Home / Inspiration / Easy travel souvenirs to collect & how to display them

Easy travel souvenirs to collect & how to display them

Love it? Share it!

Wherever I travel, I bring a piece of that place with me. I regard ‘experiences’ as the higher order of souvenir that exists. However little materialistic items don’t hurt either. So here is the list of perfectly easy travel souvenirs to collect and bring back home.

This post contains popular souvenir ideas and some unique ways to store or display them.

Easy travel souvenirs to collect & how to display them

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

For the most part, the souvenir ideas mentioned here cost $10 USD or less, with many even free (just add the $$ for the bookcase, photo box or album that you will use to showcase them).

Tip: When you pack for your trip, carry a small zip pouch or a re-usable shopping bag to store the souvenirs. They are great for souvenirs that are small in size and those that don’t break in transit.

Fridge Magnets 

A fridge magnet is a great souvenir to collect and keep. Prices for fridge magnets range from $3.99 to $7.99 USD. We pick up unique or iconic images of the city we visit, for magnets.

Souvenirs on our fridge door
Souvenirs on our fridge door

The fridge magnets hang on the refrigerator door at home. You can also showcase them on a magnetic whiteboard, cupboard, locker or mirror frames.

Fridge Magnets can be easily found in any local gift or souvenir shop, as well as airports and hotels.

Collecting travel souvenirs is a great way to bring a part of the foreign land home. Find out what I collect in my travels around the world #travelsouvenirs
Fridge Magnets ~ Image from a souvenir shop in San Francisco, California
How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Fridge
  • Magnetic boards – You can create a ‘travel vision board’ with souvenir magnets, photos, travel notes, etc
  • Lockers – in school/colleges
  • Mirror edges

Post-Cards

Post-cards are lovely souvenirs to keep. It occupies very little space and also costs less than a dollar.

I collect and keep postcards in a binder. Another option is to use traditional photo albums and store the cards. GET A PHOTO ALBUM SCRAPBOOK TO STORE POST CARDS.

Postcards as travel souvenirs
Postcards as travel souvenirs
Pro Tip: Travel souvenirs ranging from $.50 to $10 are great items to purchase abroad without having to go through a big customs line on arrival.
Postcard on a Photo-stand
How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Plastic photo albums – Place postcard in one sleeve, so that the backside is visible. Add messages or notes on the backside for displaying memories from each destination/vacation
  • Scrapbooks – Use good old scrapbooks to create a travel memory book or turn them into a coffee table book!
  • Photo frames – Use postcards as photos in frames/photo stands
  • Binder – Display or store postcards in a D-ring binder by using sheet protectors
  • D-ring – Store postcards by hole-punching them and stacking them in a D-ring clip – similar to recipe card 

Knick – Knacks

For us, knick knacks are all the random items that are souvenirs, but they do not fall into many of the specific categories. They include a big list of items from various cities we have been to. Like a mini Eiffel Tower from Paris, Chichen Itza pyramid, gingerbread houses from Brussels Belgium, telephone booths from the UK and such.

Knick Knacks Travel Souvenirs to collect
Knick Knacks Travel Souvenirs to collect

Just place them the good old way in a showcase or bookcase at home. Or if you are like me you can sprinkle your home and workspace with gazillions of Eiffel Towers. Prices of such items range from $8 to $25 USD. 

Eiffel Tower knick knacks at home
Some of the Eiffel Tower knick knacks from home and work
How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Bookshelf – Bookshelves are an easy buy and easy to assemble to store and display knick-knacks
  • Travel-only corner – Of just create a small travel and wanderlust space in your work cubicle or living room 

Coffee Mugs

Coffee Mugs are a great collectible item. Most mugs range from $5 to $10  USD apiece. I keep some mugs in my bookcase and some I use every day!

Coffee in San Francisco Mug keeps me happy 🙂

Coffee Mug San Francisco
Coffee Mug San Francisco

We once met a guy who loved collecting Starbucks coffee mugs from various cities, and he had a collector’s corner at home. We thought it was a neat idea. But coffee mugs from any souvenir store would do.

Get creative! Set up a corner with travel collectible – mugs!

If coffee is not your thing, substitute that with slot glasses. They are easy to carry and would rarely break in transit, as they are small and cute!

Another option is beer glasses.

How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Kitchen for use – Most coffee mugs are machine washable and microwave safe (check the item before use). So they are perfect to enjoy a warm cup of tea every day. 
  • Pen holder – I LOVE using travel mugs for pens and stationery items. They stay in good shape and reminds me of my travel times. It is a great conversation starter at work too!
  • Showpiece – Display mugs along with other knick-knacks
  • Coffee mug corner – Just like a bar-at-home, create a tray or trolley with travel coffee mugs!
  • Beer or shot glasses – Display them in your bookshelf or bar tray! Use good old scrapbooks to create a travel memory book or turn them into a coffee table book! 

