While on holiday, you may not want to spend a lot of time thinking of what to buy in the gift shops and would much prefer to head on to the main attractions and sights of wherever you may be staying.
So how can you obtain souvenirs and let your loved ones know you have been thinking of them while you were away, but at the same time avoid the seemingly endless traipsing around in search of mementos and novelties that may not even end up being appreciated? Here are a few simple tips on how to buy great souvenirs that are bound to raise a smile...
Write up a list of who you need to buy gifts for, preferably before you go on holiday. That way you will be focused on how much you need to buy and you can mark off the list as you go along so you are not forgetting anyone. You don't have to buy presents for every person you know and not necessarily everyone will be expecting you to buy for them. Remember, the list is not carved in stone and you can change it whenever you want!
Giving a souvenir is highly likely to become more meaningful when the receivers interests are kept in mind. If you know your auntie enjoys cooking, bring her a little something back that will compliment her kitchen. Or if your uncle is an avid shot glass collector, take one home to add to his collection.
Practicality is good thing to take into account if you want to give gifts that will actually get used. Not everyone has the desire for a mantelpiece full of snow globes, bells and replicas of famous monuments from around the world. Whereas items such as jute bags are not only suitable for everyday use, they are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic shopping bags.
Give a souvenir which uniquely represents the destination you are visiting. It doesn't necessarily have to feature the name of the country on it. Perhaps a set of beautifully decorated chopsticks from a visit to Japan or something simple like a box of sweets that is not readily available over here, that you yourself may have enjoyed during your stay.
Buy souvenirs that you will be able to carry home easily, an oversized teddy bear might look fun but you are sure to get sick of looking at it after lugging it to the airport and onto your flight. Breakability is another thing to look out for. Buying a set of six coffee mugs may have seemed like a good idea at the time of purchase, but not when you get home only to find in your suitcase that the handles have come off three and the rest of them are chipped or even worse.
While it's not certain that everyone will like what you like, if you really find something hideous, chances are that your recipient will too. Look at the gift you are planning on buying and think if you would actually like to receive one yourself.
If you really can't find something for someone on your list and you know they will not be overly disappointed if you return empty handed, remember that it's okay to give the souvenir gifting a miss on a holiday or two.
By keeping all these points in mind, your souvenir shopping experience should be a fast and stress free one and the presents that you bring home for friends and family will be more meaningful.