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INSIDE: Roam the Gnome’s Guide to unique AND popular things people collect, and the best travel souvenirs from around the world.

Top of the “best souvenirs to collect” list?

Passport Stamps.

Of course! 

Every passport stamp is evidence of a new adventure, and exploration time in a foreign country.

But the more we travel, the more conscious we become of what souvenirs we buy. 

The world is FULL of rubbish, and we don’t want to contribute to that.

I don’t want stuff cluttering up our home either.

I need to LOVE something before I’ll commit to the purchase, and know it’s going to bring me joy for more than a few weeks or months.

These days, the boys, Roam the Gnome, and I travel light, with just carry-on luggage.

So there’s not much room either.

We also travel on a budget, and spend most of our spending money on experiences, attractions, the odd VIP event, and good food.

But we make one exception, and that’s to find one type of souvenir from a big list of things to collect, and make that our SIGNATURE PURCHASE.

You can too.

Pick something from our Big List of Things People Collect below, and start next trip!

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you.

travel souvenirs to collect - pressed pennies 800

Our Favorite Travel Souvenirs to Collect

We’ve been asked “what’s your favourite souvenir to buy when you travel?”

We now find it easier to stick to a theme, and find that ONE particular type of souvenir to add to our growing collections.

Roam the Gnome hunts for cute red and white toadstools in any shape or form:

  • Toadstool ornaments
  • Toadstool toys or kitchenware
  • Toadstool prints
  • Toadstool-themed handmade goods, and
  • Toadstool jewelry for me!

Handmade stamps souvenirs

I love a good handmade stamp, preferably with my name and/or a cute personalised graphic on it.

Three friends have brought me a personalised stamp now:

  • one from Japan
  • one from Vietnam, and
  • one from China,

And I LOVE them!

RELATED: The BIG LIST of the BEST Souvenirs from Around the World SHOPPING GUIDE (what to buy, and where to find it)

handmade porcelain toadstool figurines by cynthia crane

Image credit: Cynthia Crane pottery via Flickr CC BY-2.0

What to collect when you travel?

Every treasure hunting/shopping adventure is an opportunity to find one or two (small) special things to add to our personal travel souvenir collections back at home.

Displaying this curated collection of things at home is fun too.

It makes life easier for friends and family who go travelling too.

When someone close to you knows you collect a particular something, and they see it when out and about in the souvenirs shops, some friends are compelled to buy it for you, as they know it’s a gift you’ll LOVE!  

marimekko outlet store finland_5394

Best Souvenirs Guide Overview

If you are looking for something specific, here’s a quick round up of the best souvenirs from our favorite countries:

japanese hanko stamps by cotaro70s

Image credit: Cotaro70’s via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0


Popular things people collect on vacation 

Why do people collect things?

It’s a good question, and there’s no definitive answer but a travel souvenir is a tangible way to keep memories alive.

Travel mementoes are also a visual reminder about a place, town, or city you love, OR the something wonderful that happened there. 

What are people collecting now? 

These are the most popular things to collect in 2020.

kokeshi dolls by carrie kellenberger

Image credit: Carrie Kellenberger via Flickr CC BY- 2.0


NO.1: Ornaments & Travel Souvenirs

Ornaments are about bringing home your memories in a tiny souvenir.

  • Little Figures of Landmarks – Big Ben, Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal.
  • Bells of all sizes
  • Travel chess set (or full size)
  • National doll of the country

My favourite are Kokeshi dolls from Japan.

I collect these too.

camel collection by cea

Image credit: Cea+ via Flickr CC BY- 2.0

More Ornamental Souvenirs

Die cast vehicles:

  • red cars
  • trucks
  • taxis
  • trains
  • buses
  • New York yellow taxi cabs

Find your significant totem of your choice – eg:

  • an elephant
  • a cat
  • a frog
  • tree
  • 4WD truck
  • a red and white toadstool
  • camels .

