Special things from Special Places (Souvenirs from the Road)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by piqaro, Feb 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Tell us what your favorite items are in general, and/or locations.

    When I was younger, I used to favor shirts. Later I would get nothing for myself, just others.
    I would think "I will never be here again". But in most cases I ended up back again anyway.

    These days, I try to get something small and less prone to damage.
    Refrigerator magnets
    Keychains to replace lost zipper pulls on luggage. (which in turn get lost too)
    Australia - anything Koala
    Beaches - Small sea shells
    Nepal - Jewelry
    India - Tea
    Mexico - Vanilla
    China, Thailand - handmade items

    I also tend to gain weight (eating everything) when travelling, so that's another souvenir.

    These may not be okay with Customs, but I do declare them.

    There are times I have bought something in the airport, but more often to get rid of foreign currency.
     
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  2. chgoeditor
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    chgoeditor Silver Member

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    I avoid bringing home anything that has a logo/is designed exclusively for tourists.

    Some of my favorite souvenirs include carpets, artwork and pottery. (The latter two can actually be quite inexpensive.) I might also buy a locally-made piece of clothing that I'd actually wear, a piece of kitchenware that's used for cooking the indigenous cuisine or a CD of a local band I've heard. And I'm a candy lover, so I always pick up some of the local offerings, though frequently it doesn't last long enough to make it home.

    Often I come home with no souvenirs, but have no regrets....I usually have wonderful memories.
     
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  3. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    I buy dolls. I used to claim I didn't collect them but my mother thought I did. Eventually I gave in and admit collecting them.

    I also buy books of folktales when I can find them in a language I understand. One of my great finds was a dual language (Mongolian and English) collection I bought in the state department store in Ulan Baator.
     
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  4. WanderLuster
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    WanderLuster Silver Member

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    When I was younger I did the touristy stuff. Now I try to always get something practical that I will use once home. My favorites thus far are crystal wine glasses I picked up in Prague and jade jewelry from China. I'm also a fan of the consumables - wine, coffee, candy!
     
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  5. chgoeditor
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    chgoeditor Silver Member

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    Mmm...yes, wine! (Alas, made much more difficult to carry home in this day and age.)
     
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  6. WanderLuster
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    WanderLuster Silver Member

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    Yes. I remember my first trip abroad. I threw out all of my clothing and personal items and packed both my checked bag and carry on full of wine. Those days are sadly gone.

    However, the nice people in Napa a few months ago were perfectly happy to box up my 12 bottles of wine into a safe, secure, checkable box for about $25. I have a rule against checking bags, but make an exception for wine!
     
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  7. Monkey Girl
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    Monkey Girl Gold Member

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    I'm with you with the coffee! I brought home 3.5kg of Torajan when I was in Indonesia recently. Sadly, I can't bring wine where I am. Oh, and another yummy consumable is honey. =P
     
  8. JasonH
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    JasonH Silver Member

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    I don't bring much of anything home from my trips. At least not in the conventional sense. Instead I fill up my SD card with (or in the case of our summer in Paris FTP'ed home) great pictures. Then we pick out our favorite ones and cut those many down to a few really good ones. The longer the trip the more the final count is. Then we have them printed out in various sizes, framed, and hang them in our living room, dining room, kitchen, and hallway.

    We also, as I mentioned in another post, create books about our trips and have them printed on high gloss and book bound to make coffee table books of our trips.

    Now, that my wife is a graphic designer by training (and a Starbucks barista by choice) we might have a little advantage, but it is an amazing way to share our trips with friends without boring them by doing picture slide shows.
     
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  9. byroncheng
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    byroncheng Silver Member

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    I haven't really made it a habit to buy anything from my destinations, for some reason. I guess its the "not that interested in shopping" in me.

    However, I do normally attempt to ask for a deck of cards from my flights. It's rare that the airline will have them, but I'm always happy when they give me a pack!
     
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  10. Monkey Girl
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    Monkey Girl Gold Member

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    I like a deck of cards on a train, especially. This is a really strange comment, but I find that when I travel I almost always see a playing card in the street somewhere. Isn't that odd?
     
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  11. bea61
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    I always pick up a photographic refrigerator magnet. They go into a display on the file cabinet in my office. Then they can give me a little mental escape during the day, and they give people something to talk about at my desk.

    Also, I like to get small unique containers, such as wood bowls, pewter cups, ceramic vases, etc. They fit in my luggage, are useful at home, and bring back the memory.
     
  12. jneugeba
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    jneugeba Gold Member

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    We started getting prints/hand painted pictures of all our favorite places we have been. They are usually easy to transport home, and they look great hanging up on our walls. Unfortunately we are out of wall space and still have tons of good prints away in storage.
     
  13. PSUhorty
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    PSUhorty Silver Member

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    I know, I know… cheesy, but they weren’t for me. Wherever I went, I always used to bring home a shot glass for my son from the city I visited (usually bought at the airport). He had no idea at the time what they were for, just thought they were cute little glasses. As he accrued more from me, I got him a shadowbox or two of sorts to put them on/in in his bedroom (he had about 60 glasses). When I’d put him to bed, we used to quiz each other on them. For example, I’d see if he could find a dolphin somewhere on one of the shot glasses in 30 seconds. Or, I’d ask him, which shot glasses have a picture of a city skyline on them.
    Was all in good fun. Until, my ex called me a few weeks ago to tell me she found a small amount of liquor stashed in his room (he’s 16 yrs old now). Perhaps I laid a bit too much groundwork for him, lol.
     
  14. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    I also like to get handmade cards. people really like to receive them
     
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  15. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    Handmade textiles from SE Asia and China (especially Laos)[​IMG]
     
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  16. taiwaned
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    taiwaned Silver Member

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    Refrigerator magnets.

    We have one from every vacation abroad. When visitors come to our house, they always look at the magnets and it becomes a conversation starter. We may need a second refrigerator soon to stick all the magnets we have.
     
  17. Monkey Girl
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    Monkey Girl Gold Member

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    makes a unique greeting - far better than Hallmark! [​IMG]
     
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  18. Monkey Girl
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    Parties always end up in the kitchen, don't they? [​IMG]
     
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  19. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I have a friend that likes to collect wives as souvenirs. He has Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico in his collection. This has got to be getting expensive for him!
     
  20. BondAir007
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    BondAir007 Gold Member

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    "Its a trap!" .... "A tourist trap!" [​IMG]

    I do avoid buying souvenirs, if I don't have the room or I question myself if TSA gonna be a problem. I do take down the information of the store and location.
     
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  21. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    Silk wall hangings from Luang prabang make great gifts. They are handmade, beautiful and take up no room
     
  22. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    At once?[​IMG] What a guy
     
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  23. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    No No one at a time over 15 years, although he could do the Mormon thing.[​IMG]
     
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  24. Mangy
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    Mangy Gold Member

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    Big Love
     
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  25. JasonH
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    We are just about there too. One thought if you want to get some of those out of storage is to take part in local art shows. You don't have to sell anything at most of them and in our experience you rarely do even if you try, but it lets you get the art out there and show it off.

    For others that like the painted look I do know that many Michaels stores offer a service whereby you bring in a picture and they have an oil painting done of that picture. You can also get a graphic artist to use a good photo editing system to create watercolor images from your pictures. The filters don't do a great job, so you need the artist to touch up where the filter messes things up.
     

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