Favorite Souvenirs Link Party

By Kate Riley May 29, 2012

Hello everyone and welcome to the link party all about travel souvenirs! I’ll share a few of my favorites and then it’s your turn to link up.  I have a lot of little things I’ve brought home from our travels, my number one favorite I mentioned here and it is a pair of vintage glasses we brought home from The End of History in New York City ten years ago.  We toast to our anniversary with champagne every year in these amber Empoli mid-century glasses we found tucked away in a corner of the shop.

vintage glasses end of history

second image from here

Next up is a special treasure – a black and white sketch and watercolor Matt found at a Paris street faire in 1999 – you can catch a glimpse of Notre Dame in the background where he is talking to the artist Pierre-Yves.  It was so simple and lovely we just had to bring it home!  It’s been framed in classic black and gold and now hangs in our living room. paris art


I’m a dork when it comes to collecting travel tchotchkes and the one I always bring home if I can is a mini monument.  Yes, it’s true I have a “monument collection”!  Don’t mock me, I totally love it, and I can’t stop myself from picking them up from a street vendor or local tourist shop.  We’ve seen a few monuments in our travels from the Coliseum to the Alamo and it’s my crazy way of tying together the memories from the pictures with the actual trip itself.    

monument collection


But I have to say of all the things I treasure most, it’s my travel journals.  Someone once told me in my early twenties to keep a travel journal on big trips and I’ve always followed that advice.  Before the kids came along we did a lot more traveling abroad and I always kept a journal on the trips – do you do this?

travel journal memories

My travel journals are my favorite treasures and that “thing” I name when asked “What would you grab if your house was on fire?”  (Other than the kids and pets of course.)  Inside I’ve jotted down all the memories from the day and with a simple glue stick secured the receipts, maps, napkins from restaurants, and ticket stubs too. The pictures and written notes of the funny moments are the best ‘souvenir’ in my world, better than any thing I could bring home.  I bring them out every few years and we crack up recalling all the sights, sounds, and phrases overheard from those weeks spent in foreign lands and not captured in pictures.  

So friends, what about you?  What treasures have you discovered in your travels? 

Link up your favorite souvenirs, can’t wait to see!  You can link up through May 31st!



  1. Love that sketch, Kate! What a lovely memento. I have a travel journal too. I kept the same one for several different trips, and it is still so fun to pull it out and remember all those little things I might have forgotten otherwise. I haven’t made it to Italy yet, but that’s on my list! Austria, Germany, and France are my faves to date. :)

    Thank you for hosting! I always enjoy your parties–lots of people visiting around.

  2. I just came across my travel journal from Italy and was pleasantly surprised to read about folklore that was told to us by our guide that I had forgotten. Also, some details about restaurants and sites, like the Vatican, were a lost memory until I revisited them in my travel journal. I regret not journalling the last few days, though.

  3. Wow I love the idea of a travel journey to remember trips! I do always keep little momentos of moments in life that were special to me like particular movie ticket stubs, ferry tickets, camping passes etc etc. One of these days I want to get around to pasting them all in a book!

  4. I love keeping travel journals but always have a hard time finishing them by the end of the trip. My husband and I have started looking for art and other odd and end things for the house on our trips. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. We get a souvenir and knock off something on our to buy list for the home.

  5. I have a travel journal from all my trips and I love it! Its so fun to go back and read all the things I encountered. Some of the memories always disappear but I know with my travel journals I can always remember things about certain trips.

  6. I kept a journal when studying abroad. Can’t wait to revisit it when I plan a trip back to Europe!

  7. My family went vacationing in Montana one time. My sister met and married her husband there. Does he count as a “souvenir”? ;}
    And I love, love, LOVE that sketch from Paris!

  8. I collect pottery, specifically pitchers if possible. I can almost always find handmade pitchers wherever I go.. but I don’t buy one just to get one.. I have to love it! I have no post to share about them :( but I thought I would comment anyway!

  9. My husband and I started collected Christmas ornaments when we travelled. We love all the memories that we get to talk about when putting up the tree each year. It also helps us not have a bunch of stuff out year-round collecting dust.

  10. I couldn’t agree with you more about the travel journals! They’re prized possessions, for sure. My favorite souvenirs have to be my craziest: an antique iron from Cusco, a napkin holder from Paris and a flowered dutch slippers from Amsterdam!

  11. Fun link party idea! I was stoked to see it because I actually wrote a post on this topic today! Thanks for hosting!

  12. I too made a travel journey on my ( rare ) travel to Paris. It is something I now covet since I have no idea when I’ll be able to go on a trip like that again. For now, it’s trips to the Eastern Shore in Delaware to the beach…which is my favorite place on earth, next to Paris!