You could also start a collection of: 

  • Swarovski crystal replicas of landmarks
  • Car number plates
  • Collectible teddy bears, wearing the traditional clothes of the country or city

best souvenirs - books by marta dzedyshko pexels

Image credit: Marta Dzedyshko via Pexels CC0

No.2: Collectible Souvenirs for Readers – Books

Books from around the world 

  • A popular book, coffee table book, or novel about the place you are visiting
  • A cookbook by a local author featuring regional foods, local dishes, traditional recipes, and authentic cuisine from the area
  • A local book about mythology of the area
  • Comic Books
  • Bookmarks
  • Posters of your favorite book covers

A favourite book in all the different languages – For example, Harry Potter in:

  • English
  • Japanese
  • Croatian
  • German
  • Spanish 
  • Arabic 

RELATED: Ultimate Guide to the Best Travel Books & Novels

ticket stub tramlink via sludge

Image credit: SludgeG via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.3: Travel Journal Keepsakes 

Ticket keepsakes 

Build a collection of travel keepsakes by displaying your public transport tickets from: 

  • Planes
  • Trains
  • Boats
  • Trams

Hot tip: Store them in a shadowbox frame

Other collectible keepsakes to consider:

  • Admission Tickets to Attractions
  • Write a postcard back to yourself sharing the highs and lows of your visit eg Dear Vietnam…
  • National Park passport book – with stamps from every stay
  • Pressed flowers (be sure to check out the local laws before you travel with floral specimums)
  • World Map and vintage maps
  • Local sticker sets
  • Theme park tickets, or theme park guidebooks

currency money by jonathan borba

Image credit: Jonathon Borba via Pexels CC0

No.4: Best Coins to Collect

Save one or two every trip.

  • Currency notes or coins to be framed
  • Pressed pennies (pressed coins)

boarding pass by anna shvets pexels

Image credit: Anna Shvets via Pexels CC0

No.5: Airline Mementos to collect

How about collecting things from a plane trip?

  • Airline Air Sickness (Vomit) Bags – clean, and unused of course!
  • Airline Menus
  • Boarding passes
  • Airline Soft Toys
  • Airline Activity Bags for kids
  • Airline ticket stubs

disney fox and hound watch collectible by joe haupt

Image credit: Joe Haupt via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0


For some of us, taking Disney vacations to Disney Parks around the world is THE number one hobby. 

If that’s you, and you want to start a Disney collection of things to remember your trips, take a look. 

No.1: Best Disney Souvenirs to Collect

One of the most popular travel collections are Disney collections.

You would be surprised by the amount of people who have gigantic Disney collections full of:

  • Disney Princesses
  • Disney souvenir cups
  • Disney popcorn buckets
  • Disney trading pins, and
  • Disney clothes.

tokyo disneysea woody popcorn bucket

Image credit: Tokyo Disney resort

Take your pick and name your best souvenirs from Disney to collect. 

  • Disney pressed pennies
  • Fun Disney popcorn buckets
  • Best Disney Christmas ornaments
  • Disney watches
  • Disney Ooshies
  • Disney jewellery (earrings, bracelets, rings, Pandora charms)
  • Disney clocks from each park
  • Alex and Ani bracelets
  • Mickey and Minnie jewelry (I adore my Mickey earrings and wear a pair daily)

Don’t forget this edible Disney souvenir:

  • Disney snacks – try a new one each park
  • Take a pic for a Disney snacks photo board to memorialize it. 

disney pins chip and dale by martin lewison

Image credit: Martin Lewison via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.2: Best Disney Pins to Collect

That all depends on your favourite character, doesn’t it?

I love Chip and Dale, so they would be my choice of Disney Pins to collect.

But everyone’s different.

March to your own drum.

Hot tip: Best Souvenirs from Disney

Take a look at our guide below – it features the Best Souvenirs from Disney World, and the best souvenirs from Disneyland to collect too.

READ MORE: The Best Disney Souvenirs to Collect 

m&m's chocolate in new york by bettinaincucina flickr

Image credit: Bettinaincucina via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0


Wondering what to collect for a hobby on your adventures?

Why not think about how you like to spend your free time and then build a collection of things that embody THAT hobby love.

Take a look at this list of hobbies.

What could you collect to honour this passion? 

Eating chocolate

You need all the edible souvenirs of course! 

