17 travel souvenir ideas you'll want to collect PullOverandLetMeOut
Anna Marie

Anna Marie

17 travel souvenir ideas you’ll want to collect

Pull Over and Let Me Out examines 17 of the most popular souvenir items collected by travelers. Check to see if your favorite keepsake is on the list.
Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

It’s always fun to bring home a great souvenir from our travels. Purchasing a memento to remind us of an adventure or journey is a special occasion. However, finding the ideal item is not always easy. There are numerous items to collect while traveling; here is a list of 17 travel souvenirs that make great collections.

an airplane wing taken from the inside of the plane

17 travel souvenir ideas

a shot glass that says Paris
Shot glasses are popular collectibles

1. Shot Glasses

Shot glasses make an excellent collectible item and they’re functional too! They’re also quite common so you’re likely to find the perfect one as you travel. They’re also small so a shot glass won’t take up much space in your baggage.

You can even get a display cabinet to show off your collection.

2. Postcards

Postcards are easy and inexpensive souvenirs to collect. And even if travelers aren’t mailing postcards as much as we used to, they’re still lovely photographs of the places we visit. So why not collect or better yet, frame them as art?

postcards
Make a collage and frame your postcards.

3. Mugs

A mug is another perennially popular collectible. Mugs, which can be found in almost any souvenir shop, make an excellent gift or memento, and who doesn’t enjoy reminiscing over a hot cup of coffee or tea?

a wooden mug tree
Display your collection on a mug tree.
The Lazy Bear Lodge PullOverandLetMeOut Pinterest
One of my favorite souvenir mugs from the Lazy Bear Lodge near Boone, NC

4. Clothing

Clothing is always a great souvenir, whether it’s a unique item made only where you’re traveling or a simple t-shirt. An Aran Knit sweater from Ireland, a tartan kilt from Scotland, a kimono from Japan – wherever you go, you’ll find a wonderful piece of clothing to remember your trip by.

AM-shop-Little-Washington-Pulloverandletmeout
A scarf is always an appreciated gift. My all-time-favorite is this one I got in Blarney, Ireland!

5. Ballcaps

A ballcap is a versatile souvenir. It not only serves as a reminder of your travels, but it also protects you from the sun, wind, and rain. Ballcaps are also readily available in most souvenir shops and take up no space in your luggage. They’re also very reasonably priced.

a hat rack
You can also find inexpensive ways of storing your ballcap collection.
a woman in a ballcap
Coffee on the beach in the ballcap I got at Topsail Island, NC

6. Pennies

Have you ever seen those machines where you insert a penny, turn the crank, and a flattened souvenir penny comes out? Perhaps you collect these amusing keepsakes. It’s not only entertaining to turn the crank and see what happens to your penny, but it’s also a fun way to keep track of where you’ve been.

penny passport
Pennies from your travels!

7. Coffee

Coffee can be a great way to bring home a little of the flavor of your trip. It also makes an excellent gift. If you had a favorite brew while traveling, pick up a bag and bring it home to enjoy while reminiscing over a hot cup of joe.

a bag of Maui coffee
Bring home a little of the local coffee.

8. Magnets, patches, and pins

Technically, these are three souvenir ideas, but since they’re similar I’ve grouped them together. Easy to collect, small enough to fit in your pocket, and affordable. Magnets, patches, and pins are the ideal souvenirs. 

Mt Rushmore magnet
Magnets, patches, and pins are inexpensive items that make great souvenirs.

9. Christmas Ornaments

I collect Christmas ornaments. Every year when I put up my Christmas tree, I enjoy reminiscing about my travels. It’s also entertaining to count how many new ornaments I add each year.

While traveling, Christmas ornaments are fairly easy to find and come in a variety of styles and prices. When I can’t find the ornament I want, I’ve been known to make my own using photos from the trip and websites like Shutterfly. I made a lovely ornament to remember our family trip to Ireland a few years ago.

a 2016 Christmas ornament
You can even make your own ornament!

