Some people go on vacation determined to find the perfect souvenirs for a list of family and friends, while others don’t worry about souvenirs for anyone (including themselves). If you’ve set up the souvenir expectation, we have suggestions for how to select the best souvenirs without letting it take over your vacation (or your budget!).
Go into your trip with the people you’re buying for in the back of your mind. That way you might happen upon something that reminds you of them rather than having to designate time for souvenir shopping and buying something that might not fit them as well. Even though you’re shopping for individuals, don’t be afraid to buy the same thing for more than one person. You might find a great, unique gift that is useful for multiple people.
Speaking of useful, you also want something that has life beyond just being a reminder that you traveled to this location. Rather than a keychain, go for something that serves a purpose—perhaps something crafted by a local artisan that the recipient could display in their home. You could also consider customizing items. If you’ll be traveling for a while, sending a postcard with a personal note could be a better souvenir than bringing back an object.
Also, don't blow your travel budget on souvenirs. Set a limit on how much you're going to spend and look for items you can buy in a bundle!
Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you could actually imagine the person’s reaction to the gift. Will they dread having to add something else to the trinket drawer or will they be excited to tell others about what they received?