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Tips You Can Use When You Are Souvenir Shopping

By Joshua Cruz

Travel is one of the most rewarding experiences to have in life. One aspect of any vacation that is extremely common is the purchase of keepsakes to remind you of where you’ve been. Just about every traveler enjoys searching for keepsakes, so here are a few suggestions about the right and wrong ways to go about doing it. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re searching for that perfect souvenir for your trip:

One obscure bit of knowledge is that seashells are known to have been the very first souvenirs. Sea captains were the collectors who brought the shells back from exotic locales. When they got back home, they would proudly show off their shells by giving them a place of great respect, known as a wonder chamber, in their house. The best souvenirs are those that allow the collector to recall and enjoy a place again in memory because of the associations the items have with the locale. Objects that are endemic to and characteristic of a region would then make good souvenirs. You don’t want to buy an item that has been designed to merely resemble a product of the native people. These copies are not going to be of any worth down the road.

Plastic snow globes are not great souvenirs because often times they aren’t made in the region that you are visiting, and are certainly not native to the area. You will often find these in souvenir shops, airport gift shops, or cheap outlets as a promotion for a lot of different places. Snow globes are not great souvenirs, and should not be treated as such. Even though a snow globe from Tampa, Florida displays a scene of citrus fruit, you could have a real Florida souvenir like a paper label taken from an antique cigar box or vintage orange crate that would be a better representation.

These bits of ephemera are more closely related to Florida’s type of lifestyle, their interesting history, and their wide array of culture. You should always be on the lookout for native souvenirs of high quality that will fit will into your budget. The history and culture of your destination should be easily represented by the souvenirs you choose to collect.

Don’t be afraid to compromise or negotiate when you’re shopping for the perfect souvenir. Suppose you went to St. Petersburg in Russia. You have your heart set on a Russian nesting doll matroyshka as the perfect keepsake. However these nesting dolls are fairly common and you may be wondering which would make the best souvenir to display in your home. These nesting dolls are often mass produced, you’ll want to check the underside of the doll for a genuine signature, check to see that it is hand painted, etc.

Beyond that, check the details, such as uniform painting and colors, that all the dolls are blue-eyed blonds or whatever, that the same scenes are repeated on each doll’s belly, and so on. These are the sort of things that add value to your memento.

During your next vacation, no matter if it is at a historical landmark or a sunny beach, think of how you’d like to remember your vacation, and what object would help you do that most effectively. Remember what you’ve loved about this place. Think of it as selecting a significant, valuable antique for your future that you will cherish. We find connections with foreign cultures when we shop for souvenirs, and these allow us to take different parts of the world home with us.

One suggestion about packing is to bring only the clothes that you will actually wear so that you do not have to carry around luggage that weighs a ton. But do be sure to have clothing suitable for unusually hot or cold weather. Even a beach in the tropics can have cool evenings and uncomfortably cool air conditioning. If you bring clothes that you can wash easily, you don’t have to bring as many changes of clothing.

Never leave home without the shoes that you feel most comfortable walking in. Consider what you are saying about yourself with your clothing choices. Depending on what you wear, you might attract pickpockets and thieves because your clothes scream tourist. You should also keep in mind that if you lose your baggage, it could be around three days before you get it back. Make sure that everyone you know is aware of the location you’re traveling to. You can leave an itinerary with your travel schedules, such as the addresses and phone numbers of the hotel(s), with a close friend or relative.

Here is further info on worldwide travel insurance. You will find that further information on international travel health insurance is on that site.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Cruz, Joshua "Tips You Can Use When You Are Souvenir Shopping." Tips You Can Use When You Are Souvenir Shopping. 21 Jun. 2010. 11 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Cruz, J (2010, June 21). Tips You Can Use When You Are Souvenir Shopping. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Cruz, Joshua "Tips You Can Use When You Are Souvenir Shopping"

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