Thrifty Souvenirs

>> 1.12.2011

Lucky Mom: She got to spend the last two weeks traveling in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Lucky Me: I scored the most amazing souvenir- a super chic grey and white Alpaca blanket! This one just might be my favorite of all time!!

It represents the region, cost a remarkably low $11, and I'm absolutely in love with it... hitting the trifecta of thrifty souvenirs.

Unless your recipient is a shot glass/ snow globe/ magnet collector, the money and time spent on the usual souvenirs might just go down the toilet (or in Ecuador, the trash can... look it up). We don't want that to happen, now do we?!

Here are my top five thrifty souvenirs to pick up on trips:

5. Housewares- I'll take the beautiful dishcloths my mom brought back from France over a t-shirt any day!
4. Local art- Seven years later and I'm still kicking myself for skipping out on a local watercolor painting of a building in Santa Fe. Okay, so that wouldn't have been super cheap, but I could have at least bought a print or a postcard!
3. Jewelry- There have been a few vacations where I absolutely had no interest in anything in the cheesy souvenir shops. Instead of forcing myself to spend on trash, I put all of my budget into a beautiful necklace or bracelet by a local jewelry maker. Now, my recycled gold necklace might not scream, "Buffalo, NY," but I remember visiting my sister every time I wear it.
2. Ornaments- What can be better than reliving past trips while decorating the tree? Hint: any small trinket can be made into an ornament by simply adding a hook or some string!
1. Food- I promise, this won't end up going to waste!

What would you put on top of your thrifty souvenir list?


Kate@TwentySixToLife January 12, 2011 at 9:31 AM  

How nice! That throw looks great. When we went on vacation we got our moms a couple bags/purses and small wallets. They look great and they're something they can both use!

Kerry January 12, 2011 at 9:42 AM  

That throw is absolutely gorgeous! What a great souvenir!

I think you nailed that souvenir list dead on! I love buying beautiful housewares and ornaments as souvenirs (mind you, I usually pick up a shot glass for my brother when I travel, and one of those little souvenir spoons for my mom... she collects 'em and displays them nicely in her kitchen).

My favorite souvenirs would have to be a watercolour of the Spanish Steps that I bought in Rome, and the beautiful Jameson ornament we bought in Dublin! I'll always cherish them! :)

Amanda- Hip House Girl January 12, 2011 at 9:43 AM  

I love that throw and this post! I totally agree with your souvenir choices. I try to choose practical items too, like my Canadian pillows or wall art by local artists.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 12, 2011 at 9:46 AM  

@Kerry~ Collections are different than shoving useless items on people! I've actually been thinking about starting a mug collection, but it would be weird to give one to someone with a cabinet full of matching mugs.

Graham at Chadwell Chronicles January 12, 2011 at 10:40 AM  

That's funny-- my mom went to Ecuador a few months ago and I got a blanket JUST like that. :)

Hilary @ My So-Called Home January 12, 2011 at 12:39 PM  

That blanket is so chic and modern- and from Ecuador! What a great souvenir to keep out and show off, rather than hide in a drawer.

Mrs. Chic January 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM  

What a pretty throw! I love getting post cards from trips or taking pretty pics to use then as art!

Hillary @ The Sweet Maple Life January 12, 2011 at 8:12 PM  

I love bringing back things that I will be able to use as decor in the house, or things that I will be able to use on an almost daily basis- that way whenever I see/use it I am reminded of the fab time I had!!!!!

the cape on the corner January 12, 2011 at 8:44 PM  

i love that throw, what a great souvenir! 11 bucks, even better! i usually stick to the things on your list, especially now that i've matured (cough cough). art is number 1 for me, and jewelry, too. i have a bracelet that i bought in israel that i wear every day, and another from sedona that i wear every day. they weren't cheap, but i figure i probly woulda bought crap that would just take up space. now i think of my trips when i put them on, and when someone comments on my jewelry.

Flavia @ Estilo Home January 13, 2011 at 10:40 AM  

That's a great gift! Such a beautiful throw. I agree with you regarding souvenirs. Those are the best types of gifts!

savvy_homegirl January 13, 2011 at 7:59 PM  

You have a sister in Buffalo!! Poor her. JK That's so close to me!

Lucky for me, I am a shot glass collector, but I love dreaming about buying pottery and housewares on trips. Unfortunately, I usually can't afford / fit them in my luggage. I was admiring my bf's mother's ornaments at Christmas, and I think I might start that collection too!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno January 13, 2011 at 8:50 PM  

That blanket is awesome! What a cool gift, with a great story. I also love getting dishes, vases, towels as souvenirs. They are usually so unique that I couldn't ever find something similar here.

alanna rose January 14, 2011 at 3:39 PM  

Love the blanket! My husband and I always buy an ornament on vacation. It's so fun to decorate our tree and relive our travels (plus ornaments take up little space in luggage and usually pretty cheap). I'm hoping that one day we'll have enough ornaments to do a whole travel-themed tree :)

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards January 14, 2011 at 10:47 PM  

It's just lovely. And great tips for souvenirs. If we get one more ugly t-shirt from family, I'm going to scream.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses January 17, 2011 at 7:35 AM  

I love your blanket! It looks really soft and the colors are perfect.

I completely agree with your thrifty vacation buys. My number one thrifty thing that I always bring back are photos. A photo frame from wherever I've visited is nice, too.


Jenny @ Anything Pretty January 17, 2011 at 9:49 PM  

Love that blanket! Things that are beautiful and that I can display around the house are always at the top of my list for souvenirs. Your mom rocks!

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