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  • Kirsty Seaden
  • "What are the best things to collect when travelling?"

Kirsty Seaden

London, United Kingdom

What are the best things to collect when travelling?

This summer I am doing a six week tour of Europe, i'll be going to 16 countries, and I want to collect something from them. I know people collect postcards and magnets and snow globes but I want to collect something different. What are the best/original things you've collected? 

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  • Jillian Geer

    top answer by

    I collect small bracelets from each destination I travel, and wear them on my left wrist. I started doing this when I drove across the Andalusia region of Spain 5 years ago and bought a bracelet from every town. It's fun seeking them out, buying them from locals, and listening to their stories.

    Right now, I'm wearing bracelets from Austin (Texas), Tanzania, Amsterdam, Florence, Namibia, and Brooklyn (New York). I've worn most of these for years now, but sometimes I add or remove a few. They are constant reminder of gratitude in my life!

    General Trippy Media

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    • Ross S.

      Ross S.

      The wife does the exact same thing · (0 likelikes)

    • Vanessa A.

      Vanessa A.

      I love this idea · (0 likelikes)

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  • Tiffany Weber

    answered by

    Pottery: Because weight wasn't an option for me, I collected pottery from every country that I've been to. Most country's have some form of blue and white potter and it looks amazing all together in my dining room. The styles and patters are all very different and may pieces are incredibly practical as well as decorative.

    Scarves/linens: If you wear scarves, this might be a fun souvenir. Again, each country will have it's own unique style and it's a practical, lightweight, unbreakable remembrance. People will compliment your unusual scarf and you can say, "thank you, I got it it ____." Linens run along the same lines. In Budapest, Germany, Portugal, and Belgium specifically, I found gorgeous linens - table clothes and napkins.

    Charms: I'm a charm fanatic and have collected some sort of charm almost every country. Poland has amber, Prague had garnets, Italy has those beautiful good luck charms often made of red coral. In Spain, I got a sterling silver bull.

    Beach: Sand, sea shells, and other beach findings are nice souvenirs. In Spain, you'll often find worn bits of old pottery.

    Tickets: Keep your train/plane/metro tickets and either frame them with photos or put them into ornaments.

    People: Ok, so people won't fit in your suitcase, but make an effort to meet people, smile, have conversations, and may be even collect some email/twitter handles/instagram accounts of people that you meet along the way or go really old fashioned and send a thank you so someone who made a difference along the way. I made lifelong friends in Europe and some began with very random brief encounters. It's a special place.



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    • Radhina A.

      Radhina A.

      I like scarves too. They are colourful and light-weight and pretty much will last in your wardrobe forever :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Michael Ching

    answered by

    Menus. Being a foodie I like having a memento of the places that I have dined at while traveling. Most cooks (not chefs because I love hole in the walls or mom & pops restaurants) are shocked when I ask to buy one, but when i explain that I loved their food and that I am a tourist they are usually happy to give me one. Another nice thing about menus is that it's flat and not bulky so it doesn't take up room when traveling which is definitely a plus.

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    • Christie B.

      Christie B.

      I love this idea! · (1 likelikes)

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  • Johnny Lindberg

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    I know you mentioned people collect postcards... but I have a twist. I write what I did on the postcard and mail it to myself. It's kind of a diary that I plan to pass on to my grandkids someday...

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    • Vanessa A.

      Vanessa A.

      Fantastic idea · (0 likelikes)

    • Kimberly E.

      Kimberly E.

      I do the SAME thing. When I get down or am having a bad day, I read a couple and it helps. It really helps. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Sarah Manley

    answered by

    I collect Christmas tree ornaments/ decorations. So every year when I am dressing the tree I have happy holiday memories! I have a Koala angel from Australia, A snowman with shamrocks from Ireland, I bauble with chillies on from Mexico- you get the idea! Some don't have obvious links to the country- e.g. a gold glass star from Paris, but I still have the memories.

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    • Jackie R.

      Jackie R.

      Me too! Love taking them out every year and remembering where I've been. Ideally you can find ornaments that are in some way native to the location, not tacky airport trinkets. In Amalfi, for example, I found hand-cut, intricate paper ornaments (it is an old mill town, and all documents in the Vatican are required to be printed on Amalfi paper!). · (0 likelikes)

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  • Justin Schmid

    answered by

    Race medals. I've been in 10k races in several different countries, and the race medals (and sometimes t-shirts) are great souvenirs. You have to earn them, and you often meet some interesting people at races.

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  • Grace Lee

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    Rocks. No rock is the same. You can write the state/country, date and collect them in a jar. Each rock will hold a memory or story.

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    • Justin S.

      Justin S.

      I have some incredible pieces of obsidian from Iceland, so I support rocks, too! · (0 likelikes)

    • Peter D.

      Peter D.

      Yes, we do that too. · (0 likelikes)

    • Joanne A.

      Joanne A.

      You have to be careful as many places it is illegal. You can cannot take Sand from White Sands Park. I bought Geode bookends in a gife store and also a rough Geode that is split open to reveal the sparkles. · (0 likelikes)

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  • David Sherwin

    answered by

    I try to take a picture of the dawn and dusk to see the Sun rise and set on places I visit.

    Or a picture of a local person which highlights the culture of destination

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  • Ellen Schrader Stutts

    answered by

    I like to hit the local grocery stores in the area and buy a canvas grocery bag. Useful, doesn't weigh much and it reminds me of the places I've been.

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  • Spencer Spellman

    answered by

    This isn't so easy for visiting that many countries, but I typically bring back a bottle of the local drinks, like a local beer, wine, or spirit, and will then give to friends, enjoy on my own, or throw a travel-themed party. I'll also often pick up some handmade items, like jewelry, instruments, or trinkets. I think those types of things say a lot about a culture's history and what's important to them.

