Here Are Some of the Coolest, Quirkiest Souvenirs Travelers Are Collecting

Pins, maps, grocery store bags, and even furniture are on the list.

Traveling makes the best memories, but sometimes some of us need physical reminders of those. And so we hop on planes, we visit countries, and we bring back some of our favorite things to show guests when they visit us—souvenirs!

Forget about the usual ones. Not everybody likes to collect magnets for their fridge, for example (though some of us have incredible, outstanding collections of them). Some of us like it weird, and according to a recent Reddit post that gained a lot of traction, people bring back and collect all sorts of things from their travels.

"What is Your Souvenir Policy?" asked one Redditor in the r/travel subreddit. They followed up with a quick description. "I always get a magnet from each location and a unique piece of artwork from a local artisan. If there is a unique food or drink from the area I try to grab something of that as well! :)"

Now think about the quirkiest, oddest collectible things—then double it. That's what a lot of travelers like to collect. Comments are flooded by avid souvenir purchasers who share their own travel memorabilia. Christmas ornaments, maps, pins, and even reusable grocery bags from local grocery stores—souvenir lovers will let you in in a world of wonders that can inspire you on how to best remember your next trip.

Some of them let the passion for their job take over control, and end up fusing that with their love for travel. "I'm an architect so I try to get a small physical model of buildings in each new country I visit," writes one user. "I've got a slowly growing (but historically inaccurate) skyline with the Hagia Sofia, Machu Picchu, Petra, the Empire State Building and several European cathedrals on my shelf. Looks like a city from civ 6."

But you can even use souvenirs to infuse a specific area of your home with your travels. For one Redditor, for example, traveling is an excuse to build up their kitchenware, as well their love for food. "Many of our small kitchen things are souvenirs. Small teacups from Uzbekistan, coffee mugs from Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Finland," they write. "Other than that, it's mainly snacks."

Those who think that souvenirs are only useless knick-knacks might want to reconsider. Souvenir collecting can also be a useful hobby, and help you catch two birds with one stone—not only do you get some items you need, but also nice travel memories attached to them as well. "I usually get something useful," reads one of the comments. "I bought a nice wallet in Mexico City. A good spatula in London. A microplane in Berlin. Etc. They always remind me of the trip."

And who said your entire home can't be a souvenir itself? Think big, and you might end up just like this one Reddit user, who furnishes their house with items collected on their trips.

"I'm a minimalist, but I do like to furnish my house with things from my travels. Some of my favorites:

  • Moroccan rug that adorns my dining room wall
  • Hand-carved elephant side table from Zimbabwe
  • Functional ceramic pots for my kitchen from El Salvador

I love filling my home with books, baskets, textiles, and jars from my travels. I have to decorate anyway, so why not actually decorate with stuff that means something?"

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.