, cheap. Scarves are the most common souvenirs that foreigners buy from India as we have a array of places selling a variety of scarves. The most important factor though, remains that they do not take up space in your luggage while traveling. Packed bags and over-weight bags are always a problem when you are traveling. So buying these small items as souvenirs solves the question of buying a souvenir and also of making it fit into your bag.
No prizes for guessing the number one most common souvenir that is bought around the world by millions of people – Magnets. The best part about magnets is that they’re extremely small and fit anywhere in your bag so you don’t have to worry about making space for them in your luggage. They’re not only cheap, but most souvenir shops have offers on magnets and are all the more cheaper if you buy them in a bulk. You can buy 10 different magnets with 10 different designs on them to gift to 10 different people. Personally, I believe that magnets make a boring refrigerator look super fun and also remind you of all the little memories associated with the place. So no matter where you travel, you are always going to want to bring back as many memories as possible and souvenirs do that just about right. So happy traveling and happy souvenir shopping!