There’s always an expectation when you go on vacation that you need to buy souvenirs for your loved ones. Even though they don’t say anything to you, they all hope you’ll think of them while you’re away. Of course, a lot of the souvenirs on offer are never really that great. You buy them for the sake of it, rather than because you think it would make a nice present. While it’s the thought that counts, there are much more meaningful souvenirs you can get that won’t be a waste of money.
A touch of culture
When you go abroad somewhere, you’re surrounded by an entirely different culture. The people there have their own ideas regarding design, from their architecture to their tableware. It’s always a good idea to buy something which reflects the country’s alternative style. If it’s not something that can be found back in the States, then it’s likely that the gift will be appreciated.
For instance, why not buy your loved ones a plate or bowl that they can keep in their house somewhere. The unique design painted on it will set it apart from the rest of their belongings. Even if it’s just somewhere for them to put their keys, it adds a touch of class to anyone’s home. They might not have been on vacation with you, but now they get to treasure a piece of that exotic destination.
Avoid the comedic gifts
Sometimes you see something and can’t help but laugh. Suddenly, you’re inspired to buy whatever it was, whether it was a funny bottle opener or silly slogan on a t-shirt. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but stop and think for a second. Are your loved ones really going to appreciate the joke as much as you? If so, are they going to appreciate it for years to come?
The problem a lot of us make with our souvenirs is that we focus on the now over everything else. Sure, something seems hilarious today, but it won’t be quite as funny tomorrow. If you want to buy a meaningful gift for your friends and family, avoid something that’s going to lose its appeal incredibly quickly.
Make it useful
When you buy a souvenir for someone, you want them to appreciate it. The best way to do that is to get a gift that will serve a purpose time and time again. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an essential purpose, but you don’t want it to end up sitting in a draw for the next few years.
Try to think a little outside the box. If you know that someone has a lot of mugs, don’t just add another one to their collection. The chances are that it won’t mean as much to them as the ones they already use, and will end up being ignored after a few days. You need to find them either something they don’t own or don’t already have a strong connection to.
Ignore souvenir shops
The worst place you can buy a souvenir for your loved ones is from a souvenir shop. The vast majority of things in here will be items they don’t want or need. Buy them something from a local shop or market stall, so that you know what you’re buying is authentic to the country. Yes, things might be a little bit pricier, but consider how much your friends and family mean to you. If you think the gift will be appreciated, then the money won’t go to waste.
It’s nice to buy your loved ones something when you’re on vacation, but only when the gift is meaningful. No-one needs another tacky pen or keyring in their life, no matter how much you might like them.