10. Koozies

These are by far the lightest and easiest to pack souvenirs you’ll find, whether you call them koozies, cozies, or can coolies. They’re also reasonably priced and widely available in gift shops. I have a large plastic tub full of unique koozies, some from travel, some from weddings, and some from who knows where. Nonetheless, it’s a useful memento.

a koozie with the Texas flag
This is the most lightweight souvenir of all!

11. Food or Beverages

If you’re going somewhere famous for a particular food or beverage, it stands to reason that you’d want to bring something back with you. Some food and beverages travel better than others, and if the location is well-known for the item, they may be able to package it for travel or ship it directly.

Whether you’re visiting Napa Valley and want to bring wine home, Hershey and want to bring chocolate home, or Scotland and want to ship salmon back to the United States, food and beverage are one of the most popular souvenir items of all.

Irish chocolate
Irish chocolate made in Ireland is one of my favorites!

12. Books

Every destination has a story to tell! Why not read a book set in the location you’re visiting or find an excellent book about the place and read up on it? Guide books are also great to collect because they contain all of the fantastic attractions you’ve seen there.

Guide books make wonderful souvenirs.
Sligo Ireland PullOverAndLetMeOut
Reading Yeats in the Yeats Country of Ireland!

Anything can be turned into a souvenir. Use your imagination and be creative; matchbooks, drink coasters, wine corks, and hotel key cards are all possibilities!

Anna Marie

13. Thimbles & Spoons

When I was a kid, I used to collect spoons. I had to pick up a spoon whenever I traveled. Even though I’ve moved on to new travel collectibles, seeing spoons in gift shops reminds me of happy childhood travels.

Spoons and thimbles are great for kids because they’re usually under $10, small enough to fit in a pocket or backpack, and fun to show off when you get home.

Thimbles are a fun collectible for kids.
Spoon collections make a lovely display.

14. Jewelry

Jewelry is an excellent choice of souvenir, especially if it is unique to the location you are visiting. My mother and I bought the silver Claddagh ring I wear on our first trip to Ireland, and I treasure it. We got it from a small shop in her mother’s hometown. What a special keepsake!

Jewelry has a number of advantages. You can find something that is suitable for all budgets, is small enough to be worn home, and would make an excellent gift for someone. Jewelry is always a good bet.

A Connemara Marble Claddagh necklace from Ireland.

15. Tea Towels

The tea towel is a frequently overlooked but underappreciated souvenir collectible. Tea towels are a fun and practical item to collect because they are lightweight, pretty, functional, and machine washable. They’re not only useful, but they’re also a lovely reminder of your travels.

Functional and pretty!

16. Rocks

Rocks are simple to collect and find, and there are countless creative ways to display them.

Find the perfect stone and bring it home; use a Sharpie to write the date and location where you found it, and store it in a pretty jar. Kids will have a blast painting or decorating their rocks. You can be as creative as you want; you’ll enjoy taking a piece of your vacation home with you.

Rocks are the most affordable souvenir of all.

17. A professional photograph

If you’re traveling for a special occasion, if it’s a special place, or if you just want to get a fantastic shot from vacation hire a professional to do the job.

You can research before you travel and find a local professional photographer and hire them for a 30-60 minute session. There are even websites where you can find a photographer who specializes in vacation photos.

Localphotographer.com is an easy-to-use site that lets you enter your destination, find a photographer, and schedule your session in advance. They have over 1,100 photographers in over 994 locations! You’ll get a professional photo session and an incredible photo keepsake that you’ll proudly display for years to come. 

Sites like Localphotographer.com let you capture beautiful memories of your travels.

What travel souvenirs do you collect?

Did I miss anything?

Tell me, what travel souvenirs do you collect?

There are numerous items to collect to commemorate travel, but one thing is certain: with each item we pick up along the way, we’re capturing a special memory from a special moment in time. Whatever you collect, may you do so with joy and enthusiasm, and as always, I wish you Happy Travels!

 

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