Souvenirs: Inexpensive souvenirs

Picking up souvenirs on one’s travels is, for some people, an integral part of the experience.  But too many people return home, put all their souvenirs in a drawer, and never look at them again. Years later, during a spring clean, they may find these old souvenirs, not remember a thing about them, and give them the pitch, lamenting the fact that they didn’t take more care in choosing their souvenirs to begin with.

“Souvenir” is French for “to remember.” Another term, “memento,” is from the Latin for “to remember.” Mementos are usually items that evoke the memory of an individual, while a souvenir is an item that evokes the memory of a place.

If you’d like to pick up souvenirs on your travels, that will have meaning for you forever, but are at a loss as to how to go about it, here are a few tips.

A local newspaper, a fridge magnet in the shape of the state, a useful tool

City newspaper

A city newspaper is an inexpensive souvenir. The paper above, the Pine Bluffs Post from March 23, 2017, cost only a dollar. It’s got the news happening in that city…albeit not on the day you were there, but the day before which is almost as good!

When you get home, you simply place the newspaper in a storage box labeled City newspapers, and every once in a while you can go through your collection of papers and it will bring back memories not only of the city/town, but of the day itself.

If the paper is from a tiny town with not a lot of news, consider just saving the front and back pages, or even just the top half of the front page. You can tape this to an 8 X 11 piece of notebook paper in a binder, folding it over appropriately, and that makes it very easy to page through every paper.

State fridge magnets

A variety of companies put out state fridge magnets. Some are very elaborate – they can be several inches wide by several inches tall and be jam-packed with information about the state, or they can be a third the size and just have the state name.

(Unfortunately, even the same company doesn’t seem to make the state magnets to scale – so you can’t have a to-scale map of the USA on your fridge, but there’s no reason why you can’t get as close to that as possible!)

Useful tools

A pocket knife with a sharp blade is always a useful tool. They are popular – the sides can be of faux wood with the individual’s name carved into each side, or they can be in the shape of a traditional item from the state. In the instance above, with the Wyomingite’s love of hunting, it’s in the shape of a shotgun shell.

Keeping your souvenirs organized

If you’re on a long trip, make sure you bring along a banker’s box that you can place in the back seat of your car or trunk, into which you can place each souvenir you acquire. This way you can keep them all in one place. Keep them in the bag from the store where you acquired it, and keep the receipt in there as well. That’s an easy way to keep your receipts safe, too!

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