Every trip we go on, we have some form of souvenirs that we bring back home that we could not leave without. Souvenirs give us a tangible memory we can use regularly or see daily to bring us back to those happy memories from our trip.
For Christmas in 2015, my husband bought me a very nice Cannon camera for our trips in 2016. There is nothing like a nice camera for taking pictures, and I have been so thankful for this camera the last four years. To compare our trip pictures from our phone from our first overseas trip in 2013 to our first trip using our camera in 2016 are incredible. I highly recommend to take the pictures! I try not to focus so much on pictures that it ruins the experience, but the pictures and video you can take save the memories for life. There are so many moments we have captured with this camera that we have framed and put on our walls. I am thankful for our beautiful pictures from all of our trips.
Another thing I like to do to document our travel experiences as a souvenir of sorts to myself and my family is journaling our adventures. Our trip to Iceland and Scotland in 2016 were my first trips where I sat down daily and journaled our experiences each day, and I am grateful I have done that. I enjoy going back and reading back and having memories come flooding back that I had originally forgotten until my memory was triggered. It can be tiring and exhausting to find the time to do this each day when the days are busy and filled, but I strongly recommend it.
When we travel, our number one thing we bring home are ornaments. We now have a travel tree as we have so many ornaments from our travel experiences. Pulling out the fun ornaments each year bring back happy travel memories. Ornaments are nice to get because they are small and easy to pack! Each trip we go on it varies the number of ornaments we return home with, but each year we average five to ten new ornaments that join our travel tree.
Our second item we tend to bring back are coffee mugs. This is not particularly the best option, but we are household full of mug lovers, and the struggle is real! However, that nice morning cup of coffee in a mug from a happy place makes the morning so much sweeter. If you are a coffee mug fan like we are, you must plan ahead that you have the space for the mugs as well as have a plan on how to wrap them well to get them home not broken. I average four coffee mugs per trip, and always wrap well in paper and then around articles of clothing to keep them protected.
I love all my travel memories, but I would have to say that I do indeed have some top travel souvenirs that I have brought back. It was not easy to narrow it down, but I have narrowed them down to my top five items I have brought home.
My Top Five Souvenirs
- Harris Tweed Purse and Wallet – Harris Tweed is a popular brand made in the Isle of Harris. You can find Harris Tweed products all over Scotland, so it is easy to spot the variety of products they make and to purchase. I have eyed a purse every trip to Scotland, and always regret not buying one. I do not know what took me so long to purchase one on our last trip, but I continued to resist at every stop we made until the last minute! We were sitting in the Inverness airport last March on our way home, and I spontaneously went and purchased a matching purse and wallet, and I have not regretted the purchase. I knew the regret would be very high if I did not get one. The purse and wallet are high quality, and shine of Scottish beauty.
- King Henry VIII and his Wives Ornament Collection – After our visit to Westminster Abbey in 2017, we visited the gift shop and my eyes spotted this collection. There was no thinking, I had to buy this collection. It is a set of eight ornaments, including the king, all of his wives, and Queen Elizabeth I. It was pricey to purchase, but I love seeing them on my tree each year. I am glad I purchased them when I did, because I only saw the collection at one other gift shop during that trip.
- Kings and Queens of England Mug – I purchased this mug at a castle gift shop during our trip to England in 2017. I had never seen such a mug before, and I loved it. I have used it regularly, and Gideon is jealous of my mug and wishes he had his own. The mug has brought up many educational conversations with my children, which I also love. The mug depicts a photo from each king and queen of England, and the pictures are unique and relevant to that particular king or queen.
- Woolen Icelandic Blanket – When researching and planning for our trip to Iceland, I continually came across information about Icelandic wool products, and the recommendation to purchase a blanket. Although I never use the blanket, I am glad I was able to hunt down an Icelandic blanket during our trip in 2016 at a decent price. The woolen blankets are very expensive, but I found the one for a better price. Since it is wool, it is itchy and feels as you would expect, but it is beautiful. I keep it on my hope chest in my room so it does not get ruined, and I get to see it every day.
- Scotland Necklace – I saw this necklace in multiple castle gift shops in Scotland, and bought it in the last half of our trip. It has a charm the shape of Scotland with a heart cut out in the middle. It resonated with me because Scotland is my happy place, and feel like I live little bits of my heart there with each trip we make. The chain for the necklace is very small, and I still need to purchase a proper chain for it so I can wear it, so for now it stays in its box to protect the charm, but I look forward to wearing it soon.
What souvenirs do you like to bring back from your trip experiences? What are your top souvenirs? I would love to hear!