When preparing for a new adventure, many things cross our minds; what will it be like, what to take with us, and what to bring back. As well as treating our loved ones, it’s important to treat ourselves, and bring back something to remember our own adventure by. While not everyone is a collector, I myself am, and if you are one too then this post is for you!
In order to help you decide what to collect on your travels, I’ve come up with several ideas to inspire you before you go. Tourist shops in general can be quite expensive no matter what country you are in, so make sure you try the local markets and family-run pop-up shops, for better deals on souvenirs. On your marks, get set… Collect!
This one’s kind of obvious when you first think about it, but what I’m actually referring to is the poses within them. Who here’s seen the ‘jumping in the air’ shot? The ‘arm out holding my partner’s hand‘ shot? And let’s not forget, the ‘I’m holding/touching a famous building‘ shot. Although these poses are seemingly ‘overdone’, I don’t think this should stop anyone from doing them too. If you can come up with something unique to you then by all means go for it, but otherwise these shots are just fine – especially when you’ve created a matching collection of them. Don’t let others get you down – jump in the air and show them that you don’t care!
This one can be quite an expensive collection, depending on your tastes. While some prefer to collect expensive charms from different Pandora stores around the globe (I can’t deny their beauty and at times have been envious of my friends collections), I’m much more of a festival bracelet keeper and family-run market shopper kinda gal. But each to their own, and either way you will have something to keep, cherish and wear.
Anyone who has visited my house knows that I am a huge mug collector. However, there are three problems with this collection. One; you must make sure to wrap them very carefully to transport them home without breaking them. Two; If you are travelling for a while to more than one place this can become a fairly heavy collection to carry. Three; if you’re a bit strange like me you won’t actually want to use these mugs at first because they’re shiny, new and again you want to avoid breaking them. This only developed when one that I loved dearly smashed on the kitchen floor, but I had to get over this or I’d never drink out of anything but plastic disposables!
Printed tees are forever appearing on the high street with photographic/typographic travel destinations on, but wouldn’t it just be so much better to wear one that you actually got from the place itself? When someone asks you where you got your tee from, don’t deny that you secretly love that they can’t get their hands on it, unless they travel to *insert far off destination here*. Alternatively, a friend of mine once suggested sewing all of hers together to make a blanket for the end of her bed as a nice keepsake. I love this idea, and when I’m done wearing mine I’ll probably give that a go too…Now where’s that sewing kit?
Christmas tree decorations
This is another idea inspired by a friend of mine. The thought had never even crossed my mind until I saw my friend buying a bauble in Venice. I asked him when he’d started collecting them, and he told me it was his mother’s tradition to get one in each new place their family visited. He was simply helping add to her collection by picking up the ones she had missed. I thought this was a wonderful idea, and from that day on I started collecting them myself. In years to come when I have family and friends over during the winter, the conversation will flow about the story behind each bauble on the Christmas tree.
Patches, Pins and Stickers
Patches are great to sew/iron onto a backpack, or as they now play a big part in the return of the 90’s fashion craze, you could even sew them onto your every day clothes. Think patchwork jeans or summer shorts and you’ve got yourself a one of a kind design. If you want a little bit more inspiration on how to use them then be sure to check out my The patchwork craze – A simple way to update your wardrobe post.
A friend of mine collected pins that she kept on her travel bag. They all varied in price, but the most expensive ones were found in the far out places that didn’t have a chain of tourist shops. Lastly, another friend collected stickers that he stuck to an old fashioned suitcase. Like the baubles, the stickers would each have their own story behind. After his travels, the suitcase would be on show in his home, as a lovely reminder and a conversation piece.
This has to be my biggest collection to date, and I’m incredibly proud of it! Not everyone is a fan of magnets as they see them as messy and prefer a cool, clean looking kitchen. However, if you’re like me, you might see them more as comforting little details that tell a story, and help to make a house a home. Magnets can be found almost anywhere, they’re easily affordable and they don’t take up much space in your suitcase. For these reasons alone, if you’re going to start a collection then I’d recommend this one.
Tickets, Postcards and Currency
All of these things collected over time can often result in what looks like clutter. It’s all about the way you store them; if you display them in some shape or form, you’re less likely to end up throwing them all out in years to come when you need space for newer things. Think diaries, albums, scrap books and photo frames. You can get really creative and turn them into something beautiful.
This is one of the simplest and cheapest travel collections to own. We’re forever using our house/car keys, so adding a travel keyring to them is a sure way to remind you of the lovely little adventure you embarked on. The problem is, there are two negatives behind this collection. One; your keys are probably going to weigh a tonne if you add every single keyring you collect to them. Two, you’re also probably bound to lose them along the way as they break off over time. Unless you take good care of them, you’ll be endlessly replacing them.
This collection is similar to the jewellery collection, as both can be fairly expensive depending on your tastes. If you’re not one for collecting the little things, maybe artwork is more your style. Some art you can roll up and take away with you safely, and others you can have delivered to your home ready for your return. If you see something really special then I believe you should just go for it. It beats having the same pictures from the same stores that everyone else owns back in your home town. Try something different. Like the baubles, the artwork will be another great conversation point when you have guests.
Lastly, traditional ornaments are a great way of decorating your house with something different than the usual shops around you in your home town (As previously mentioned also about the artwork above). They break the norm, tell a story and who knows, they might even be of some great value one day. Best start doing your research now!
So there you have it; my top recommendations for travel collectables. Is there anything that you’ve collected over the years that you’re proud of? Maybe you’ve collected something that I’ve not already mentioned above… If so, I’d love to hear – I’m always seeking new ideas and inspiration!
If you’re a travel lover like me, you might also be interested in reading something a little different – take a look at my 10 reasons why you should work at sea post. If it doesn’t inspire you to work at sea then it might make you want to try a cruise, and help you collect those much needed keepsakes much faster than any other holiday!
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