Small Souvenirs for Carry-On Travel
It's no secret I love collecting books and records but it's not always realistic for some trips. Not to mention bookshelf real estate in my home! Since reading up a lot on traveling with only a carry-on, I've given a lot of thought to the types of mementos that can fit in the palm of your hand.
Photos: Maybe this is an obvious choice but too often we forget to take photos, particularly of ourselves or with other people. I don't just mean close-up selfies here but actual full-length photos that better tell the story of where you are.
The great thing about photos is while they can be digitally stored in your phone or camera, they can prove to be a much bigger souvenir later. Did you get a really amazing shot of a geyser or overlook? Make it in a giant print so you can look at it every day. Print off a couple for family and friends instead of bringing them back a keychain. It's a great way to give them a recent photo of yourself to replace that college graduation pic too.
Enamel pins: This is not for everyone but it a personal favorite of mine. These are typically cheap and look great on a backpack or jacket. One of my favorites is a pink heart that just says "Memphis" in a pretty font. Just make sure you remember where you stashed them! I thought I recently lost one from Atlanta but it was in the bottom of a bookstore bag.
Jewelry: I don't wear a ton of jewelry but it's also not something I'm likely to shop for a home. I tend to just pick up a piece here and there when I'm traveling. I have a black tourmaline necklace that I got in New Orleans that I wear just about every day and recently picked up some monstera leaf earrings in Nashville. This is a great item to pick up at antique stores or flea markets while traveling as it's more likely to be unique to the area.
Rocks or Shells: If you don't have a lot of money, this is the perfect thing to bring back to remind yourself of home. I have a stone that I keep nearby in my office to remind me of vacation.
Note: It's important to make sure that this is allowed in the area you are in. First and foremost should be our concern for the environment. There's a good breakdown of ethical shell collecting here.
Chocolate bars or other small treats: While this doesn't have the same longevity of the other things listed here, it is the most delicious :) It's a nice pick me up when you're at home the next weekend already adding "take me back" hashtags to your photos. This also goes for some slightly larger things. In the Caymans I picked up some locally roasted coffee and some rum to bring home.
What are your favorite things to bring back? Let me know in the comments!