Whether they’re kept hidden in a shoebox in your wardrobe or proudly on display somewhere in your home, at one point or another you will have bought yourself, or been given, a travel souvenir.
Usually something small and inexpensive, souvenirs are designed to evoke happy memories of a specific place or time. Sometimes the story behind the souvenir is better than the object itself, yet it doesn’t matter how rubbish it is, you wouldn’t part with it for the world.
Here at icelolly.com, we decided to come up with a list of the best (and worst!) souvenirs on offer to tourists abroad. Some sentimental, some downright silly, these are some of our favourites!
Finding yourself so overwhelmed with emotion after making it to the top of the Eiffel Tower, you simply had to buy a miniature version of it in the gift shop to take home and display on your mantel piece… until you get home and realise it's tacky and doesn’t match your room colour scheme! We’ve all done it. These ornaments clutter shelves, gathering dust in homes up and down Britain, but we still buy them year after year!
“I heart NYC”, “I heart Magaluf”… “We heart, heart t-shirts!”
So what if we only use them to sleep in when we get back from our beloved holiday destinations, buying an “I heart” t-shirt is a life-long investment and one of the world’s most popular novelty souvenir ideas!
In theory, sending a postcard home is a lovely gesture and much more personal than a quick phone call from the hotel payphone. In reality however, you often beat the postcard home! But it’s the thought that counts, and they make a lovely keepsake.
4) Shot Glasses
Waking up in your hotel room the morning after a heavy night is never fun, however it is made all the more worthwhile when you find your handbag or pockets stuffed with shot glasses you’ve “accidentally borrowed” from an unsuspecting bar somewhere in your resort. They make an excellent memento of a night you will probably never fully remember…
Even if you’ve never done it yourself, you probably know somebody who has! The mind boggles as to why tattoo parlours are built side by side with nightclubs, but the dolphin you decided to drunkenly have inked on your shoulder will serve as an excellent lasting souvenir of your holiday!
6) Sand in a Bottle
Bringing back tiny bottles of multi-coloured sand taken from whichever beach you have just been baking on for the last week has been a tourist custom for years. They make adorable souvenirs and are popular amongst children.
7) Fridge Magnets
The good old fridge magnet! Ideal as a last minute airport gift for an auntie you forgot about, these little beauties depicting pristine beaches and oceans blue plaster fridges all over Britain and keep us dreaming of sunny weather!
8) Tea Towels
Every kitchen has one. Novelty tea towels printed with foreign lingo or maps of some Balearic island on them haunt kitchen drawers worldwide. Practical yet sentimental, this is a sensible example of souvenir investment!
It doesn’t matter that you already have 5 on your house key alone, you can never have enough keyrings! Especially one with a donkey on it and “Benidorm” plastered down the side…
10) A gift from a stranger
Sometimes a souvenir doesn’t even have to be something we buy, a token gift from a complete stranger, like a paper rose or a cocktail umbrella can serve as an excellent memento of your holiday. As the saying goes, the best things in life are free!
By Leanne Tonks - Marketing Intern at icelolly.com