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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
I collect fridge magnets.
Another thing I collect is the tickets, I also made a picture of them.
I started off collecting miniature porcelain bells. I have about 30 of them. At the same time, I also started collecting mugs from all the places I have visited. In my old house, we had a play room for the grand kids. My husband put up a shelving along the room and I displayed them there. I would try to find different and/or odd ones. Not dollar store mugs, LOL, some of those mugs were over $10. Now sadly, they are packed up and in a box, as I moved. I hope to get a chance to display them again.
A smart way to keep those moments in your memories. I also would love to try it. Soon will make sure to go Las Vegas and hope will be an idea to collect something like you. What do you think what is best to collect there? I think it will be beer bottle caps because this region is famous for its casinos and bars.
I love collecting native leaves and electroplating them so I can bring them home! <3
I love to get things that will last like jewelry, a coat, a purse or wallet, or my fav -shoes! That way, when someone says, "Cool shoes, where did you get those?" I can say "Paris", and it takes me back!
In the old days, I collected milk bottle caps - when milk was still sold in bottles and they still had paper caps. I was too young to be drinking beer in those days.
My mother would buy postcards and then not send them so that when she got the photos home if she had trouble remembering where they were taken (back in the days of film), she could identify the photos from the postcards. Also if she mailed the postcard to herself, she also got a stamp from that country.
I also collect admission tickets - if I have to give the ticket in, I take a photo of it first. I also bought small change purses for my granddaughter in the various places that I visited. My son-in-law collected beer mugs.
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. ;)
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.
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.
We collect ornaments for our Christmas tree.
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.
Currencies of various areas.
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.
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.
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.
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!