I love a good shopping trip while on vacation! But sometimes in the moment we may think a certain item is the greatest thing that we can’t live without it, only to return home and say “what the hell was I thinking when I bought this”? I am looking at you chess set that holds two bottles of wine…
First question to ask yourself is do I have room in my bag to bring said souvenir home or do I love it enough to pay for overweight baggage or shipping fees? Also is this something you can get at home and not have to worry about dragging home and possibly even breaking on your trip back?
Next question to ask is will I use this item or will it sit in a box in storage? I like to purchase souvenirs I will use on a daily basis. For instance I have a kimono from Japan, a shawl from Ecuador, slippers for Greece, and several scarves from Turkey. I wear at least one of these items almost every day! I also like to purchase items that I can display in my home. Past purchases have included book ends from Ghana, a Buddha from Thailand, and framed prints from Argentina. I like keeping these items on display as reminders of the amazing adventures I have had, and they are also great conversation starters when friends come over.
It can be fun to start a collection of a certain item. I collect fridge magnets from each country I visit. Magnets are small and inexpensive and if you forget to grab them while traveling you can usually snag one before your flight at the airport.
Tip: Many items can be purchased for a cheaper cost abroad than back at home (for example wine from a vineyard in France). But it’s important to check the limits on what you bring back. For example the limit on wine. You are only allowed to bring 100mL into the US without having to pay a duty (this is not even two bottles, don’t get me started). You may want to consider shipping your items that have limits rather than paying the duty.
Happy souvenir shopping!