Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Our Solution for Children Who Want Souvenirs

Need a small and inexpensive but meaningful souvenir when traveling?

Last week, our family returned from a trip through beautiful Niagara Falls, Montreal, and Quebec City in Canada. 

When we travel, we can't help but stop in souvenir shops. They're always filled with such cute little tchotchkes, mementos to help remember the time and effort and expense of the trip we're taking. But if we brought home a bagful of souvenirs every time we traveled, our house would soon be overrun. {Especially when we are decluttering and pursuing minimalism!}

And then...enter six children into that souvenir shop. Stuffed animals, little bags, shiny stones, coin purses, fancy pens, bags of candy, tiny "juice" glasses J, tee-shirts, refrigerator magnets, pretty notebooks. Oh, I'm ready for a trip to donate to the thrift store just thinking about it!

We could just NOT go in. I know that's an option.

But that doesn’t solve the question of a small but tangible memory of the trip. It can be pleasant for the children to have something other than photos to take out and jog memories of each travel adventure, whether it be in college or as a newlywed or with grandchildren decades into the future.

A few trips ago, we finally hit on a solution. Something quite inexpensive, simple to transport, and easy to store or display at home.

Pencils.


 Most souvenir shops have pencils that are particular to that area, in different colors, with a variety of words or slogans, and sometimes of interesting shapes. The most common price for a standard pencil is 99c. We've found that larger or more elaborate styles can be upwards of $3.00 each. Multiply that times six children, since they each get their own pencil for their own collections, and that's a price our budget can handle far better than a $12 stuffed animal. {Although we stick with the 99c pencils as much as possible.}

Another benefit is that the children know that they're going to get something. But they also know that that's all they're going to get. Of course, we need to remind the littler children every now and then, but for the most part, it turns into a fun hunt through souvenir shops without the cry for more-more-more.




Of course, it could be anything depending on the interests of your children. Our children particularly enjoy books and paper and writing utensils. They take after their parents that way. J Perhaps your daughter would want to collect coin purses. {I still use the one I got in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, when I was a girl.} Or perhaps your son would want a magnet.

Happy travels!







What are your favorite souvenirs? Or have you said no?


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8 comments:

  1. We considered pencils but decided they could get lost or broken still pretty easily. So we squish pennies. We have several books of souvenir pennies. It's great. They cost 51 cents, don't take room, and remind us of the places we have been as a family. Works great for us and we never have the souvenir issue anymore.

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    1. Hi, Becki! We've never broken a pencil, but one did get too hot. It was not pretty. I've seen those penny-squishing machines but never really thought about it. What a great idea! Thanks for the suggestion!

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  2. We didn't vacation hardly at all when our boys were small. Couldn't afford it. One time we did go with my husband on a work trip to FL and took the boys to Disney World. Much cheaper that many years ago. HA!! We like to get T shirts with the state on them if we ever did go any where. Then again buying 6 would be very expensive.

    Charlotte Moore

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    1. I love tee-shirts as souvenirs, Charlotte, and we've had some great shirts over the years. But that was before we had all six! :-)

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  3. I love the pencil idea, Meghan. We do a magnet and a postcard. One day my son will get the book with all the postcards where I wrote the date and how we liked wherever we visited. I slip a picture of him at the location behind the postcard. If the trip is a national park/monument we stamp the passport book and purchase a sticker for the page.

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    1. Oh, I love it, Lori...a book of postcards. Easy to stash on a shelf and take down to flip through whenever you want a trip down memory lane. Thanks for the idea!

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  4. I found an old patchwork quilt at a thrift store that is made of probably hundreds of squares, it hangs in our hallway as our family memory quilt.. When we go new places the kids look for patches or pins to put on the next square and I add the date to the bottom. When it gets full, if it does, we can flip it over and start again :)

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    1. What a fun and clever idea, Carrie! It's always in view. Thank you for sharing! :-)

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