Vacation Souvenir Collections I Wish I Would Have Started With My Kids

Vacation souvenir shopping – I get it. I really do. I vividly remember carrying around my hard-earned spending money wandering around the store searching for the perfect purchase to commemorate the memories made on a family trip. 9 out of 10 times I selected a t-shirt or stuffed animal.

Fast forward to me as a parent. I absolutely loathe souvenir shopping. The aisles of cheap overpriced plastic junk that will end up broken and tossed in a drawer are my kryptonite. However, like most children, it is my kids’ favorite part of any trip. Typically, I wait outside the gift shop and tag in my husband who graciously handles this parenting task with such grace. He will patiently walk up and down the aisle with our little darlings as they fret over the perfect purchase. Over time, I have discussed my disdain for souvenirs with friends, family, co-workers, and many people I’ve waited outside of these tourist traps with. These conversations have given me several ideas of how to make this process more enjoyable and less loathsome.

Here are the souvenir collections I wish we would’ve started with our kids:

souvenir collectionPostcards: This is the best. Unlimited options. Minimal space. Cheap. Can’t decide? You want 5? Sure kids. The best idea shared with me is to grab a couple of postcards and write down a brief summary of your trip. Make sure to include any special memories or little funny things that happen. Keep them in a little postcard book. Reading these year after year will be sure to remind you of the great time you had with your family. Definition of a souvenir.

Pressed Pennies: Typically these souvenirs will cost you 51 cents. You need 2 quarters and a shiny penny. The kids are able to choose the scene/saying that they like best. Push in your change and crank the wheel a couple of times and voila! They sell books to store your collections in. They also make bracelets for you to wear your favorite smoothed penny.

Christmas Ornaments: How cool would it be to have an entire Christmas tree decorated with ornaments you’ve picked up on your family vacations? I am so mad that I did not start this collection sooner. I love the idea of unpacking and reminiscing about the trips year after year around the holidays.

souvenir collectionMagnets: This idea is similar to the tree, but instead of a tree…it’s your fridge! And it is decorated all year! I envision having a basement or garage fridge covered in magnets from all of your various travels. Again, this souvenir does not take up much space and is inexpensive.

SouvenirKey Chains: Small. Cheap. Unique. Key chains check all of the boxes for me. 

My kids have started to gravitate towards these souvenirs since we have started up some of these collections. My son has an impressive postcard collection, while my daughter is running out of room for her special key chains. My husband travels with shiny pennies and quarters just in case we come across a pressed penny machine {pro tip – the mini M&M holders work great for this.}I have also learned to accept the fact that they will also pick out a cheezy t-shirt or stuffed animal occasionally too. I just hope that the souvenir my kids choose carry the memories we make for a lifetime. This is what really matters. 

What souvenir collections do you suggest?

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Courtney Cox
Courtney lives in Grand Blanc. She's married to Matt, and they have two very smart, energetic, and involved kids, Walker and Tenley. Courtney is a working mom who spends her days teaching High School Biology and English. She thrives on being busy, but also struggles with finding a good balance. She loves working with people, but definitely is inspired when she is interacting with young people. In her free time....just kidding she doesn't have free time, but she does love to go to concerts and catch up with friends and family. Favorite things include Michigan football, college basketball, scented candles, any beach, campfires, traveling and spontaneous dance parties.


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