  • original hand-crafted chocolate from each city or country
  • a local bar of chocolate from each city you visit (We love Japanese chocolate so much, we wrote about it)
  • chocolate covered nuts (eg the popular Chocolate Macadamias in Australia!)
  • unique chocolate eg Camel milk chocolate from Dubai, or raw vegan chocolate from Byron Bay or PureMelt chocolate in Mullumbimby)
  • chocolate fudge 
  • all the Kit Kat flavors from around the world
  • an original chocolate snack from every city
  • a jar of hot chocolate powder from the UK, USA, Switzerland etc 
  • bag of personalized M&M’s from every M&M store around the world

More Chocolate themed souvenirs 

  • chocolate themed teatowel or apron
  • chocolate scented soap
  • chocolate themed jewelry
  • chocolate flavored lip gloss 
  • chocolate molds 
  • stainless steel whisks 
  • Variety of chocolate brand souvenirs eg M&M’s chocolate souvenirs, or Hersheys in America, Peko chan in Japan
  • chocolate making tools eg deco pens, silicon spatula from different countries 
  • chocolate keyrings from around the world eg Nutella keyring from Italy

READ MORE: The Best New Zealand Chocolates to buy

Drinking coffee 

  • individual espresso cups 
  • espresso set 
  • Coffee mug
  • single origin coffee beans from each city or country you visit
  • unusual coffee souvenirs eg Luwak coffee in Bali
  • chocolate coated coffee beans from each country 
  • coffee themed ephemera 

things to collect for surfers by daria shevtsova

Image credit: Daria Shevtsova via Pexels CC0


  • surfboard wax
  • surf star autographs
  • surfing prints from different countries
  • locally made pair of flip flops (thongs) from every destination
  • local design t-shirt 
  • surfing magazines from around the world 

Architecture tours (such as in Rome, or in Palm Springs Modernism Week)

  • local architecture books
  • prints of buildings you explore
  • locally made figurine of places you’ve visited on a tour

Eating iceblocks, or icecream, or gelato

  • ice cream scoops
  • ice cream themed earrings or jewelry 
  • pictures of all the gelato bars you visit, printed for a photoboard

best trading cards to collect by supportcaringllc

Image credit: SupportcaringLLC via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Best Trading Cards to collect

Choose your favorite sports trading cards:

  • football trading cards
  • baseball trading cards
  • soccer trading cards
  • Pokemon trading cards
  • Disney transportation cards (Disney World) 

Car racing

  • embellished hats
  • signature t shirts or jackets from a particular race meet
  • signed autographs of car racing stars
  • car or vehicle emblem badges eg Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Kombi 

Painting, Doing Puzzles, Writing short stories, Baking cakes…  

See below for all the creative possibilities. 

rainbow threads by karly-santiago

Image credit: Karly Santiago via Unsplash CC0

No.1: Ideas for Things to Collect for Crafty Creatives & Design Afficianados

If you love doing craft workshops, or learning new art or craft skills, why not start a collection based on your favorite creative endeavour? 

Best Things to Collect for Sewers 

  • thimbles
  • Embroidery cottons
  • Hand dyed cottons using local dyeing techniques from natural sources
  • handcrafted pair of embroidery or sewing scissors
  • enamel pins featuring sewing paraphernalia
  • buttons
  • vintage lace
  • fun and quirky ribbons
  • cute pincushions

Cool collections for Knitters and Crocheters 

  • Knitting wool and yarn from different countries
  • Crochet hooks from different countries, and made from different materials (eg timber, metal, bamboo)
  • Knitting needles and Knitting needle point protectors from around the world

Best collection ideas for Cooks & Chefs 

If you love eating cake, why not collect hand-written cake recipes from around the world?

  • cookbooks
  • cooking utensils
  • handmade cooking utensils
  • a souvenir kitchen tool from a cooking workshop you’ve attended 

You might also collect kitchen tools from each particular country, eg

  • mortar and pestle from Bali
  • a gnocchi board from Italy
  • a rotary cheese grater from the UK for Welsh rarebit (Cheese on toast).  

hello miss may australiana enamel pins

Australiana Enamel pins by Hello Miss May. 

