Travel Souvenirs

I love to travel. I love to plan to travel. And I love to reminisce about my experiences once I’m back home. I typically don’t shop too much on trips, but there are a few things I keep an eye out for that I can bring back. Ideally, the items I bring back can be used within my home decor and everyday life. Here are just a few things I look for on trips:

Beauty Products and Candles

When I first studied abroad in London and then Italy, I was in each location for over two months. Living abroad for an extended period of time lead to shopping for necessities as well as fun beauty products and candles. While living in London, I came to love E45 lotion, Penhaligon’s quercus candles, and Jo Malone perfume and lotion. Luckily Penhaligon’s and Jo Malone can be found in the US, but I always make sure to pick up some E45 when I travel. Another beauty item I love is anything from Le Labo in the Rose 31 scent. In 2012 I traveled to London and the South of France. While staying at the Fairmont Monte Carlo I was introduced to Le Labo products in the Rose 31 scent and have been a fan ever since! On a recent trip to NYC I stopped into the Le Labo store (on Madison Avenue) and snagged some of their hand lotion. It now sits on my nightstand and I remember Monaco and NYC every time I use it!


It’s no secret that I’m a total bookworm. I love to read! Purchasing books during trips is another way I’m able to reminisce about past experiences. There’s a good chance I’ll visit at least one museum on any trip, so making a stop in the museum store is typical for me. I’ll try to grab any book that catches my eye. Sometimes the books are too heavy, meaning I’ll look online and/or inquire about international shipping. In 2015 when I visited the Victoria & Albert Museum to view the Alexander McQueen exhibition, I was able to purchase the British catalogue online instead of lugging it around in my suitcase. This worked out well because when I got to Amsterdam I bought books at both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. These books now sit in my living room on my bookcase!

Christmas Ornaments

Okay, Christmas ornaments are obviously specific and seasonal, but I’m so glad I’ve started purchasing these when I travel. I wish I had started earlier! I think about all the countries I visited when I studied abroad, and how nice it would be to have ornaments from them. However, I’m glad I now collect them! I recently made a stop at the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe at Walt Disney World, where I picked up a Mickey Mouse ornament. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and getting out these items every year makes that time even more special.

Original Items

When I traveled to Amsterdam two years ago, I knew I wanted to look for an original piece of Delftware. My parents and I made a day trip to Delft, where we visited and toured a Delftware factory. To this day, the piece I purchased in the factory showroom is one of my favorite souvenirs. I placed my Delftware on a side table in my living room and every time I see it I remember how wonderful that trip was and how lucky I am to have been to the Netherlands. When I travel, I like to look for items that I wouldn’t be able to purchase back home. For me, purchasing a unique item is a good way to learn about the culture you’re visiting, while also supporting local communities.

Photographs and Travel Journals

Does everyone take as many photographs as I do when they travel? Getting photographs developed isn’t normal anymore, but I tend to pick out a few to get developed and then frame around my house. Within my house I have photographs from Grenada, Germany, Italy, England, Austria, and France. Seeing my travel photographs on a daily basis reminds me of all the great experiences I’ve had and how lucky I am to have traveled so extensively at a young age.

With photographs I don’t get developed, I make a travel photo journal. In the past I’ve used MyPublisher, but I recently discovered they shut down. More recently I’ve enjoyed using Shutterfly. I have travel journals from London, Amsterdam and the South of France. I guess these are the modern day equivalent of scrapbooks, which I have from my study abroad experiences in London and Italy.

There are just a few items I shop for when traveling, and how I incorporate them into my home. When you travel, what souvenirs do you keep an eye out for? What are your favorite souvenirs? What are your favorite things to incorporate into your home decor?