Take a walk through your local second-hand store and you will see the aisles are filled with souvenirs, Cancun T-shirts, Mugs from Dollywood, Mickey Mouse berets from French Disneyland, this is evidence that shopping for souvenirs can be hard. Here are some of our favorite ideas for buying souvenirs people actually want. Consider these suggestions so that the next thing you bring back will reflect the joy of your trip and not end up in a give-away bin.
The first rule of buying a souvenir is “can you get this at home?” There is no need to carry something back from half way around the world if it can be purchased easily at home. So buy local products. This often means handicrafts, things not manufactured and exported from big factories. Not only are handicrafts something you can’t find at home, they also often reflect unique aspects of the local culture. A great souvenir tells a story about the place it is from. When buying a local product you are also directly supporting the economy of the craft maker, which encourages these traditions will continue and also can be a great way to give back when traveling to countries in need. Sometimes it is difficult to tell if a product you buying is truly local or unique, one way is to use your eyes and ears. Ask the vendor, where it is from, who made it, what is it significant. Also, keep your eyes peeled at other shops, do you see the same piece? If you keep seeing the same item chances are it is not as unique as you hoped.
The second rule to buying souvenirs people actually want is to consider the recipient’s personal interests. The best souvenirs are a unique and local item that is relevant to the person whom you are buying it for. Remember just because you love an item doesn’t mean the person who you are getting it for will. You want to make sure you match the right souvenir with the right person, so think about the things this person keeps in their house, did they drop hints on what they would like you to bring?
Knowing how much souvenirs should cost can be difficult. The prices can range widely from shop to shop or hotel to hotel. It is important to give yourself a budget for how much you will spend and when you find an item that you think is perfect within that budget go for it. While it is best to avoid places you know you are being overcharged (like airports) don’t over think the price of souvenirs. If you like it buy it because there is a good chance that if you hold out looking for a better price, you could miss your opportunity to buy those unique souvenirs people actually want and you don’t want to end up scrambling at the hotel gift shop!
Next time you are on a trip and want to purchase some special items remember are tips on souvenirs people actually want to make sure you bring back unique and personal items people will cherise.