We all like to come home with mementoes of our travels, but sometimes we just end up with piles of stuff we don’t want, and wonder later why we ever bought it. Here are a couple of tips to curb those impulse purchases.
One thing you can do is buy one particular type of souvenir from each trip. This works especially well for people who like to have collections. Maybe you have racks of shot glasses, or notebooks full of embroidered patches (I plead guilty here). My grandmother had a huge collection of matchbook covers... back when every establishment had imprinted ones which were usually given out free as advertising. I know that spoons and plates and other common choices are sometimes derided, but the question is, “do you like it?” If a collection brings you joy, who cares what others think.
Rather than collecting small, meaningless mementos you might consider purchasing one item that you can enjoy on a regular basis. To aid you in your decision, think seriously about where you will put that souvenir. Rather than just grabbing a figurine you like, ask yourself what room it will enhance and where it will be displayed. You might even begin a trip with a plan, such as, “On this trip I am going to look for a nice set of bookends as a souvenir.” This plan not only prevents you from wasting money, but results in long-lasting enjoyment of your purchases.
You might also buy a particular perishable or consumable item to remember the trip. A special cheese, wine, or local meat might result in a great memory. The label could be saved for a scrapbook, perhaps with photos of when the item was enjoyed. You could even add some notes describing the flavors, and how much or little it was enjoyed.
No matter what you purchase, think about how you will feel about it in six months. Don’t waste money on items that have no meaning to you.