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ibstubro's avatar

Is there such a thing as a "good" souvenir of a place you vacationed/visited?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) July 20th, 2015

FIRST, was it good for you or someone else?

What was the souvenir and what made it special?

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35 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I always like a t-shirt, but it has to be a t-shirt that a local would wear, not one from a tourist t-shirt shop.

cookieman's avatar

I like to get nice snow globes or refrigerator magnets from wherever we go.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Coffee mugs and hoodies from places I’ve visited always bring me comfort.

Blackberry's avatar

I’ve never been a fan of souvenirs, but I guess pictures can count. They show real memories. I bought some random trinkets and souvenirs on my travels, but they didn’t really mean much to me.

Coloma's avatar

I like rocks. lol
I have a big ceramic water bowl on a pedestal filled with cool rocks I have collected all over the place. Jade and others from asia, from beaches and the marble mountains of Taiwan. Rocks from all over the South west, and, of course, some nice CA. rocks. haha
I have water plants in this big bowl with all my rocks and I periodically take them out and wash them when they start growing algae.

The whole bowl of rocks and the water probably weighs about 60 lbs. It is a task to wash them all and scrub the bowl out and rearrange them all again. I love my rocks!

DoNotKnow's avatar

^ Yes! Rocks. And shells. My 6-year-old brought me back a small shell he found on a recent trip to the beach that I couldn’t attend. It was so thoughtful. It’s sitting on my desk at work, and there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that it hasn’t warmed my mood.

Rocks (and shells) also have the advantage of being free and not contributing to the souvenir industry.

Pandora's avatar

Shot glasses and frig magnets if you collect them. I bought them for myself. I’ve found some interesting shot glasses from my trip that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Sometimes ladle holders if it is really attractive. That is usually for myself or my mom.

I’ve also bought hand fans from different counties for myself and for ladies. Most like the idea of having a little fan in their bag in case it gets too hot and some like it for decorating.
I use them for both.

For the guys my husband usually buys decorative wine bottle corks.

Berserker's avatar

The memories, man. I’ll always remember King’s Cross. Fuckin dump.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m also in the rocks camp. I also bring home pine cones and pieces of wood. Last time I had some passengers riding in my back seat I had to move all of the rocks and pine cones off of the floor so they could put their feet down. The most recent rocks came from Palm Springs. I chose them because they had mica embedded in them.

If someone was bringing something home from their own trip, for me, I would like a food item from the area where they traveled. My Mom brought home pecan pralines from New Orleans one time. They were sooooooo good!

I guess I should have mentioned photos too. I’m a person who can easily take 300 pictures in a day, so I come home with lots of photos.

ucme's avatar

When I was in my late teens, young, dumb & full of cum, I took the virginity of a beautiful local flower seller while holidaying in the south of France, her name…Sue Verneer.
I treasure the memory mostly because she banged like a barn house door in a hurricane.

Pachy's avatar

No material souvenir I ever brought back from any of my excursions abroad means as much to me now as my memories of them.

jca's avatar

Unconventional is nice – a book from the book store, a piece of art to hang, something from a thrift shop that has meaning to the area visited, a piece of jewelry.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How about a nut? We were up on the bobsled track on Mt Van Hovenburg and a couple from Ohio struck up a conversation with us. They had just got into town and they were asking about the area and what to do. I love it up there so I gave them the rundown and threw in the Candyman out in Wilmington. His eyes lit up, and he reached in his pocket. Here, I want you to have this. And it was a buckeye he had picked up before they left Ohio. Zero dollar value, but a very pleasant reminder of a beautiful afternoon, amazing scenery, and a really nice conversation.

cazzie's avatar

I should check my storage. Let’s see…. I have the gall bladder of a Russian werewolf. That was fun. I have the essence of an evil, serial killing perfume maker from France. That was more of a work related trip than a vacation. One of my other favourites was the ectoplasm left over from a very energetic child ghost I had to deal with in Chechnya. Ah… sweet memories.

ibstubro's avatar

Great, fun, answers and I’ve participated in many, especially rocks, thrift shops, and (giving) fridge magnets.

