My Philosophy on Souvenirs

I may not have the healthiest of spending habits but I’m a damn good at shopping.

Anywhere, anytime – I will find always find something to buy.   

It’s not surprising that this habit has caused me to suffer from buyer’s remorse more times than I care to admit. I always let dumb purchases haunt me for days – ridiculous, I know. So in the spirit of self-improvement, I’ve been making a conscious effort to be less of an impulse buyer and more of a thoughtful shopper. But for whatever reason all logic goes out the window when I’m on vacation. I over spend, over purchase and usually come home with things I don’t need.  

Most of my frivolous purchases fall within one of three camps – food & beverage, beauty products and home décor. When prepping for my trip to Copenhagen and Berlin, I made a mental note of items that I knew I would want to bring back (based on the aforementioned categories) and promised myself I would have more self-control in hopes of avoiding that guilty feeling. 

I thought I would share my philosophy when it comes to souvenirs – what I look for, what I avoid and what I purchased during my recent travels…

It’s no secret I’m a self-proclaimed cocktail connoisseur – so shopping for bitters, liqueurs, tinctures are easy buys I never regret. Along with stocking up on my bar inventory, I love picking up local provisions (i.e.: meat, cheese and candy). Sure, they don’t last forever but when you have a memory tied to a bottle of wine (or even a block of cheese;) ) it feels that much more special when you enjoy it back home.

One of my favorite parts about traveling is trying beauty brands that aren’t accessible in the states. During our stay in Berlin, I stumbled across the perfumery – Frau Tonis Parfum. Their store was an absolute dream and I loved everything from the branding and bottle shape to the stories behind each fragrance. I’ve always loved how certain scents can instantly take you back to a specific memory. For me, this makes fragrances excellent souvenirs. My tiny bottle of parfüm is the sweetest addition to my vanity and takes me back to Berlin with just one spritz.   

Lastly is home décor – my biggest weakness. Plates, trays, candles, coffee table books are all items I love to collect and display throughout my space. I love the Danish aesthetic but wasn’t able to purchase any home pieces (my indecisiveness got the best of me). I did manage to find a few candles that I plan on burning well into fall. The vessels are pretty enough to upcycle, allowing them to always serve as a reminder of my time spent in Denmark.         

Things I don’t buy? The destination-themed knickknacks that you find in those cluttered souvenir shops. Your souvies don’t have to read the town’s name you visited to be sentimental. Just knowing the story behind each purchase is good enough for me. I also think you should never pressure yourself into buying something just because you’re on a trip. Sometimes the best souvenirs are the free matches from a lunch spot, a postcard from your bill at dinner or all of those photos on your camera roll (print and frame them, people!).


I would love to know – do you have a strategy when it comes to purchasing souvenirs? What are items that you stay away from? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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