Ideas for Travel Souvenirs.

written by Carolyn Chon December 9, 2014

I don’t know bout you guys, but I never did enjoy going through the process of thinking about what to get as travel souvenirs for friends and family whenever I go for any trips. I remember in my younger days, especially with friends you got to be careful on who you get for and/or who you don’t., well you know… just in case someone gets jealous. Then there’s also the what to get? If you think about it, doesn’t everyone from you family including your grandma have a tiny Koala somewhere? Usually it’s on the rearview mirror in the car. Or the keychain with the country’s name painted on something. Look, I’m not here to diss people who do get these as travel souvenirs, but all I’m saying is… if you really were to do so, give them something a bit more meaningful. Something that says, I was really thinking of you.

There are obviously, lots of other alternatives to getting those Koalas and keychains.

1. Recipe Books

Hanie's recent loot.

Hanie’s recent loot.

Recently, WTW founder Hanie shared that she gets herself local recipe books as a personal souvenir, what a great idea! You should even consider that for your mom (that is if she really loves to cook and explore dishes), or your best friend who’s a big foodie, or your personal chef (if you have one). Recipe books usually comes in various sizes, so you can’t say that there’s no space or I’ve maxed out my weight limit. Lose some weight to carry back even the smallest recipe book you can find then.

2. Fridge Magnets

Image from beontheroad.com

Image from beontheroad.com

The standard fridge magnet does work ONLY if the receiver is really a collector then go for it! Do try to pick out the nicer ones (if you have spare time to look) as compared to the ones that just read out the spelling of the country. That’s a bit boring lah okay guys? At least get a map, or even a gorilla (just like the one above the white board).  Something more fun and comes across as having an extra thought put into picking it out is good.

3. Instant Noodles (ingenious idea for a travel souvenir for us Asians)

image from thesoulofjapan.blogspot.com

Image from thesoulofjapan.blogspot.com

Some people even get local instant noodles for their friends/family back home, I think you can’t go wrong with this as well because look, if you’re Asian, let alone Malaysian – instant noodle is a sure win thing. Just be sure to properly pick out the halal and non-halal one. If you have space, go for the bowl ones, otherwise just stick to the packets. It’s always nice to try out a new flavoured instant noodles, no? I reckon this is the best travel souvenir to get for any legit, proper Asian. Ha.

4.  Foreign Notes

Pounds from Gibraltar

Pounds from Gibraltar

Okay, this one could be tricky depending on which country you go to. If you’re on a budget and you’re in a country where the currency is heck a lot stronger than your own, then maybe just one or two small notes for selected few. Also, don’t just bring back the note like that, write a short note on the note! This is something I personally do when I stay with people. I’ll bring them RM1 and write a thank you note. You can’t stick it on a fridge, but you could well either blue-tac it or have a notebook filled with foreign currencies with love letters from your globetrotting friends. Definitely a fun collection to start!

5. Postcards (My personal favourite)

My personal collection in my studio. Every year, I get more and more!!

My personal collection in my studio. Every year, I get more and more!!

Bee & Jess, two of my best girlfriends around.

Bee & Jess, two of my best girlfriends around.

Jules, we sent each other postcards while traveling together. How peculiar, but still love it!

Jules, we sent each other postcards while traveling together. How peculiar, but still love it!

Jay & Sling, boss/mentor turned good friends. I made sure they drew something and not write something, because they apparently wouldn't know what to write.

Jay & Sling, boss/mentor turned good friends. I made sure they drew something and not write something, because they apparently wouldn’t know what to write.

Ying! I first met her on a couchsurfing meet and man, this girl has seen A LOT of the world. Look her up on FB as Tiny Wanderer.

Ying! I first met her on a couchsurfing meet and man, this girl has seen A LOT of the world. Look her up on FB as Tiny Wanderer.

The prettiest postcard hands down. This is from my girlfriend Jess who visited the big island!

The prettiest postcard hands down. This is from my girlfriend Jess who visited the big island!

From my husband, who travels yearly to Europe but  hardly ever contributes to my postcard wall. Read what he said. Hah.

From my husband, who travels yearly to Europe but hardly ever contributes to my postcard wall. Read what he said. Hah.

Yes, these are my personal collection of postcards. Personally, I believe this is the best souvenir simply because receiving snail mail is such a rare thing these days, what more if it is from someone you know?! This too, is tricky dependent on which countries you visit, because depending on how many people you send to and how much postage costs. Well, I usually don’t care and send it to all the people I really love and let them know how wonderful my travel is and besides thinking of them, I also recommend them on what to do or where to go. Cost aside though, in some countries in can be really hard to even find a postcard. Like when I was in Kazakhstan, even the people working in the post office didn’t know how much of worth of stamp it would cost. I would say, give it a shot anyway!

Yup, I’m not blurring out my postal address because that’s my workplace and that’s where all my (hopefully) new postcards go to. Even if you don’t know me personally, I would so love to hear about your trip and what you’re up to. Seeing a postcard in my mailbox, no matter who it is from NEVER fails to put a smile on my face.

If you have any other wonderful ideas on what to get as a travel souvenir, please leave a comment and share with us!!

Til’ the next post… choose your travel souvenirs wisely guys!!

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