I’m struck by @zenvelo‘s answer, however.
I’m second fiddle on my own question. My preferred souvenir is a T-shirt from a local re-sale shop. New or like-new donation from a local marathon, BBQ, or symposium.

keobooks's avatar

When I went to China in high school, there were SO many awesome things I got for so cheap. My favorite things were a very small silk rug for one grandmother. After she died, I got it back. I got a life size jade sparrow for my other grandmother. For my grandfather, I got this cork statue, and in Hong Kong, I got my mom a 24carat gold ring. I only took a few hundred dollars and came back with more than half of it. Everything was such good quality and so cheap. The only loss was a tea set. I didn’t know how to pack it, and the entire tea set was shattered by the time I got home.

ucme's avatar


dxs's avatar

I collect the key cards that hotels give you to swipe into your rooms. I write the event and date on them in Sharpie so I remember where/when/why we stayed.

ibstubro's avatar

Did you haggle, @keobooks? I have a friend that claims everything had to be haggled in China. I suspect that he bought an item priced $500 for $300 when it had a retail value of $30.

I wish the hotels would all personalize the cards more, @dxs, so you could tell the ‘where’ by looking at it. I was collecting them for a while, but they just got more and more generic.
Good bookmarks, too, BTW.

keobooks's avatar

When I was in china, you couldn’t haggle. Prices in tourist stores were set by the government. This was 30 years ago so things may have changed. In Hong Kong, just about everyone haggled. But it was controlled by the Brits back then.

ibstubro's avatar

Ah, the free market began in China before I knew about it, then, @keobooks.
I’m told that China of about 15 years ago was all haggle.

Compliment alert! I thought @keobooks HS trip was in the 90’s.

keobooks's avatar

When I was there 30 years ago, tourists didn’t get real money. They got special tourist money you couldn’t get outside China and you couldn’t exchange back for different currency. The money was odd. There were special government shops where it was the only currency allowed. Citizens were not even allowed to walk into these shops unless they were escorting a tourist. They were forbidden to purchase anything inside the shops. Our tour guides were always trying to get us to exchange our tourist money for People’s money. Once you did this, you were stuck with worthless money. None of the government shops were allowed to let you spend it, and the street vendors refused to take it because they wanted as much tourist money as possible.

keobooks's avatar

Woo I just read that whole article. It looks like all my leftover tourist money might have value now as a collectors item.

ibstubro's avatar

Link the rest of us, @keobooks. Your page can’t be found.

keobooks's avatar

That’s too bad. It was an excellent link about the history of Chinese FEC (aka tourist money). It also talked about the special “Friendship Stores” made by the government that only tourists were legally allowed to shop in. I can’t find any links nearly as good. Here’s one, but it’s not nearly as good.

The old link said that a complete collection of FEC money is currently worth 10,000 Chinese yuan—about US$1600. I’ll need to dig up my coin collection from that trip and see if I can put a full set together. I also have Hong Kong dollars that went out of circulation in 1999, when Hong Kong was given back to China.

dxs's avatar

@ibstubro Yeah, I haven’t seen a key card with the hotel’s name on it in a while. Nowadays it’s just a generic “welcome” sign or some pizza ad. It doesn’t bother me, though, cause i still write on it. I like them because they’re small, time-stamped souvenirs that I can organize and keep in a safe place.

ibstubro's avatar

I think the hotels are missing out on a potential advertising/collecting bonanza, @dxs.


jca's avatar

Since the key card info is changed after every checkout, they should all have hotel info on them.

dxs's avatar

@ibstubro They’re probably getting a deal somehow by putting those ads on, or cutting costs for personal cards.
@jca What?

jca's avatar

@dxs: When it’s check out time, you can take that card and it will no longer work in the door, as it’s programmed to stop opening the door after your check out time. Therefore, the hotel should feel free to put their hotel logo on the card.

ibstubro's avatar

The local pizza joint pays to have their ad on the card, @jca.

ibstubro's avatar

I’ll admit to buying a few little tchotchkes if they are very tiny and very cute. Something you I can find in a box or drawer at a later date and be unexpectedly reminded.

cazzie's avatar

I should answer this more seriously, I have a snow-globe from when I took a train past the Arctic Circle when my cousin visited. Seemed appropriate. It was my third time across, though. I told her that as a rite of passage, everyone had to do a little dance the first time they crossed it. I told her she’d see other people get up on the train, especially the kids, and do a little dance all at the same time and everyone will clap and laugh and it will be fun. She got up and did it, and nobody else did because I had, of course, made the whole thing up.

ibstubro's avatar

Was that mean, or hilarious, @cazzie? From your cousin’s point of view.
Of course, you’d have never got me to get up and dance!

cazzie's avatar

My cousin is awesome! She KNEW it was a gag and followed along anyway. We BOTH ended up doing a little dance. She is one of the most amazing people I know. She is a nurse and dog rescuer and she loves sewing costumes for Steampunk Con and other costume-cons she visits. She travels all over the world. We share a crazy sense of humour, so there was no maliciousness at all.

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