Souvenir Showdown

Bring Your Vacation Home

Photos and journals are wonderful ways to keep a recent vacation alive in our minds, but nothing is better than bringing a piece of your globetrotting adventures home with you so that you can relive the wonder everyday.

Home is where the heart is, and it should also pay homage to the other places where you left a piece of your heart. In many cases it doesn’t mean leaving your whole wallet behind, either!  Here are 10 tips to incorporate your next journey into your home (no regrets included).

1. Do a little homework before you go. Know what the region is famous for and what the general value is so you aren’t overwhelmed with research on the spot.
2. Don’t be swayed by quantity. Just because every shop sells Bohemian crystal in Prague or Murano glass in Italy, if it’s not your style, don’t buy it. Tourists are often caught up in the moment. Be discriminating.
3. Don’t get caught in tourist traps. Often the best deals are found in out-of-the-way locations. Rely on local recommendations to find those bargains, and don’t be afraid to haggle in regions where it is an acceptable practice (again, that research is key!).
4. Buy local. If an item says it is made in Singapore, but that’s not where you are, don’t bother with it.
5. Don’t pass up the local markets. There are usually great gifts for kids and friends in those shadowy aisles, plus they make for awesome people-watching and delicacy-tasting with local flare.
6. Consider shipping your new possessions home instead of traveling with them. Obviously this depends on your budget and the size of your luggage, but lugging around your first-day purchase for the rest of your vacation gets old fast.
7. Unless you’re buying gifts for your entire book club, consider purchasing one good piece instead of a handful of less-expensive ones. You wont regret having that one special piece to remember your trip.
8. Use your imagination! Even if your home decor style isn’t Asian, one small piece in red lacquer could make you smile every time you look at it on the bookshelf.
9. Consider herbs and spices that are reminiscent of the cuisine you tasted when traveling. It’s fun to try to replicate those dishes when you return to your own kitchen.
10. Trust your instincts—after all, you chose that fabulous vacation. We’re pretty sure you can choose a fitting souvenir.

Roni Fishkin is the Marketing Director of Mann Travels which, with local ownership in Charlotte, has been serving travelers with personalized service for more than 35 years. (800) 343-6266