Trips can be expensive enough; here are some suggestions for inexpensive souvenirs you can treasure for years, without breaking the bank. Pictures are a way to capture the many exciting places you have been, but sometimes it is helpful to have a trinket that you can look at every day to bring you back to the moment when you were there.


Entry Tickets and Subway Tickets

Many tickets to famous attractions make colorful keepsakes. Take for example the ticket for the Eiffel Tower. When you enter they take one corner of the ticket, then when you board the elevator on the second level to go to the top, they take the other corner. Leaving you a ticket that is designed to be kept.

Tickets that have dates on, like subway and theater tickets, can trigger your memory back to when you were there and possibly where you went and what you did.


Destination Pins

When my two sisters went with me to Europe in March, my older sister suggested we should collect pins. We all thought that was a great idea. They are not very expensive, you often have several to choose from, and are easy to take home with you.


We looked forward to finding pins in each of the five countries we visited and many of the specific attractions that we went to. The Arc de Triomphe has extra meaning because the inventory of pins was low, so it was difficult to find three that matched. After going round and round up the stairs making it to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, the small pin is a visual reminder of our accomplishment.



It is inevitable that you will have some foreign currency at the end of your trip. Do not despair it can make for a great souvenir and reminder of the wonderful places you have been. Some people just throw it in a bowl and some display each paper bill or coin.


Generally, the money is very different then what you will find in the US. It often is very colorful. The coins are a variety of shapes and can even have holes in them. This can also make a gift for your children or grandchildren.


Tins and Mugs

Combine things you like to eat and/or drink with your take-home souvenirs. Instead of buying a box of chocolates or some tea in a bag, find the same thing in gift tins. I still use the tin that I bought “biscuits” (English cookies) on my first trip to London in 2000. Instead of being filled with biscuits (eaten long ago), it holds my teabags. The tin is a rich dark green color and has the name of the famous store Fortnum & Mason I bought it in. I was going to buy something anyway, why not buy something that will last too?


Starbuck mugs are another durable, decorative collection. Something new this year that I found is miniature Starbuck mugs. I love them. I was not looking for them at first, so not sure how available they are. I did get a set in both Amsterdam and Paris. They come in sets of two. One has the name of the city we were in, the other the country. Now that I have seen them I will be on the lookout for them.


Pictures are Souvenirs

Be sure to have pictures taken that have everyone you are traveling within them and if you find a scenic location as the background all the better. Many times the “photographer” in the group is not included, make a special effort to include them.


With digital cameras people seem to feel more comfortable taking strangers pictures, so be sure to ask and if needed return the favor.  You don’t even have to be able to speak the same language. Show them the camera and most people will know what you want.


Then when you get home, be sure to print out a copy of your favorite picture and have it framed. To keep the cost down, go to a discount store and buy a frame for a dollar. Putting it in a frame will help capture the moment and give it that extra quality in your home that it deserves.


I love to make trip photo books. They are becoming easier to create and the prices are coming down but they still can be a little expensive. If you have the budget photobooks are a way to keep and show off your trip.


Journals make remembering the trip that much easier. Buy one early in your trip; the first day if possible. Jot down places you go, special events, meals you have eaten – if you liked it or not, what was the weather like, were the flowers in bloom, what you were feeling, and things you would like to remember. You will be amazed at the things you have forgotten years later, but when you read your journal it will feel like you were there yesterday.


Other Things

Christmas ornaments and local crafts can make great souvenirs too. Christmas ornaments are usually small and there is a wide variety. In Amsterdam, I got a pair of miniature ornament Dutch shoes – “clogs.” They sit on the windowsill in my kitchen.


In Prague, pewter and other metal objects were plentiful. I got this cute little dragon that reminded me of the storybook feeling of Prague. It is shaped so it will hold onto the rim of a glass. I have him hanging on my little sugar bowl; it makes me smile when I see him. Maybe I should give him a name?


It often doesn’t matter what language a Puzzle Book is in. Sudoku is a perfect example. All you need to know is how to play. I have Sudoku books from a number of countries. When I am traveling and need a quiet moment or trying to go to sleep the book comes in handy; then they make a fun souvenir when I got home.



I have saved my favorite souvenir for last, magnets for the refrigerator. You almost can’t see the door of my refrigerator anymore, there are so many of them.


At one glance I see London, Prague, Nathan Road (Hong Kong), Paris, Chichen Itza (near Cancun, Mexico), Las Vegas, San Diego, New York City, Prime Meridian (Greenwich, England), Amsterdam, Lucerne (Switzerland) and more


They can be colorful, tell a story, or just a great reminder. They don’t cost a lot, you will find a wide variety available to choose from, are easy to pack and take home with you.


A trip will change you forever; hopefully, it will enrich your life. Be sure to have reminders around to take you back to that place in time. Souvenirs do not have to be expensive and can be exactly what you need to remember how esquist the places you have been are.