When it comes to souvenirs, we all know the classics: fridge magnets, mugs, keychains, and postcards. At some point, we have gotten these ourselves or given them to others. To be fair, they’re timeless! But how about spicing up your gifting game? While bringing home a piece of your travels for your loved ones is natural, ensuring the gifts are useful is also important.
The treasures we have suggested won’t just sit pretty on shelves; they’ll actually come in handy! Below are some non-wasteful gems to bring home for your loved ones or even yourself.
If you’re an artist, manga illustrator, designer, or someone who just loves getting creative, you’ll adore the incredible world of Japanese art supplies. Imagine getting your hands on authentic Japanese paint brushes, origami and paper supplies, calligraphy tools, wood block painting essentials, and beautifully hand-carved stamps. Don’t forget about the charming Japanese washi tape! It comes in countless designs and can be used for wrapping gifts or adding a touch of charm to anything you’d like.
Even if you’re not an artist by trade, a treasure trove of stationery is still waiting for you. Have you heard of FriXion Ball pens? They have erasable ink, which means no more stressing about making mistakes. These goodies make for truly remarkable keepsakes that will remind you of the amazing experience you had in Japan.
Are you looking for a special souvenir from your trip to Germany? You’re in luck! This vibrant European country offers many unique and exciting gift options that will delight your friends and family. One delectable idea is to grab some heart-shaped lebkuchen — these heavenly baked goodies are infused with a blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and sweetened with a delightful mix of honey and sugar, making them a great German treat to share all around.
Other options include picking up some spaetzle pasta, those famous German egg noodles that will transport your taste buds straight to culinary heaven. And don’t even get me started on the German chocolates and gummy bears; they’re absolute must-haves for anyone with a sweet tooth. Also, let’s not forget about the pretzels. They have a satisfying crunch and just the right amount of saltiness.
Want to bring home something even more unique and memorable? What about wooden toys for your little ones that encourage open-ended play or a hand-painted Christmas ornament? If you want to go all out, purchase a traditional Bavarian dress known as dirndl — complete with a blouse, bodice, skirt, and apron. Perfect for the next Oktoberfest celebration!
If you’re travelling to Finland, why not bring home yourself or loved ones something from the vibrant world of Marimekko? This Finnish brand has made a name for itself with its iconic prints that can be found adorning everything from dish towels and small tote bags to dresses, wallets, and even plates and bowls. The vibrant and lively designs bring a sense of happiness that can instantly uplift anyone’s day.
Other great useful options for souvenirs include Arabia-designed crockery and ceramic items, and Fiskars — a world-renowned Finnish brand renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and functionality. Let’s also not forget about the delectable Fazer chocolates. These delightful treats are a true Finnish treasure and will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Okay, so we know that fragile items can be a pain to lug back home, but with proper care and some bubble wrap, you can bring home remarkable pieces from the Netherlands. Think unique vases, teapots, or plates that will add a touch of Dutch charm to any space.
Straight from the picturesque city of Delft, we have Delftware, also known as Delft pottery. This exquisite blue and white tin-glazed pottery is a true gem that can be found all across the country. The range of options is amazing too, with beautiful plates, ornamental pieces, clocks, and even cow-shaped jugs. There’s something to suit everyone’s taste and style.
If you’re visiting the beautiful lands of New Zealand, be sure to leave with some Manuka honey, which is known for its incredible properties that have over 200 compounds not found in any other type of honey. A jar of this local honey allows you to taste the unique flavours of the region it is from, and what better souvenir than to bring a taste of it back home?
Want something to remember the culture? Take home with you a bottle of local alcohol or wine, which is a delightful way to commemorate their vibrant culture. The bottles would make someone happy and serve as great conversation starters!
If trinkets and tiny treasures are more your thing, you can’t go wrong with ornaments and jewellery made from the Paua shell. This exceptional shell exhibits stunning iridescent shades of blue, green, and purple, making each piece genuinely captivating and one-of-a-kind. It’s a distinctive symbol of the region’s natural beauty.
Head to the vibrant local markets, where you’ll discover a treasure trove of Indian art forms and paintings, making great gifts to bring home. Each region of the country showcases its own distinctive crafts and artistic tradition. If you’re drawn to geometric patterns and intricate designs, take advantage of Mithila art, also known as Madhubani painting, which originates from the northern state of Bihar.
For a taste of southern India’s artistic heritage, Tanjore paintings are an absolute must-see. The artworks are characterised by their rich, flat, and vivid colours, creating a visual feast for the eyes. For those interested in exploring ancient Indian folk art, keep an eye out for Warli paintings, which originate from the northern regions. These beautiful artworks provide a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural history.
Of course, when it comes to souvenirs, sarees and kurtas are always a fantastic choice, especially when travelling back from India. The selection is like nowhere else, with a staggering array of colours, patterns, and fabrics to choose from.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, but snacks definitely categorise as a souvenir and a great one at that. Take mango sticky rice from Bangkok, for example; it’s a sinful but delicious treat that can survive the short flight back home (assuming you’re living in the Southeast Asia region), allowing you to enjoy its deliciousness even after your time there. And that’s just the beginning!
Other favourites include tangy tom yam goong-marinated shrimp, crispy salmon skin snacks, irresistible fried chicken skin, packets of Thai milk tea mix, and even packaged crispy insects for you adventurous snackers. Let’s not forget the mouthwatering squid chips and Bangkok Cookies (our personal favourite is the Crab Curry flavour); these options are unique souvenir gifts for sure!
Prepare to slightly overpack your suitcase with a bounty of souvenirs as you navigate the bustling souks and markets! Don’t miss out on affordable spices, high-end saffron, beautiful teapots, and one-of-a-kind tajines. Leather goods like biker jackets, wallets, pouches, and unstuffed poofs are also cool options to bring home.
Looking for budget-friendly options? Local food and drinks that are pre-packed and sealed are great to take back with you. Why not bring back a special sauce, condiment, or unique jam that embodies the flavours of this highly cultured country? These culinary gifts are compact and perfect for your journey home.
And how can you leave without bringing with you some handmade crafts? Not only will this support local artisans and their communities, but they’re also unique and meaningful, and we’re all about that ethical travel. Each piece is a testament to generations of craftsmanship, and your purchase contributes to preserving these invaluable cultures and traditions.
Although fridge magnets are charming, let’s explore more significant mementoes from different parts of the world!