Whether you are traveling across the state or across the Pacific, you likely have a few loved ones at home hoping for a souvenir from your trips. While many travelers do a last minute run to an airport gift shop, there are no memories tied to those souvenirs and they are often mass-produced and cheap. Finding items that are acceptable to fly with can be difficult initially, but if you check security requirements carefully, you may be able to make it through the scanner. Included here are a few unique, and travel-friendly, gifts to bring home to family.
There can be no denying that sugar is the way to many people’s hearts. While you may hesitate to bring back a souvenir that is consumed, consider how enjoyable the item will be to your loved one. If they have a spectacular sweet tooth, it is likely they will revel in the sweets returned home from distant places, especially ones including foreign wrappers or unique ingredients.
While this may not be the perfect gift for children, many adults find a need for beverage coasters in their homes. Many pubs simply give you a coaster for free and you can take it home with you. Find bars with unique names and logos while trying their signature drink. Coasters travel well and take up a small amount of space in your bag.
While you may think a bottle of ketchup is a little boring, consider expanding your condiment horizon while traveling. Think exotic condiments or spices such as curry pastes, artichoke cream or powdered mustards. Find flavors that are native to the region you are visiting to bring a taste of your travels home.
While bookmarks may be venturing dangerously close to the kitschy postmark souvenir, they can be a luxury item that your loved ones will enjoy. Find a local artist who creates bookmarks from pressed flowers, or even leather, and support their art. Your beloved bookworm back home will enjoy the personalized nature of this gift, and you should be able to fit it in even the smallest carry-on!
While you may not be able to bring home the best bottle from France, you can give the amateur sommelier in your life a taste of the Parisian wine life with a stopper. Some artisans in Europe create beautiful glass wine stoppers that travel well and can easily be thrown in a suitcase. Because they are small, risk of breakage is slim and they can be treasured for years to come.
Your best bet in any traveling trip is to find the locals and learn their craft. Whether they are skilled in wood carving, glass blowing or weaving, you are sure to find something unique and personalized for your loved ones. And, after meeting the artists, you can be sure it wasn’t made in China, (unless, of course, you are visiting China).