Art pieces

Art is a great way to decorate your living or workspace. Art pieces can be a painting (which is super easy to roll and carry, without the frame that is) or a lamp, a carpet, a rug or even earthen pots.

Souvenir ideas to collect - wall decoration
Souvenir ideas to collect

Depending on your luggage or carry-on size, you can choose your souvenir.

As carry-on travelers, we prefer smaller items like a small painting or artwork. We bought this oil painting from Havana Cuba, isn’t it pretty?

Artisans Market Havana
Artisans Market in Havana Cuba
How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Wall hanging – Put them to use as they are – on the wall or place them against the wall
  • Art without frame – They are perfect to be put into any photo frame you like. Displaying them on a large (almost wall size) cork board is a good idea. Mix and match them with different art pieces from your travels. Or set them up by theme – like Europe only, anniversary trips, national parks, etc.

Jewelry

For all the ladies out there who love jewelry, did you know that these pretty pieces can also be a souvenir that you can carry with you all day long, and anywhere you go? Like for example, Mexico’s silver jewelry (.925) is very popular and relatively cheaper to buy, when you are in the country. I flaunt my silver slipper pendant (in green) to work.

If not silver, gold or Swarovski crystals, try artificial craftsmanship. I love my blue Azulejo tile patterned earrings from Lisbon Portugal. They cost less than 5 euro. So I carry a piece of Portuguese love wherever I go.

I collect a lot of Pandora Silver jewelry, and they have iconic city charms that you can only purchase from specific destinations like Miami and Las Vegas to name a few. I have travel and destination-specific charms on my Pandora bracelet, but they were purchased locally (and in case you are wondering I have a travel bracket with an Eiffel tower, a suitcase, camera, passport and a couple of globes!) 

Jewelry box, spice containers or any containers

Jewelry boxes make for great travel souvenirs to collect and bring back home. You can use them for storage of course or for showcasing your places of travel. For the most part, they are lightweight and easy to carry and cost under $10 USD.

Ticket stubs in a scrapbook, photo albums or photo box

Now, this souvenir idea is sort of FREE. When you take public transport or any attraction that gives you a printed ticket, you can use that as a souvenir item and display them on a corkboard or a photo box.

Another option is to put them in a photo album (yes, even the ones with plastic covers) and place them as a coffee table magazine. To make this even MORE interesting, buy a 2 pocket photo album – place ticket stubs on one and postcard from the same destination on another (You can substitute a postcard for an actual photo or a note about that place).

Travel Tickets in photo box
Travel Tickets in a photo box

Note: If you still print or get boarding passes you can only treasure them for a limited time. The printing or the ink on the passes will eventually fade and disappear. Yea, we tried that. Instead, opt for attractions or transit tickets as they are printed on regular cardstock paper.  

How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Plastic photo albums – Place tickets, etc in one sleeve, so that the backside is visible. Add messages or notes on the backside for displaying memories from each destination/vacation
  • Scrapbooks – Use good old scrapbooks to create a travel memory book or turn them into a coffee table book!
  • Photo box – Pin them (using push pins), add notes, color, photos – mix it up! BUY A PHOTO OR MEMORY BOX HERE
  • Glass bottle – Display or store tickets in a glass bottle – mix it with a variety of tickets so that it looks colorful

Guide books and itineraries

If you buy guidebooks, yes this kind. Place them in your bookshelf and show off how well-traveled you are. Although not a souvenir in its truest form, it still signifies places you have been to.

On another note, you can use your actual itinerary as a souvenir – whether it is handwritten notes or printed itinerary, store them in a travel journal or a binder (you can tell I love office supplies and binders).

Photographs

Photographs are an immense source of travel memories. People take a lot of pictures of the iconic bridge or building, without being in them.

Always remember to take lots of pictures of you and your loved ones in a new city.  Your pictures in a new city will be your treasured memories forever and a source of stories for future generations.

Bruges one day itinerary - Get ready to be mesmerized by gingerbread houses, medieval Markt Square, romantic canal tour, Belgian waffles and beer tour in one day in Bruges Itinerary.
Bruges – My Most Favorite Picture/s (for now)
How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Plastic photo albums 
  • Scrapbooks – Use good old scrapbooks to create a travel memory book or turn them into a coffee table book!
  • Photo frames 
  • Photobook – Create a photo book online. Have a theme – create them by year, or country
  • Blow up/enlarge photos – Re-create wanderlust moments by enlarging travel photos and displaying them in your living or bedroom for inspiration
  • Create custom products – Use photos from travel in personalized mugs, mousepads, blankets, etc
  • Yearly calendar – Every year, create a desk calendar (or one-page calendar with a photo collage) with the previous year’s travel memories. It is a great gift option, plus makes good use of photos too!

