7 Ways to Save on Souvenirs and Gifts When You Travel

Don't spend your entire travel budget on souvenirs. Here are a few easy ways you can save on souvenirs and remember your trips for a lifetime.There’s nothing better than jetting off to some faraway destination or hopping in the car for an exciting road trip. After all, anytime you can escape from the mundane tasks and duties of the everyday is a good thing.

Once you’ve arrived at your destination there’s no doubt an array of activities, cuisine, and culture that you’d like to experience. While all of those things serve to provide a wonderful mental memory of your trip, most travelers love the idea of taking home a special memento as well.

Whether it’s a key chain, t-shirt, coffee mug, or some other trinket reminiscent of your surroundings, no trip seems complete without a souvenir. Unfortunately, souvenirs are anything but cheap. In many cases, are one of the surefire ways to blow your travel budget. Even so, you don’t have to forgo a keepsake altogether.

The next time you find yourself on vacation, keep in mind these seven ways to save on souvenirs. 

1. Budget for It

One of the biggest pitfalls travelers make when shopping for souvenirs is not creating a budget for them. That being the case, you likely walk around and browse and as you find souvenirs and gifts that you like, purchase upon seeing.

In order to keep yourself and your wallet in check, however, consider establishing a budget beforehand. Set aside a specific amount just for souvenirs and once you’ve hit that amount on your trip, you’re not allowed to spend anymore.

You’ll keep yourself from going overboard and, since you’ll have to think hard before purchasing, buy items that’ll mean more in the long-run.

2. Opt for Postcards or Pennies

Souvenirs don’t have to be extravagant or something big. In fact, sometimes the smallest items are the most memorable.

Items like flattened pennies and postcards are just about everywhere and are inherently cheap, as in literally a penny. Moreover, they usually have images and impressions reminiscent of the place you’re at.

You can compile all of your postcards or pennies into a keepsake book to revisit later; you’ll have a memorable trinket and stay on budget.

3. Shop Around

Just like when you shop for other things, shopping around can be the key to finding a good price. Often times when you’re on vacation, the shops closest to the main tourist attractions and hotels have a tendency to jack up the price of said souvenirs.

Instead of visiting the stores nearest to you and falling prey to high-set prices, search outside the usual tourist zones. Visit local shops for unique gifts at a great price.

Furthermore, peruse multiple places before officially deciding on a souvenir to find the best price and ensure you only purchase the items you truly want. 

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4. Take Lots of Photos

One of the best parts of coming home from vacation is looking at all of your wonderful photos. What might not have occurred to you is what wonderful souvenirs your photos make.

While you can purchase pre-made items, most of the time, souvenirs, although fun to have around for a while, ultimately end up tossed to the side, pushed to the back of your closet, or on your garage sale list.

In place of a short-lived trinket, make a point to shoot an array of pictures to help you remember all the highlights of your trip. Photos will not only help you capture the best moments, but will give you a lifetime memento at a small cost.

5. Utilize Your Natural Surroundings

Vacations often times take you to natural wonders like beaches and mountains and places full of natural beauty. If that’s the case for your getaway, why not take advantage of your surroundings by bringing home a natural souvenir.

Look for seashells, sand dollars, sea glass, rocks, and other found items in nature to bring home and display in your home. Collect an array of natural memorabilia then, purchase inexpensive glass dishes and vases to put them in as decor.

One important factor worth noting should you take advantage of free, found items is to ensure whether or not it’s legally acceptable for you to take them home.

6. Journal While You’re There

Do you ever get home from a trip only to find that a couple of days or weeks later you’ve forgotten all about some of the best moments and details? In those moments, even a souvenir can’t fully jog your memory.

Get creative with your souvenir by opting to keep a travel journal instead. Purchase an inexpensive notebook or journal to take on your trip and when you have an opportunity, write down anything you don’t want to forget.

In the end you’ll have a book full of travel details you can go back to anytime you want to reminisce.

7. Keep Documents for Keepsakes

Anytime you travel you collect a variety of papers, tickets, currency, and receipts documenting your journey. While first instinct might be to discard those items, they can actually be great, free mementos from your journey.

Much like you would photos or postcards, compile all of the documents from your journey and arrange them in a photo album or display them in a shadowbox. Similar to a journal, you’ll be able to follow your trip and remember each place you visited all on budget.

The Bottom Line

When you’re traveling someplace new and exciting you no doubt want to remember every moment of it. As time goes on it’s all too easy to forget the details, which is why souvenirs can be a great way to kickstart your memory.

Unfortunately, retailers know just how much vacationers are willing to spend on keepsakes, and that displayed right, vacationers will likely purchase more than one. Ergo, you could end up blowing your travel budget just for the sake of souvenirs alone.

Instead of going overboard and spending too much, be sure to be mindful and follow a few easy tips to bring home a souvenir and stick to your budget.

What’s your go-to souvenir when you travel? What have you found the best value for your money when trying to find a souvenir?