Souvenirs I buy when traveling (and whether I should do so :) )

It’s no secret that every tourist destination has a plethora of souvenir shop of every possible kind. Even if you choose to go off the beaten path, the chances are you’ll come upon an undismayed shop owner who’ll be more than happy to show you his treasury of travel souvenirs. There you’ll find fridge magnets, statues, jewelry boxes, t-shirts, handbags, mugs, key chains and what not.


Many people consider buying a souvenir a useless waste of money, and perhaps they’re right – in many places you’d have to pay double the price for the privilege of bringing a memento home.

A storage space is another consideration – a collection of statues may look rather captivating at first, but as the collection grows, you may find it difficult to place anything else in the room apart from it:) Moreover, if you don’t dust it regularly (or occasionally at the very least 🙂 ), in no time your  charming display will turn into nothing more than irritating clutter.

 People are often driven by sense of obligation when purchasing a souvenir – family and friends expect them to bring small gifts from their journeys.  So, buying a souvenir is the easiest way to meet their expectations. As a result, one may end up with 1000 fridge magnets and perpetual fear of receiving 1001th 🙂

So, does it all make any sense? Speaking of my personal experience, I often buy travel souvenirs as mementos for myself and as gifts for the others. Well, I’ve never been good at handling my money, no matter how restricted my travel budget might be. Another thing, people think that the visual aspect of travel souvenirs is the only attribute by which it could evoke treasured memories. But I believe that the tactile sense also has certain nuances that are of value to the owner of mementos. I bought this ceramic fish in Pirogovo open air museum near Kiev, and when I touch it, it immediately brings the whole array of sensations I experienced that day.

my fish from Pirogovo

The aesthetics of things is another big consideration for me – I won’t buy a souvenir that is cute, I’ll buy a souvenir that’s beautiful. Wouldn’t you like to get one of these dolls from Mumbai?

souvenir dools from Mumbai

My husband and me bought this whip in Agra – it’s bulky and its practical use is questionable (lol), but the workmanship is exquisite.

whip from Agra

Also, I like buying t-shirts – they can be attractive, practical as well as meaningful. I brought a black t-shirt with traditional Ukrainian embroidery for my husband and sent “I love Mumbai” t-shirt for my brother, and both of them were more than happy with the gifts.

Some of the most treasured travel souvenirs I’ve received over the years include an evil eye warder from Turkey, given by a friend. Even though I don’t believe in “evil eye” as such, the blue stones of the pendant really spoke to me.

I’ve always liked an elephant theme in gifts, and these two were some of the best I’ve ever received.

souvenir from Delhi candlestick from Delhi

What other travel bloggers have to say about travel souvenirs:

10 Tips For Finding The Perfect Travel Souvenir

Thanks for the memories: souvenirs from travelling 

So, do you buy souvenirs when traveling? If you do, what sort of travel souvenirs do you prefer?

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