Coins and Currency

Coins and currencies leftover from a trip can be collected as souvenirs. I consider them as free souvenirs.

You can collect and store them in coin jars or coin albums ~ neatly labeled with the country’s name.

How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Plastic cover stamp collection books – Place them in stamp collection books, like stamps
  • Coin collection albums
  • Small candy jar – Use coins as souvenirs by displaying them in transparent candy jars. Get creative, paint the jars
  • Coin purse – Use good old coin purses to store them (as collectibles or for future use)

Flags or flag patches

Flags or flag patches are a great way to wear your travel memories. You can purchase them in the country of visit and bring them home as souvenirs. They cost about $3 USD or less.

Patches - Travel Souvenirs to Collect
Patches – Travel Souvenirs to Collect

There are many ways to use these patches. You can add them to a plain scarf (maybe fill it with all the patches or just your favorite ones). Or on caps, shirts, or any clothing really.

Or keep them as is, and use them as photo props or in your memory box. The possibilities are endless.

Key Chains

I love collecting key-chains. Sometimes I buy 2 (of the same city) – one for regular usage and one as a keepsake. I have a box full of key-chains, and I keep some on a jewelry hanger.

Sometime in the future, I plan on getting a corkboard and clipping all key-chains to it.

How to display: Souvenir ideas
  • Corkboard – Use push pins to display
  • Jewelry Hanger – Instead of chains and neckpieces, use them to display your wanderlust key-chains 

Edible Souvenirs

When you visit a new destination, you got to try their local cuisine. Although you cannot bring back an entire pot of Hungarian Goulash, you can pack a box of Parisian macaroons, Swiss chocolates or Gouda cheese from the Netherlands.

As long as they are sealed tight and are air craft-friendly, you can bring a piece of joy in your suitcase.

“Made in ABC” category of souvenirs

Now for luxury fan lovers, I know many of my friends who would LOVE to spend hours at London Heathrow for luxury handbags or scarfs. And many who have a liking for “Made in France” stamp on their Louis Vuitton purses and why not, they are a French fashion house.

This is just one example. If you are leaving for Iceland, try Blue Lagoon’s face mask and bring them home. Or buy their popular patterned sweater or IceWear jackets (they are very functional if you live in colder countries like my Canada-land!).

Laduree - From the Champs Elysee Flagship Store Paris
Laduree – From the Champs Elysee Flagship Store Paris

There are cheaper alternatives too when it comes to buying local with  “made in the country” stamp.

For example, Indian silk, cotton or tie, and dye scarfs are not super expensive and they are made locally and it will have the “Made in India” stamp. Match your colorful scarves with all beige or black clothes.

Clothing

Clothes are popular travel souvenirs to bring back home. We recommend getting an authentic piece that is like the above “made in that country” and also popularly worn there (but still serves a functional purpose, where you live).

Take the example of woolen textiles from Peru in South America or men’s traditional dress from the Middle East. They are unique, very evidently locally made and you are helping the community in that as well.

Lapad Sunset Beach
Or wear a jersey top/hoodie from the destination. Featured here: Croatia!

Getting a Tattoo

Although we have not done this ourselves, many people we know, love to get a tattoo with either the date, airport code or the destination name/ map from their travels. It is a cool way to showcase different places you have traveled to. 

Final Thoughts 

Always remember when you make purchases abroad – there are certain restrictions and dollar limits that you need to be aware of. Canadian residents returning from their overseas trip have a certain dollar amount attached to items bought or received as gifts.

Keep receipts or track your purchases or gifts that you are bringing back home. If it is over a certain limit, you have to declare and possibly pay taxes. Meat, poultry and certain dairy products are not allowed inside the country.

Similarly, the United States and European Nationals have different limits and item exemptions or even VAT returns. Either way, remember to fill out the customs form truthfully. And keeping track of your budget during your trip will help you do that easily. It is okay to buy a big-ticket item overseas, just remember to declare it upon arrival.

These are my favorite list of souvenirs that I normally collect. What do you collect in your travels?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

LIKE THIS? PIN FOR LATER – EASY TRAVEL SOUVENIRS TO COLLECT

Travel Souvenirs to collect
Travel Souvenirs to collect

Love it? Share it!

Similar Posts

4 Comments

  1. I buy a magnet for my mother everytime I travel. She has so many now that she’s had to buy a magnet board as the fridge is full! And now all her friends think she’s so incredibly well travelled! LOL! My personal favourite thing to collect when I travel are Christmas decorations! So everytime I bring them out at the end of the year, my family and I reminisce the places we had visited:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.