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  • Melinda Vance
  • "Interesting things to collect?"

Melinda Vance

Toronto, Canada

Interesting things to collect?

I will  be heading off on a transatlantic trip  in the future and I was wondering what I should collect from each different city I visit. I have collected bracelets and beer bottle caps and postcards and barf bags in the past but I really wanted something that could really be memorable and super cool. Thank you! 

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14 Answers

  • Tiffany Weber

    top answer by

    I collect a lot of things, but as far as small, inexpensive ones, I love my sugar packets. I bring them home and put them in a a jar for people to use when they come for coffee. Is always a fun memory and conversation started since the packets always have the name of the restaurant on them.

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  • Rocio Acevedo

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    answered by

    Not very interesting, but I collect magnets for my fridge. I have so many of them, they look beautiful and light up my world while cooking!


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  • Rebecca Beacham

    answered by

    I collect Christmas tree ornaments. Sounds cheesy right? But my tree is like a passport, and it inspires conversation and great memories. It's also fun to get creative about what constitutes an ornament.

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  • Sean Kelly

    answered by

    Hello Melinda,

    I've gotten into the habit of not buying souvenirs a long time ago. The funny thing is, people still remark, "Do you mean to tell me you didn't get yourself anything?" They never stop to consider that I gave myself a fantastic trip.

    What I do collect is any paper involved with my journey. All the maps, transit tickets, rail passes, business cards, museum pamphlets, and menus I pick-up are placed in a large envelope and mailed back home before I leave. Included with them are any odd scraps unique to that particular place; like the cheese wrapper from what I only knew back home as a brewery, or the label off an Italian bottle of water showing a fountain that looks more like a barfing cherub, ect.

    I also take tons of pictures. I use a camera, rather than my phone. If the worst should happen, and I loose my camera, that all I loose. So, I may loose some pictures, but cameras now are inexpensive and easily replaced.

    Finally, I keep a journal. I mean a real journal; paper, pen, and hand written.

    Every now and then I'll place some of the papers, along with some photos, in the appropriate section of the journal, and leave it on my coffee table. The act of assembling it together brings me back to that place and time. Curious guests who look through the journal usually have plenty of questions. Also, I find that many people would rather investigate my travels on their own, than listen to me blathering on about it. Let's not even mention the dreaded slide show (no, I've never done that, but I've been captive to many).

    Still, I really dig Tiffany W.'s idea about the sugar packets!

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  • Heather Benson

    answered by

    I collect Christmas tree ornaments from every country I visit. They are fairly easy to find, affordable, and tell a great story sitting on your tree. Plus its a great excuse to make people listen to all your travel stories. ;)

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  • Haley Martin

    answered by

    I collect Christmas ornaments from all the places I visit. They may only be used once a year, but I love unpacking them and having a tree full of memories. I also always grab matches from hotels/restaurants.

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  • Beverly Woodworth

    answered by

    I collect scarves. They are lightweight, reasonably priced, easy to pack and you can actually use them. When people complement the scarf you can just smile to yourself or share a little bit of your trip with them.

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  • Kinga Szabó

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    I collect postcards. they are quite cheap everywhere and it is unique to the place, but lately I have the feeling that even I could make a better photo of the city/landscape than the one the postcard..still it's a memory. I also take home all the tickets and pamphlets.

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  • Juli Lederhaus

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    We collect ornaments for our Christmas tree.

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  • Nct NCrypted

    answered by

    Currencies of various areas.

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  • Rick Schulze

    answered by

    I like to collect cup coasters from bars, cafes, and restaurants. They are small, light, interesting, and they travel well. Once I'm back home, they create conversation and bring back memories. They don't last forever, but the wear and tear add to their character.

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  • Lynn Farrell

    answered by

    I collect coffee mugs from the different countries/cities I visit. Then when I have my morning coffee, I think "where will I go this morning?" & choose a cup. Of course my cupboards are getting quite full... I have friends who collect bookmarks, tea towels, fridge magnets, etc.

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  • Anita Rasmussen

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    I carry a bunch of snack sized Ziploc baggies and collect a little beach sand from interesting beaches. I come home and put them in individual cute containers so I can dip my fingers into the sand and "touch/revisit" the beach. Best of all, it's FREE!

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  • Aiha Nguyen

    answered by

    I almost wrote a whole blog post for a travel site about tchotchkes!

    I went on a two month overseas trip a few years ago and people had all sorts of requests. One friend wanted a luggage tag from each airline I flew on and a Starbucks "city" mug from each city I stopped in. Another friend had an affinity for aprons. License plates were another request but I couldn't get those.

    I love to wander the streets of a city and in the process have amassed quite a collection of toys sold on the street - everything from a toy camel in Egypt to inter-linking monkeys in Indonesia. Sometimes you can turn these into art. I bought a bunch of fake terra cotta warriers in Xian, repainted them and put them into a shadowbox.

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