I am currently writing this little post on the Lido deck of the Carnival Fascination… I’m on a cruise baby! Yesterday while walking around St. Thomas Mom and I started talking about travel souvenir ideas. I always want to buy the little plastic trinkets that say the name of the Island but I never do because where would I put them?!
I just don’t know! So instead I focus on finding souvenirs that I can display throughout the year in my home. Little memories everywhere you look. I’ve come up with a list of my favorite options… hopefully a few of these will make your next vacation shopping trip!
Ornaments are the perfect souvenir because you only put them out once a year! So you can have all your fun touristy ornaments on the tree every year but not worry about leaving them out the rest of the season. Plus when you have all your ornaments together it’s like a walk down memory lane.
Of course, you can find ornaments almost anywhere you go to vacation but sometimes they’re marked up more than is reasonable.
Here’s a hint: buy a cute key-chain instead and turn it into an ornament. They’re adorable and way cheaper. Can’t find a key-chain? Try a magnet! Look at these little crab magnets… Mom got a Barbados crab and I picked up the little globe. Magnets are perfect because of the price and you can typically incorporate a tree hook easily by drilling a small hole or hot gluing a bit of string to the back.
As if that weren’t enough we also grabbed these wooden magnets. The detail work is so pretty and I think they’ll be beautiful with a bit of watercolor on top!
Okay you may think I’m crazy on this one but just trust me. I picked up the cutest sea horse door knocker on St. Thomas last week… and it’s something I’ll use every day that will remind me of my trip but also blend into my existing decor. Perfect! Try looking for fun, unique items that you can put in your home year round.
Carving wood is definitely an art form… and you can find truly beautiful pieces. These little guys are so intricate and beautiful you can definitely leave them out all year round.
There are certain places that have more blown glass than anywhere else (Venice!) but you can find it anywhere if you look hard enough. A tiny glass turtle may be the perfect souvenir from your swim with the turtles.
I love to find a good homemade soap booth at a farmers market or open air market and pick a few out to take home. They have such a variety of scents and colors… and every time you wash your hands at home you’ll be reminded of your amazing trip.
I’ve never truly been a huge fan of the decorative plate trend but when you find a truly beautiful one it’s worth a second look! This one would look beautiful in a gallery wall or as a jewelry dish. Think of all the little places you use containers…. do you like a little dish by your bed to hold chap-stick and reading glasses? Maybe by the front door to hold keys? The possibilities are endless!
Beautiful hand painted wind chimes are perfect for a back patio. Of course, I also love chimes made of shells or sea glass. Just make sure that if you get a fragile set that you’re able to bring it home in one piece. There’s nothing worse than a broken souvenir.
I absolutely love to buy jewelry on my trips… even if I don’t wear it that often I like to display them on my bathroom counter on a jewelry stand. Little pops of color make the counter so much prettier.
Postcards as Wall Art
Here’s another fun vacation souvenir idea from my Mama. Art can be fairly expensive but you can always find gorgeous postcards along the way. Put them in a nice frame or even frame two or three together and you have a memento from your trip and a new addition to your wall collage.
If you have a collection (like blue bottles or Venetian masks then adding a new piece to your collection every vacation is a perfect way to remember where you’ve been and what you did there! Like this beautiful ink bottle from St. Thomas… it’s a replica of one found on a sunken ship.
Maps make for the perfect wall art! They’re lightweight and typically free. I like to find maps that look like they’re on antique paper (typically for $10 or under) and add them to my gallery walls. They add the perfect touch to a polished project and take up a lot of space without being a lot of money. Plus you can hang them with decorative washi tape for an added bit of texture. Or you can put them in a frame like my Mama prefers!
Michelle Leslie says
I’m soooooo jealous Betsy, your cruise with your Mom sounds so lovely. Probably just what you need right now. Love the ideas you shared for all those souvenirs. My Mom used to collect teaspoons and displayed them under a glass top that she had cut for her coffee table. It always made for such interesting conversation
Happily Ever After, Etc. says
Hi Michelle, thank you so much for your sweet words! I love the idea of collecting teaspoons, I have a few from my Great Grandmother and they can be so lovely. It’s a wonderful thought to display them in her coffee table, that’s so much fun.