top of page

Travel Gifts and Souvenirs for Family and Friends

Purchasing gifts and souvenirs for family members and friends is a long-standing tradition for every traveler, myself included.  However, there are times when I wonder if the item that I have picked out and purchased is worthwhile.  I try to be careful when making my decisions, and while I hope that the person will love it as much as I do, there is always that chance that it is going to be put in the back of a closet somewhere.  And, I hate spending money on things that no one else is going to love, enjoy, and appreciate as much as I do!


Here are 6 travel gifts and souvenirs family members and friends will love:

1.       Works of Art


One of the most popular travel gifts and souvenirs is a work of art by a local artist.  You won’t find any of these pieces in a traditional gift shop, which means you will need to do your research of where to go before purchasing.  However, you may find that you will spend less on a beautiful piece of art than you would a chintzy souvenir that was manufactured halfway around the world.

2.       Food Items or Drinks


Depending on where you are visiting, you may be able to take a taste of it home with you to share with family and friends.  While some areas restrict food and drink items from crossing the border, others will have a much more relaxed policy.  Of course, you can also choose to ship these food items or drinks back home with the help of the person that you purchase it from.  In the United States, it is popular to ship oranges and grapefruits from Florida, while Italy ships out a lot of wine.  I encourage you to see what is popular in the area that you are visiting and then consider this option when purchasing travel gifts and souvenirs.  Your family and friends will love your thoughtfulness!

3.       Christmas Ornaments


Not everyone has the room to display travel gifts and souvenirs from their loved ones all year round, but most have room on their Christmas tree during the holidays for an ornament.  Almost every destination offers souvenir Christmas ornaments, which you can purchase for family and friends.  You may even want to consider purchasing one for yourself, so that you can fill your tree with memories from your travels.

4.       Photographs


Sometimes, the best souvenir is you in the form of a photograph, or just the area that you were visiting.  If you want to try to do this for a future trip, I recommend snapping pictures of the attractions that you visit, as well as the sunrise, the sunset, animals that you capture glimpses of, and anything else that catches your eye.  You will be surprised with the results and how many of them would be considered travel gift worthy!

5.       Pressed Pennies


Pressed pennies cannot really be displayed prominently inside a home, but they can be gathered within a binder or a container to look at whenever a person wants to.  These souvenirs have two good things going for them, which are the fact that they do not cost that much money and they do not take up that much room.  These small keepsakes will allow the person to know that you were thinking of them during your travels and that you wanted to give them something so they could experience part of the trip like you did.

6.       Spoons


Everyone usually thinks that I am crazy when I mention purchasing spoons for a souvenir, but I am not talking about the spoons that you eat with.  The spoons I am referring to are the ones that have the destination or attraction on the handle, whether it is a picture or a little shape.  These have been popular for years, and family members and friends can display them using a spoon holder that hangs on the wall.  Some holders will allow them to place twenty within the slots, while others can hold forty or more.  This is another souvenir that you may even want to consider getting for yourself.


It is so easy to get swept away during the purchase of travel gifts and souvenirs, to the point that you are spending way more than you should for each of the items that you are buying.  I urge you to be careful during your travels and try to stay away from the touristy gift shops if you can.  My favorite souvenirs have been found in out of the way places that the locals have recommended or that I have stumbled upon.


You may want to get the same items for everyone on your list, as it is easier, but you can also choose to purchase something different for everyone according to their likes and dislikes.  I try to do the former, as it is easier, but if I am purchasing food or drinks, I may switch things up a little with everyone to have a little variety.

bottom of page