Choosing souvenirs is one of the most challenging parts of traveling. It’s difficult to find simple objects that can capture the mood, emotion and adventure of a trip abroad. Printed art is one of the best ways to remember your trip and it packs well, but it is often expensive. If you want to remember your trip, but don’t want to empty your wallet, consider these alternatives to traditional print art souvenirs.
Newspapers are a great themed souvenir because they are available everywhere and they are always cheap. Framing the front page of a newspaper is a great way to showcase the places you’ve been. Daily papers will also be specific to your trip, showcasing the events that were most important on the day that you visited. In a way, such pieces of ‘art’ are extremely rare and unique.
Postcards are cheap to buy, but often expensive to mail. Save the your letters home for e-mail and buy postcards to display in your home. Get one from each city you visit and arrange a montage on your wall. As an interesting twist, buy two copies of each card. Write down your favorite memories from each location on the back of one copy. Then, frame the two copies together, one to showcase the picture on the front and one to show your memories recorded on the back.
The tourist information centers in most cities offer free walking maps that make excellent souvenirs. You can also buy more detailed or artistic maps of the city and country you are visiting at local bookstores. If you take a road trip, keep the battered map you use on your trip when you go home. A coffee stained, crumpled up map will remind you of each wrong turn and misunderstood road side you encountered.
Wander into an electronics store or any store that sells DVDs and CDs and you’ll likely come across a bin of movie posters. Posters are big, colorful, feature the local language and are usually quite cheap. You’ll find translated versions of familiar Hollywood hits next to posters for local films. Grab a few of each and turn your living room back home into the treasured collection of a foreign film buff.
If you’re lucky, you’ll come across a foreign music store that has a selection of old—and possibly new—vinyl albums. Buy the album for the cover art or for the music, or both. Either way, you’ll end up with an eclectic music collection and a great piece of art to hang on the wall.