7 Top Food And Travel Souvenirs


One of the pleasures of travel is bringing home a little something that reminds you of your journeys. This can sometimes be a challenging chore with limited space in carry-on bags or just the desire not to schlep things around. (Did I mention that I hate carrying things?) That said, we thought we’d share a few items that we like to pick up before we hit the airport for the trip home. Perhaps you’ll find some of your favorite souvenirs among them.

7 Top Food And Travel Souvenirs

Bring a taste of your food travels home.
Bring a taste of your food travels home.


1. Tasty Reminders

Spices, sauces, oils, salts, wines, spirits and beers are all great ways to bring your tasty travels home. You will instantly be transported back to the destination while enjoying them at home. We often suffer from what we call “vacation hangover,” wanting the same tastes we just left. We once scoured Chicago for the best croissant after a week in Paris, but that’s another story.

Travel Books

2. Books, Maps and Magazines

We love to read books prior to arriving at a destination to really understand where we’re going but finding additional information and behind the scenes stories always makes for good reading while flying home. Diana loves to pick up cookbooks and recipes that she can recreate at home. I love to visit museums and study art so a book about favorite artists has me reading it over and over again. We’re also a little old-school and enjoy picking up printed travel guides and tour books too.

Clothing makes great souvenirs.
Clothing makes great souvenirs.


3. Clothing

We like to pick up t-shirts from Hard Rock Cafes we visit. We pick up one classic and one unique version with a cool design just or that destination. I got a beautifully hand stitched dragon on the one I bought in Kuala Lumpur. They’re great to wear to parties and concerts. They’re a perfect icebreaker and always a good travel conversation starter too. We’ve also purchased things we might need while out and about like a scarf or sweater. Every time you wear them you’re reminded of where they came from.



4. Holiday Ornaments

It’s fun to collect holiday ornaments and make a “travel tree.” My nieces and nephews always loved to look at the beautiful ornaments and we’d talk about where they came from and the wonderful visits we had. Can’t find an ornament where you’re at? Try using keychains or other small tchotchkes and create your own ornament.


5. Currency

There’s always some money left over when you’re ready to leave. Instead of converting all of it back to your homeland currency, keep a few coins or bills. Some of the artwork is stunning and it reminds me of my stamp collecting days. Who knows? Some of it may even become more valuable over time, and it will always remind you of your time well spent in your travels.

Guinness Postcard

6. Postcards

Talk about easy to carry and readily available! Many hotels and visitor centers give postcards out for free. Missed that perfect photograph of the Eiffel Tower? A postcard will do the trick – it’s guaranteed to have perfect lighting and perspective. We’ve even sent postcards to ourselves so we can have a postmark from the destination too. They’re also easy to keep in a scrapbook or small box at home.

Travel Magnets Food Travelist 7 top Food And Travel Souvenirs

7. Magnets

I saved the best for last. My favorite food and travel souvenir is the magnet. I’ve picked up a magnet from everywhere I’ve traveled. They’re small and ubiquitous. If you look hard enough you can find unique handmade ones or very specific magnets from a particular memory of that destination. I have covered one side of one refrigerator and I’m working on the second.

My rule with travel souvenirs is that I have to pick them up myself while at the destination. So many people want to bring me back a magnet or shirt and I have to politely decline and tell them no thank you. There’s something about knowing you have been there that makes the souvenir that a much more special memento of your journey.

Looking for some creative ways to display your own travel souvenirs? Check out How to Display Your Travel Souvenirs by Pop Sugar for some great ideas.

How about you? Do you bring back souvenirs or just memories? Let me know in the comments below.

THE QUICK BITE: Looking for some help on what to bring home from your latest travels? We’re sharing our 7 top food and travel souvenir ideas to make your decisions just a bit easier.




25 thoughts on “7 Top Food And Travel Souvenirs

  1. Such a creative idea for a post! Food is such a big part of travel (since every corner of the world has their own specialties) so it makes sense to buy a souvenir to represent it!

  2. Cool!!!

    I also collect magnets and postcards! I also collect mugs and flag patches from every country
    I also collect plane models for every airline i fly with, just for the memories and the experience with flying different airlines

    Greetings from Sandzak

    1. How fun that your blog focuses on travel refrigerator magnets! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. We have a small travel Christmas tree in addition to our regular tree! Instead of ornaments, which aren’t always easy to find, we use mostly key chains. Our tree started years ago as a 2 foot tree for the table top. We now have a 6 foot tree! We love the memories. I love magnets, too, but our last few refrigerators (we move a lot) have not had a spot where magnets can stick! Love this post!

  4. I’m with you on bringing something home from the vacations. I certainly buy wine and the local liqueurs to bring home and have a jar of currency. But you’re right, it’s always pretty awesome to bring a piece of your experience home. What would you say would be the most interesting spice you’ve brought home from abroad?

  5. Our first was Christmas ornaments. But, since our home is an RV and our Christmas tree is small, we stopped that. We shifted to magnets.But, since our home is an RV, our ref does not have magnet-friendly doors. They are made of lighter material. But we love magnets for the very same reasons you do, so we stuck to them as souvenirs. Our magnets are now tucked away for the time when we go back to live in a sticks and bricks home.

  6. Hahaha. I collect everything on this list except for ornaments! This article is spot on. My favourite collection though is the postcard and shot glasses! Oh and sand from every beach I visit! because itis nice to compare the colour and texture of sands from different places!

  7. I’ve been just doing post cards to save on space, but I love the idea of ornaments for a travel tree! I may have to start that.

  8. I keep souvenirs to a minimum as much as I’d love to have some of the wonderful things I see when traveleing. However, I do make a point to get holiday ornaments (small, light, unbreakable ones) — I love the memories when I put them on the tree and they make nice gifts for people, too. Postcards are also great to bring back.

    1. Holiday ornaments are wonderful gifts and are terrific reminders of our travels. Thanks for stopping by Cathy.

  9. When we still owned our house in the suburbs, we liked to bring home an object d’art from all our travels. However, after downsizing to a rental apartment in the city, we now confine ourselves to refrigerator magnets. Now I have a nice reminder of our trips every time I open the refrigerator. During the dark, cold days of a Philadelphia winter, I gaze quite often at that magnet from Hawaii.

    1. We’re in the process of downsizing so magnets have become our go-to keepsakes too. Ours are on the side of frig that people see immediately open entering the kitchen many times people block the hallway gazing at them and asking questions. It’s a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by Suzanne.

  10. My favorite souvenir, for the past 10 years or so, has been decks of playing cards. They are easy to pack, useful, inexpensive, and decorative.

    1. Love that idea Charles! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. We try to pick up things we can use while we travel like a sarong from Costa Rica or a pack of playing cards featuring the Galapagos Islands while we were in Ecuador. One of our favorites are the colorful little cloth embroidered bags that we use as packing cubes to help organize our suitcases. It’s fun to remember places visited while planning for new adventures!

    1. I love the idea of the cloth bags as packing cubes. Thanks for stopping by Anita.

  12. At one time or another we have brought back all of these. Now if I could just remember where I’ve put them all. 😉

    1. LOL! I hope they’re not in the RV that would really add lots of extra weight 😉

  13. I am into oils and spices so these are the things that I bring back. I got some lovely oils and saffron (for our paella) in Spain recently and bought a lot in Sri Lanka also.

    1. Sounds lovely it’s always nice to bring back the flavors of our travels. Saffron is the perfect thing to bring back from Spain.

    1. I’m a tea lover too Carole! I’m always amazed to find great tea in unexpected places. Thanks for stopping by.

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