~ Carmen

I’m well aware of the saying “Collect memories, not things”.  Yes, I’ve reposted it probably more than once.  I think the post was from Pinterest and had a  scenic picture along with it, just in case I wasn’t inspired enough to travel.  You know the one.  It has a picture of the beautiful girl standing on a cliff, staring out at the majestic view.  The quote should prompt me to go across the globe with just a backpack, soaking in all the sights, smells, and sounds of the culture around me.  I do all of that enjoy the moment stuff, but no matter how disciplined I try to be, I just can’t resist buying things when I’m traveling.  It’s a no win battle that I’ve given up long ago.  Somehow my suitcase ends up so full of souvenirs, I have to sit on it to get to close.  Now I just take a bigger suitcase and try to make the most of my shopping budget.  After all, according to thefreedictionary.com, the word souvenir originated in France meaning to recall memory.  So when I buy a little trinket here and there I really am just collecting memories!

4 Souvenirs That Won’t Bust the Budget

1.  Magnets

Magnets can be hokey and not something you would see in a Southern Living home, but I like them.  My house will never be Southern Living standard anyway.  Magnets are usually $1-3 dollars and don’t take up much room.  I keep mine displayed in my classroom on a cabinet for all of my students to see.  Some have disappeared through the years, but having them where I can see them everyday makes me smile and maybe, just maybe, show the kiddos that there is a whole world outside our suburban walls.

Magnets are budget friendly souvenirs

My Magnet Collection

2.  Umbrellas

Why pack an umbrella when I can buy one that can also serve as a souvenir?  Just wait for the first drops of rain and suddenly every street vendor has a vast supply of cheap, rain repellent memorabilia.  Usually $5-$10, compact umbrellas make for a practical, space saving purchase (if they last long enough to pack).  Back at home, whenever it rains you will have something that reminds you of your romantic walk in Rome, the escape from a downpour in Rio, or a slow-paced shopping day in San Francisco.

Umbrellas for cheap souvenirs

One rainy, afternoon stroll in Rome

3.  Clothing

Whenever I travel with my students, I always advise them to pack fewer shirts than they think they will need.  Souvenir T-shirts are cheap, and then you can wear them on your trip saving you some packing space.  Being cold natured, I love jackets.  I currently have hoodies from Rome, London, and Canada.  Buying a jacket on the trip eliminates the need to pack one, and now every chilly Saturday morning, I get an instant reminder of my journey.  T-shirts usually cost $5-$20 and hoodies $20-$30.

London Jack shirt and purse from Rome

Purse from Rome and London Jack T-shirt


4.  Jewelry

I’m not talking about the high-end, real gold/silver stuff.  Street vendor/little mom-and-pop shop are more my style and budget.  A girl can never have too many bracelets, necklaces, or rings!  Jewelry also makes for great gifts, and you don’t have to worry about buying the right size.  When you buy a cute bracelet, it doesn’t scream “Souvenir!”  You’re just adding to your boho, trendy look.

IMG_0290 (1)

Some of my favorites: bronze horse and bracelets from Greece, elephant pendant from Turkey, scarf from Rome, and perfume from Capri


I think my next souvenir collection will be the little solar-powered figures that move.  I have this cute dancing moose on my desk right now, and he just makes me smile.

Budget Souvenirs

Budget Friendly Souvenirs

Have any souvenirs that you collect?  We’d love to hear your thoughts and see your pictures!  Please leave a comment below.  Want to keep updated on our tips and next adventures? Sign up for our newsletter and/or follow us on social media!



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