When I think of souvenirs, I usually think of overcrowded stores filled with tiny little knick-knacks that say "made in China" on the bottom– only I'm not in China. I know that travel souvenirs typically have a bad rap for being cheap and cheesy, and I struggled with this for a long time! I HATE clutter, but I wanted something that would help me remember the trips we took and memories we made. I have worked hard to find just a few key things to collect that help me remember our trips, but don't clutter up my home. I want to share with you all what I have found that works for us. Here is a list of things that Kev and I do to remember our trips:
1. POST CARDS
This is something I just started when we moved to Europe. A family member told me that I need to keep a travel journal or scrapbook of our adventures while living here in Germany. I thought this was such a good idea, however I am not much of a scrapbooker. So, I just started buying postcards. Instead of mailing the postcards, I write the dates and our favorite memories of each trip on the back. I store the collection of cards in a cute little box I found at West Elm and it sits pretty on one of my shelves. It's a travel journal that also acts as decor in my home, plus each page costs less than one dollar!
2. CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
Kevin and I buy a little ornament on every trip we take together. We started this little tradition over 5 years ago on our honeymoon. We went on a cruise to the Bahamas and we found this little Santa figurine floating in a margarita glass. It made us laugh, and so the tradition was born. Now, not every destination has had ornaments for purchase. When this happens, we have had to get crafty with keychains or little figurines. When we get home, I take a sharpie and write when and where we traveled on the bottom of each ornament. It s so much fun come Christmas time, when we pull out all of the fabulous memories while setting up the tree.
3. PHOTO ALBUMS
If you look around the site you can see that I LOVE taking pictures! However, the trouble I have these days is that it is so hard to actually get your pictures off your camera or computer. I have countless photos from several trips that are just sitting on memory cards in a drawer somewhere. We hardly ever have actual, physical photographs anymore and I find this heartbreaking. Recently, I found this company that thinks the same way I do and they have helped make printing my photos easy. I make one of these little books for each trip and I keep them on my coffee table to look at whenever we want. I LOVE IT!!!
Now, I know when people read this they automatically write it off because they think $$$$ but this doesn't have to be true! I know there are plenty of fancy galleries that are usually cost prohibitive for most everyone (myself included). However, in most cities I find the most talented street artists with some authentic sketches of the city I am visiting! I have several pieces and they all are under 100$. Plus, once you get a few all together it makes a cool gallery wall!
5. MAP IT OUT!
Kevin and I have a GIANT map from IKEA hanging in our office. You can see a picture of it here in our home tour. We love staring at it and planning where we are going to next. I bought these little map pins and we stick them on each major capitol we have visited. This is a fun little visual and a conversation starter in our home.
These are just a few things I have found work for our home and lifestyle. I hope you are inspired!
What are some of your favorite travel souvenirs? I would love to hear your ideas!