Love it or hate it, souvenir shopping is a big part of many travelers’ itineraries.
It’s natural to want to bring home a special memento from your vacation to commemorate the experience and perhaps inject a piece of that travel magic into your day-to-day life. But whether you’re buying for yourself or searching for a gift for loved ones back home, the vast souvenir offerings at tourist shops can feel overwhelming and inauthentic.
To avoid filling your house with random knickknacks devoid of meaning, consider taking a more mindful approach and selecting items that will be used or otherwise appreciated.
To inspire your choices, HuffPost asked people who work in the travel industry to share the one souvenir they’re always sure to bring home when they go on a trip. Here are their picks:
An Article Of Clothing
“I usually buy clothes as a souvenir when I travel! Clothes are functional and practical. And, because I can wear the clothes all the time, they serve as a constant reminder of the trip, helping the memories and lessons of the trip live on in my mind even when I’m at home.” ― Gabby Beckford, travel expert and founder of Packs Light
Local Grocery Items
“I love going to local supermarkets and outdoor markets and getting condiments, chocolates and wines. When I visited Greece, I fell in love with Greek honey and bought several jars. In Spain, I love bringing back tinned seafood like mussels and octopus. When I travel back home to Puerto Rico, I buy copious amounts of locally produced coffee. I also find my friends prefer receiving food and beverage items more than a mug or T-shirt!” ― Jessica van Dop DeJesus, founder and editor at The Dining Traveler
“If I’m buying gifts for family and friends who love to eat, I tend to go to a local grocery store to find different and unique items we wouldn’t be able to find at home. For example, during my last trip to France, I bought every flavor of chips you can’t typically find at home. Poulet rôti, or roast chicken, was a huge hit!” ― Katy Nastro, spokesperson for the flight alert service Going
“I always buy a postcard and then write my favorite memories on the back. I try to find one or two that resonate with me from the trip. Whether it’s a photo of a place I went to or just a beautiful post card that reminds me of the destination. It’s a really nice way for me to look back and remember the small things that made me appreciate each trip.” ― Esther Susag, travel…