Terrible Travel Souvenirs (And What To Give Instead!)

Thoughtful Travel Gifts To Bring Home

From straw donkeys to sugar-laden sweets bought as an afterthought at the airport, we’ve all received a dodgy gift from a loved one that’s been abroad on holiday.

Most holiday destinations have an array of tacky trinkets specially targeted at tourists, but most of the time these little gifts are often packed straight off to the nearest charity shop or popped in a cupboard or drawer never to see the light of day again.

But if you love bringing home gifts for friends and family members, there’s still ways to avoid these terrible travel gifts and give them something they’ll actually appreciate instead. It’s the thought that counts; hence thoughtful travel gifts are usually the most useful and touching presents. Here are some great ideas on good holiday gifting to get you started.

Think Local AND Global

Let’s face it, you can pick up a fridge magnet from pretty much anywhere, but giving something that’s been produced by local artisans can give your loved one a handcrafted, high-quality gift that they are sure to treasure.

From handwoven placemats in bright colours to small pieces of pottery or decorative ceramics, you can find some hidden handmade treasures at almost any popular holiday destination if you do a little research before you go.

How about reusable textile shopping bags? If you run out of space in your own handbag you can use the “present” you’ve purchased as a temporary solution. They’re also relatively cheap, and ridiculously easy to come by. In this case, you will have supported the local economy, minimised plastic bag waste, promote the reuse above recycling message and gotten your loved one a thoughtful souvenir.

Another thoughtful idea is to keep the people you want to buy souvenirs in mind and “collect” physical items along your trip. Good examples from our lean team include sand/soil/rocks (a bit of a volcano maybe?), shells, coasters, indigenous flowers (dried or pressed during the trip) and seeds. We brought home a few cuttlefish used to make jewellery and polish or fillers in powder form, from Sri Lanka, where they were lying around beaches in abundance.

A Taste Of Your Destination

Ditching those overly sweet treats for a bottle of local wine or olive oil is sure to be appreciated, and you can give your friends a real flavour of your holiday by bringing back something edible or drinkable.

Many supermarkets and shops will stock locally produced items that you can pack into your suitcase or hand luggage and bring home intact with a little care, so have a scout around the shops near to your hotel to see what you can find before heading home. Local sausages and brews can never go wrong.

Pack It Properly

Whatever you choose to bring back as a gift for the folks back home, you’ll need to make sure that you pack it properly to avoid breakages during the journey home. You can stuff any fragile items into the OrgPac medium and slim travel organiser surrounding them with cushy clothes to protect them from knocks and bumps so you won’t be disappointed by any damage as soon as you come to unpack.

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