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Old 08-28-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,350,483 times
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I NEVER bring back souveniers, unless I truly believe the person I'll give it to will appreciate and want it. I refuse to spend money on stupid t-shirts (made in China, most likely)...and to tell you the truth, I don't want to be shopping on my vacation! So there!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:53 PM
 
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I don't buy them -- but I've seen some pretty nice collections of souveneirs -- the best ones have a theme, shot glasses, or coffee cups or thimbles.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:57 PM
 
1,604 posts, read 1,483,265 times
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I take lots of pictures and if I really like the cuisine I will buy a cookbook, even if I can't read the language. My daughter collects post cards, so I often find myself looking for several of those to bring home.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:43 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,039,367 times
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Of course photos can be souvenirs, for yourself. My husband will buy fridge magnets for himself and small gifts for the nieces which are immediately destroyed or lost (they are small children). I like to bring back a pair of earrings that remind me of the place. They are always locally made and don't take up much space in my carry-on.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:24 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,326 posts, read 11,043,599 times
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For us personally, today, it is photographs (easy with the digital kind), and NEVER of ourselves in it at all !!
When we get home, I delete about half of them !

When I was single, I *collected* Coke bottles from each area.
They had *writing* on them that was in that specific language.
Hard to find glass coke bottles *today*.
Sold my *collection* right before I got married, and bought an engagement ring from the proceeds !

For our friends, we do know what they *collect*.
Many of the *collections*, are interesting, other ones weird, to say the least.
Some of the *souvenirs* we take back:
But ... , we only get those that are significant, in as much that they MUST be only available in *that area*.
Hard boiled egg holders.
Salt and pepper shakers.
Refrigerator magnets.
Anything made from *blue glass*
Anything made from *red glass*

The *best* souvenir, I think, was a tie that was worn by the attendants of Legoland in Denmark.
I had a tie that was *only* available* if you *worked* in that field (I was an Aerospace Engineer for NASA at that time).
We traded, and I was happy, because there was no way I could legally buy one of those Legoland ties !

Last edited by irman; 08-29-2012 at 09:33 AM..
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,504 posts, read 17,724,856 times
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I rarely collect souvenirs when I travel, or even take many photos (I do take a few) as I find constantly scanning for good compositions and the technical aspect of photography takes me out of the experience of simply 'being there' which is why I travel in the first place. I always keep any gifts I receive, obviously, and cherish them, but very rarely any knick-knacks.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have a friend that keeps things like tickets stubs and candy wrappers, and such. Its not like he puts them in a scrap book, he just keeps them in a drawer or something.

I'll admit that occasionally I'll be going through my wallet and find a day-pass for public transport from some city I visited a year ago and it brings a smile to my face, but then I just toss it.

If you don't like to take photos and have just visited a lot of 'tourist traps', a good souvenir may be a photo book of the city/country's famous sites, the places you visited. It will help you bring back your memories. Memories are the best souvenirs in my opinion.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,231,932 times
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I used to collect spoons from airlines, when airlines used to give you food. I had dinnerware monogrammed by about 25 different airlines, which were nice souvenirs. I never travel with a camera, and I have no photos at all of anyplace Ive ever been. I always brought back a few coins and a paper bill from every country. I wound up with a photo album full of paper money and a coffee can full of coins. Of course, my old passports have all the border stamps in them, which is a souvenir.

My sister is the opposite about cameras. Travel, to her, is a straight line from photo op to photo op, and she considers a day wasted if she doesn't take a picture of anything.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,014,596 times
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Surely the best souvenirs are in your head ? I love taking photos and will sometimes bring something from my trips but only something which means something to me not something manufactured specifically to encapsulate my experiences. We all travel differently and perceive the world in our own unique ways.

I think in essence "souvenirs" which are sold as such tend to be soul-less and diminish your own experiences by simply unifying us all under one umbrella.

I have scrapbooks for example of various bits and bobs from trips which make lovely reminders but "souvenirs" themselves can feel too contrived in my experience.

I would miss my photos and love taking them but even without I think my best souvenirs are all tucked up in my head, feelings, emotions, smells, images which more often than not cannot be captured on film or in trinkets. Travel is about what you feel, how you experience and understand the new environment you are thrown in. Objects can be nice but if they are not really personal they fail IMO.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:27 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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I don't necessarily like taking photos of the typical tourist things, but rather the unique things that catch my eye. The kittens playing at my feet in a sidewalk cafe, the crazy gas station on the sidewalk in Rome, the misspelled handbill that I spotted in New York.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:02 PM
 
9,253 posts, read 10,904,877 times
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I'm not a fan of knick-knacks, too much clutter. If a place is known for something, then I might pick something up. One of my favorite finds is a hand-blown glass bowl from an artist in New Mexico. It was not cheap, but it's gorgeous. Key rings? Coffee mugs? Tiny replicas of the Tower of London? Nah. I'd rather have photos.
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