Don’t Regret a Thing with These Nifty Souvenir Tips

Are you good at buying souvenirs from your travels? If they end up collecting dust and going unnoticed you might want to think this one through.

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What defines a souvenir? Well, in the most modern context the etymology of the word comes from the French, literally meaning “memory.” But if we look back in time, the Washington Post reveals that the word is Greek, from sou, meaning “something cheap or tacky,” and venir, meaning “bought on vacation by a relative or workmate.” So, there we have it, a brief breakdown of the things we bring back from places we have visited.

Now, as you look around your house, you can probably find a few of these so-called souvenirs. We all have them. Magnets, snow globes, tiny figurines, rocks, handwoven purses, shawls, bottle openers, keychains, T-shirts and so on. And sometimes we ask ourselves, “Did I really need to get this?” What purpose do all these things serve? The answer to that might be “memory” or the fact that we got it because it felt right at the time.

According to Condé Nast Traveler, there’s such a thing called Vacation Shopping Syndrome, and Tara Button, the founder of sustainability startup Buy Me Once, offers six useful tips to avoid that awkward souvenir-buying fail.

In her new manual A Life Less Throwaway: The Lost Art of Buying for Life, Tara firstly brings up the most important tip which is planning out what you actually need, and not what you want. This tip can honestly be applied to any shopping trip. So, Tara recommends making lists of everyday, practical items such as a frying pan or a new pair of sneakers. Useful items on your list will serve their purpose as well as hold significant memory.

When it comes to gifts for family, friends and coworkers, Tara suggests buying delicious and edible items. She notes that because taste is so personal, it’s just safer to get something tasty instead of decorative or ornamental. You can either head to a supermarket or browse for local delicacies or candies, or other non-perishables.

A truly special and memorable souvenir is one from a local artisan or small indie shop. Sometimes items say handmade, but there are so many of them that you begin to really question that claim. That’s why Tara says if you can watch it being crafted on the spot, you can truly guarantee that it is indeed handmade and therefore purchase it, even supporting the economy in that destination.

To avoid buyer’s remorse, Tara recommends taking some pictures of your home and uploading them to Pinterest or another photo service. Especially if you’re a creative soul and want to be on the lookout for inspiring home décor pieces, you can add design ideas to help round out the mood board. Some questions to keep in mind if you find a souvenir that catches your eye are: Does the souvenir match the overall color scheme? How does it fit with your design aesthetic?

Next, instead of sending a physical postcard, you can make it more personal for your close ones by using Touchnote. This quick and easy app, makes it fun to send personalized messages with a photo of a place exactly how you saw it. Just add an address and you’re good to go.

Lastly, airside retail can be risky. Tara suggests skipping out on buying souvenirs at the airport because believe it or not, online stores will often charge the same price or lower for the same items you see. So instead of lugging stuff back home, save the room and shop later.

Remember though, that if you see an item abroad that you absolutely fall in love with, it’s ultimately up to you to buy it and no souvenir tips should ever stop you from your heart’s desire.

Are you an expert souvenir shopper while traveling? If they end up collecting dust and going unnoticed you might want to consider these tips. Read more about this story on the Condé Nast Traveler here.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Are you good at buying souvenirs from your travels? If they end up collecting dust and going unnoticed you might want to think this one through.

56% Yes- I’m a pro
44% No- I need help!
54% Yes- I’m a pro
46% No- I need help!
61% Yes- I’m a pro
39% No- I need help!

Yes- I’m a pro

No- I need help!

Don’t Regret a Thing with These Nifty Souvenir Tips

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