    Great question!

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  • Valerie Stimac

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    I collect sterling silver charms for my charm bracelet! It's kind of an expensive souvenir and I don't wear the bracelet often, but whenever I look at it, I'm reminded of all the amazing places I've been lucky enough to see!

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  • peggy robbins

    answered by

    I have always collected matchbooks, although in recent years, they have become quite difficult to collect in the states. To me they are mini pieces of art and a wonderful reminder of traveling the world. I keep some in a very large bowl but the most beautiful ones are framed in one large frame, displaying either the front or the back of each matchbook.

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    • Megan D.

      Megan D.

      My dad used to collect matchbooks too and I always loved going through them as a kid, but with the number of smokers diminishing slowly, they're not necessarily as easy to find as they once were. A friend of mine wound up doing something similar, which was to gather coasters from every place they ate/drank. When she got home, she positioned them on poster board and then had it framed. Its pretty awesome looking. · (1 likelikes)

    • Brenda B.

      Brenda B.

      I also collect matchbooks. I keep them in a big glass bowl and use them whenever I need to light something. Its always fun to stick my hand in and see what memory I'm going to grab · (1 likelikes)

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  • Corey Thibodeaux

    answered by

    This is an odd one, and I'm sure no one will understand this, but I collect Wi-Fi networks. I'll log on to a local venue (I've done Disney Land, various athletic stadiums, museums, etc.) and hop onto the Wi-Fi, if possible. Then it's stored in my list of networks for memories.

    You can't really display them when you get home, but they are cheap, weightless and organize easily.

    For a more practical solution - Christmas tree ornaments for a travel tree.

    Would love to know what you decide on!

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    • Samuel C.

      Samuel C.

      I do the same! · (1 likelikes)

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered by

    Great question! I collect shopping bags from every place I go. I started when I first went to Paris. I really couldn't afford to buy anything so I started collecting business cards from stores. In Europe, business cards are like little works of art so they were great things to have and they gave me a great way to track where I had been that day. One day a store I went to offered me a shopping bag when they ran out of cards. It was a beautiful bag with thick ribbon handles and a cute little logo of a dog. To this day I collect them no matter where I go in the world. They're free, lightweight and look great framed.

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  • Kristina Kupka

    answered by

    Awesome that most girls choose jewelry! Personally I go for earrings because its what I wear most. The labels of wine or any other liquor that I liked in that area to put in my travel journal. Clothes that are only from that region are always fun. And kitchen towels (or any other kitchen utensil) are great and can be used at home often!

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  • Paul Harrar

    answered by

    My favorite "I was there" things to collect from travels are "finds" of geocaches. These are hidden containers* (and paper logs to sign) that must be found using GPS coordinates, which are posted on the Geocaching.com website. The global game of geocaching just celebrated its 15th anniversary. There are more than 2.6 million geocaches and 6 million registered participants. Some "caches" very easy to get to and find. Some are extremely difficult. It's free to play and not as techie-geeky as it sounds. You can use your smart phone with a free app, but serious players all have hand-held GPS devices which have accuracy to about 10 feet, thanks to all the satellites orbiting Earth.

    Finding a geocache while traveling has several benefits. First, you have to do some research to find where geocaches are. You view maps and read about getting there. This prepares you to maximize your travel experience. Second, geocaching can lead you to discover some very cool spots that tourists don't know about: secret trails, hidden beaches, unique landforms. Finally, because geocaching is mainly an experience of finding something, it doesn't cost anything extra or take up room in your luggage. Your finds, written notes and photos can be logged online where you see on maps where you've been and read about other geocachers' experiences in those places. Kind of like Trippy!

    *Not all geocache types are physical containers. There also are geology-themed Earthcaches and virtual geocaches that involve submitting info available at the location to log a "find." There also are web cam geocaches (smile, you're on camera!) and geocaching events.

    My last trip to Hawaii, where I've visited many times, was greatly enhanced by geocaching. I discovered some amazing new places and enjoyed new experiences in more familiar spots. During ALL of my travels, I now take only pictures and leave footprints — but also my name on a geocache log.

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  • Alana Simpson

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    I absolutely love collecting rings from markets. Not only does my jewellery collection grow, but every time I wear a ring from a different country I'm reminded of that place and all the memories surrounding it!

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  • Kathy Kass

    answered by

    Marathon medals (I run a lot of marathons)

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    • Valerie A.

      Valerie A.

      Marathons!? That's impressive :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Kristal Sajasi

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    Hi Kirsty,

    It took me a while before I figured out what it was I could take and keep from each country. Now, I always make sure to grab a postcard from every city and for each country I grab something I can display at home. For example, from China I have a symbolic structure that can be hung that symbolizes peace and good vibes, from the Eastern Europe I bought brandy canteens made and carved out of wood, it's nice to have one from each country and yet they are all different. I stay away from little gimmicky things or a bunch of small knick knacks. I prefer to have 1 substantial (possibly pricier) thing that I can display around my house and always look at it. The other thing I do, although this isn't a purchase, is I make sure to get a great photo of every country I go to and when I get back home I print it onto a wrap-around canvas and hang it on a wall in my living room. It's a really nice touch that you and others will always enjoy!

    General Trippy Mediaimage from thetacomaledger.com

    - Kristal

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  • Samia Ahmed

    answered by

    I go to the local supermarket to pick up local chocolate which I will never get in my city....so I usually bring back local brands, rather than Twix, Mars, Snickers, etc.

    Another thing I like is incense sticks from places I traveled to...

    Both the things mentioned are perishable items, so I pick up small souvenirs local to a place, to decorate my home.

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