  13. My husband and I collect the mini monuments too-we turn them into ornaments for our Christmas tree!

  14. I get souvenirs when I travel too! What I get totally depends on the quality – you know sometimes those mini monuments are so poorly made that I cant bring myself to buying it:( My souvenirs could be plates, shot glasses, mini monuments, pictures, key chains, bells etc:)

  15. We always send each other a postcard from wherever we visit. We get the pleasure of re-reading our adventures, having a little photo or relevant picture on the card relating to our trip, and a date to reference a timeline years later. What a fun post! :)

  16. Such a fun Link Party! I love all the ideas that people (and you) have suggested. I make and keep a travel journal for each trip and that journal is incorporated into a scrapbook of the trip with photos, ticket stubs and other memorabilia. As for other trip collectibles, we usually try to get an ornament for our Christmas tree.

  17. I love keeping a special journal just for trips, too. I usually do a picture every 3-4 pages to keep things from getting too bulky (though I’ve also been known to carefully remove pages from journals to thin them out a bit). Another tip – only write on the front side of the page – this way, you can scan, frame, or do other creative things with the pages and not lose any of the content.

  18. Sounds like you invented the now popular Smash Journal! Unfortunately, I take tons of pictures (my favorite thing to do) and then they sit on my computer or external hard drive and I never get around to organizing them into a tangible item. I did get a tattoo of a Scottish thistle when I took my 50th birthday trip to Scotland. I guess I’d have to say that tattoo is my favorite souvenir.

  19. Thanks for an awesome fun link party. I love your travel journals idea, I collected receipts, maps, napkins from restaurants, and ticket stubs too. But just storage them in a box, now I know what to do with them.

  20. Pencils! On our travels, I search out souvenir pencils. Cheap, portable and in a pinch, useful! At home, they’re on display in a pretty water glass. Journals…the absolute best for capturing moments in time. I kept one on a trip to Ireland/No Ireland with my husband, who died soon after. It is so very precious to me. Doubly so when I think of it as a gift to my daughter in a future time.

  21. I’m super sorry! I see that you have pulled the 3 links I put up on your link party… I thought they would be fitting with the theme as there were pieces in the space I talk about that I had brought home from our travels, but I’m sorry, it looks like you wanted specifically ‘tourist souveniers’, and I feel really badly about my goof up. I know last month’s party I didn’t have any outdoor posts done, and the month before that, I totally botched my entries… Ha, hopefully next month I’ll get it right. Thanks for hosting… Little Bit

  22. i collect tea towels. Every time I use them, I am reminded of the memories of that trip…..

    They take up little space in my suitcase and I are easy to find most anywhere………

  23. My souvenirs are a collection of spoons…how cliche is that? Guess I’m a dork! Been collecting them since I was a child, initially because they were inexpensive and I continue to collect them on my travels because they are small. I have several spoon racks that I keep them displayed on. Those have recently all undergone a transformation due to my reading of these DIY blogs!! Racks that don’t belong together now appear as if they do! Love it!

  24. Hi Kate! My kids and I have done travel journals in the past but they’re getting older so I’m looking for better quality ones to use. Any suggestions? The large spiral and blank pages of yours seems perfect!

    • Hi Crista, I found mine at a bookstore instead of an office supply store, they tend to have the nicer ones so check the journal aisle at your local Barnes & Noble or other bookstore!

  25. I started keeping travel journals 5 years ago when we went to Bali and realized two things: I am a horrible writer – more of a numbers person, and I wish I had started doing it earlier, like when we lived in Geneva in the 1980s. Since I love to cook I try to include recipes from the locals we meet that we get to enjoy once we are home. As for souvenirs, we always bring home a Christmas ornament (that I date) that usually is not Christmasy. It makes decorating the tree so special as we talk about each trip we’ve been on as each ornament is unearthed. It also engages my college age boys in Christmas decorating since they aren’t that into it anymore. We also like to bring back fabric and art and of course photos. Every day as I look around my home I am reminded of all the wonderful trips we have taken.

  26. I love the idea of travel journals. In the past, I have just written on a spiral bound school notebook but never thought to purchase travel journals.

    As always, love your blog! Continued success, Kate!

  27. Oh, I just thought of this…I have small rocks (yes, rocks..LOL) from the Aegean Sea (I visited Greece in 2001) and I have absolutely no idea how I can display them. Any idea?

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