3 Ideas for Souvenirs That Are Different
Updated: May 9
I never liked dust collectors and random bits and bobs that can never be used in real life. Are you really ever going to wear that bag you got in a kiosk saying 'I Love Greece'? Does your mom need another mug with the name of the city you ticked off your list? At the same time, I do want to purchase something that would bring back the pleasant holiday memories. As a compromise, I used to buy fridge magnets. And then we moved and bought a built-in fridge, so the magnets wouldn't stick any more... This meant a rethink was in order and I came up with 3 ideas of alternative souvenir options.
Idea number 1: Food
And no, I don't mean Toblerone from the duty free at the airport.
There are most probably plenty of food items in the place you are visiting that are local and not widely available outside of that country - either because they are made from local products or prepared in a local shop. And some of them will be easy to transport back home and either consume yourself or share with friends.
From Tenerife, I brought back cactus jam and palm tree honey. From Madeira, I stocked up on chocolate covered nuts from Uaucacau - an artisan chocolaterie in Funchal. On Crete, I bought some local honey.
It will take more time to research local products (the Food section of this website can help you there), but spend some time in a local supermarket and you will end up with something truly local and not mass produced in China.
Idea number 2: Clothes
Shopping at Zara doesn't count! Nor do the T-shirts with the map of the island you're visiting!
I like the idea of supporting local businesses and I am even more pleased with the opportunity of stepping outside the boundaries of identikit high street fashion. Therefore, if I spot a local designer shop, I am a happy bunny.
This is how, wandering from shop to shop on a rainy afternoon in Cote d'Azur I discovered La Naturelle - a fashion brand making clothes from natural materials. The jumper I got there is still one of my favourites.
In Greece, I came across a swimwear brand called MED - and a lovely new swimsuit joined my collection. It's great to have positive holiday memories associated with clothes as well - makes them that little bit more special.
Idea number 3: Local gemstones
Though diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friends, there are plenty of other gemstones out there and some just might happen to be sourced in the country you're visiting. What better reason to treat yourself to a new piece of jewellery?!
On the Canary Islands, for example, you could go for olivine/peridot - an olive green stone, which looks great in rings and pendants, like the one on the photo. Or perhaps something more mysterious with the black obsidian?
This won't work in all countries of course, but it's worth investigating if there is a typical local gemstone where you're heading.