7 Tips for Choosing Travel Souvenirs

Miniature Eiffel Towers are popular souvenirs. Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

7 Tips for Choosing Travel Souvenirs

Whether you’re journeying across the globe or jaunting someplace closer to home, shopping is a top tourist activity. At Iron Mountain Hot Springs, we’ve gleaned a few tips from years of experience helping our guests find souvenirs they love.

Shopping for souvenirs is a beloved travel pastime. Who hasn’t wandered into a local store looking for something as a remembrance of a special trip? It doesn’t matter if it was our class trip to the zoo in fourth grade or the fulfillment of a bucket list tour of the French wine country, it’s almost guaranteed that we will return home with a keepsake—a penguin keychain from our school outing or bottle of Sancerre to enjoy later.

But shopping for souvenirs can be tricky. It’s not always easy to decide what to purchase. We’re constrained by the real possibility that we might not return to the place we’re visiting, as well as being limited in the amount of time to shop and money to spend.

Guide to Picking the Perfect Travel Souvenir

  1. Souvenirs at Iron Mountain Hot SpringsIs it meaningful? Of all the criteria for choosing a tchotchke, this one is the most difficult to define because it’s deeply personal. If browsing the shelves stirs a feeling of nostalgia or connection, take it as a sign you are likely looking at your perfect souvenir.
  2. Is it useful? Sometimes the best souvenirs are things you use on a regular basis. Each time you reach for that wine glass, hand towel or tee shirt is an opportunity to remember that amazing trip you took.
  3. Is it tacky? Souvenirs should make you smile. They can be fun, silly, and yes, even tacky—think snow globes, coffee mugs, fridge magnets, and “I Heart” tees. These kinds of souvenirs make great gifts for kids, family members and work colleagues back home.
  4. Can I find it where I live? Souvenirs can also be unique to the area you are visiting. A gourmet food item, jewelry or handcraft that is only made and sold locally is always a good candidate for a keepsake.
  5. Will it add to a collection I already have? Go for a souvenir that adds to an existing group of items you already curate. Looking for something specific will narrow your focus and make choosing an item easier. Many people collect small objects like shot glasses, spoons, magnets and keychains.
  6. What about price? Souvenirs are usually small and inexpensive. While you could buy a wall-sized painting by a local artist, a set of note cards by the same artist is a more budget and packing friendly option.
  7. When in doubt, trust your gut. Buying souvenirs doesn’t always follow a rational decision-making process. If you still can’t decide what to buy, listen to your gut and follow your intuition.

If you’re visiting Iron Mountain Hot Springs, check out our gift boutique at the entrance. You’ll find a wide variety of souvenirs to take home as a memento of your visit—everything from clothing and swimwear to home goods and handmade items.

Learn more about Iron Mountain Hot Springs and plan your visit today!

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Karin Gamba

Karin Gamba has been writing professionally for the travel and tourism markets for nearly two decades. She has promoted a wide array of travel products that include destination towns, vacation resorts, golf courses, ski areas, spas, hotels, restaurants and countless visitor attractions. Karin especially loves writing about her hometown of Glenwood Springs.