Making soap in Marseille – of course!

When you come back from a trip do you unpack this much stuff? I’m a big souvenir person – French linens, soaps, I cookies, I mean all of it is just worth the suitcase space. And I’m notorious for leaving clothing behind to make room.

Here are five travel souvenir ideas that are lightweight a bit non traditional and the main purpose is that you’ll actually use them so you’ll think about your travels every time you see them – after all, that’s the purpose of a souvenir, right?

Tea Towel


My girlfriends knew I’d kick off this post with a tea towel. I have a weakness for tea towels when I travel – I also have a hard time getting just one from my trip – especially if it’s a long one. This one is from Liberty London, which also has a pop up at Nordstrom right now – go online here and buy a few items without having to order online from London!

When it comes to tea towels, look for iconic illustrations, or a country map! You’ll think of it every time you do the dishes.

Floaty Pen/Hotel Pen


Floaty pens rule. I’m so glad they’re still around. If you can’t find one, look at the hotel pen, if it’s a cool place it should be a pretty cool pen. Use it daily, or keep it in your checkbook. When you write a check you’ll be dreaming about your next travel and maybe it’ll keep you from spending money on the small things and start saving for the bigger trips.



This was an earring turned into a necklace charm, I took it to my jeweler and for $30 he added the hook. It was 10 kt gold, and this is of course from Ireland. My girlfriend Melayne has the other one so it’s almost like a BFF necklace too!

Street vendor art


From watercolors to bracelets or knit hats – maybe it doesn’t specify the place you bought it, but it will bring back memories from your trip which is what it’s all about, right? Here’s a shot in Galway, Melayne bought a knit hat. I also love sewed items, and paintings!


Use the one you used to navigate through the trip (or grab an extra new one) to cut up and make into a pretty display:

Or a pretty map to display at home as art like this illustration from Northern Ireland – I found the frame at Goodwill for $8. The matting and framing however cost a bit… but that’s OK!


Ir this Ashford Castle estate map for hotel guests that was just too pretty to not frame:


What’s your favorite souvenir to purchase?