Here’s a few more general ideas of collections for creative homes

  • Handmade stamps
  • Wooden or Ceramic Toadstools
  • Themed enamel pins, like these Australiana enamel pins by Hello Miss May. (Buy them here)
  • Craft magazines or pattern books  (I love Japanese ones)
  • Quilting fat quarter fabric
  • Cloth patches to sew on a big wool blanket, or backpack 
  • Snow globes
  • Paper lanterns
  • Paper fans

artist crayons by sharon mccutcheon

Image credit: Sharon McCutcheon via Pexels CC0

No.2: Hobby Collectibles for Artists

  • A small painting of an everyday scene by a local street artist  (Look for them near popular tourist attractions such as the Spanish steps in Rome)
  • A caricature of the family or kids from a local street artist in the city you are visiting
  • old school retro cameras or video cameras
  • paints, crayons, chalk and specific art supplies from different countries 

copic markers japan

No.3: Best Stationery to collect

  • Cute Sticky notes from around the world
  • Stickers for luggage
  • Themed stickers – eg scratch and sniff, puffy stickers, shiny stickers, cat stickers, car bumper stickers
  • Types of pencils
  • Adorable Paperclips (I love my airplane ones)
  • Postage stamps
  • Washi tape
  • Stamp alphabets
  • Bullet journal stamps
  • Different types of textas and coloring tools eg Manga copic markers art pens from Japan.
  • ABC alphabet letter cards for kids, illustrated by a local artist

music-box-by pixabay

Image credit: Mstlion via Pixabay CC0

No.4: Collectible Musical Instruments 

  • A CD from each local street musician or band
  • Old cassettes
  • Pick up a small music box from each destination

Pocket sized musical instruments (or small size), common to each place you visit, for example:

  • a Swiss cow bell
  • maracas from Puerto Rico
  • a pan flute from Peru
  • small wooden xylophone from Indonesia
  • mini djembe, much loved in the hippie town of Byron Bay, Australia

best vinyl records to collect by clem-onojeghuo

Image credit: Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash CC0

No. 5: The Best Vinyl Records to collect

  • Vinyl records from the 70’s or 80’s
  • classic Vinyl records from the country you are visiting
  • write up a list of your best essential vinyl records you want to own, and go treasure hunting!

Pick and choose from the 100 greatest Vinyl Records of all time!

best souvenirs to collect- shopping totes NYC by john wisniewski

Image credit: John Wisniewski via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0


No.1: Travelling Trinkets for Everyday Homewares

  • Reusable Shopping Bags
  • Themed tote bags featuring famous city icon such as the Eiffel Tower, or London Bridge, or a local saying
  • Fridge magnets
  • Coasters
  • Zippo lighters
  • Clocks
  • Statement doormats 
  • statement bath mats 

travel collectibles for the kitchen by mehrad vosoughi

Image credit: Mehrad Vosoughi via Pexels CC0

No.2: Travel Collectibles for the Kitchen

  • shot glasses
  • ceramic plates or dishes, featuring city or country insignia or distinctive patterns
  • dish towels (tea towels)
  • souvenir spoons
  • ceramic spoons
  • camp mugs
  • bento lunch boxes and bento accessories
  • salt and Pepper Shakers
  • cake servers (display on the wall)
  • blue and white pottery
  • wooden Honey dippers
  • vintage whisks and egg beaters
  • spice blends from around the world

garden tools collectibles by brianna martinez

Image credit: Brianna Martinez via Pexels CC0

No.3 Fun Things to Collect for Gardeners

  • unique Gardening Tools, or handcrafted hand tools  eg pliers, 
  • unusual watering cans for a display
  • packets of seeds
  • gardening gloves from every place you go
  • plant markers 
  • garden signs 

puzzles by hal-gatewood unsplash

Image credit: Hal Gatewood via Unsplash CC0

No.4: Best Puzzles & Games to Collect 

  • deck of cards featuring local flora or fauna, or iconic architecture
  • typical puzzle from the country
  • puzzle featuring city icons
  • handmade puzzles from different craft markets around the world 
  • board games from around the world (regardless of whether you can read instructions!)
  • games in a tin 

travel souvenirs hot chilli sauce by russ

Image credit: Russ via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0


What should I collect when travelling and love food?

No.1: The Best Things to Collect in Food and Drink

  • coffee (see above)
  • chocolate (see above)
  • Hot sauces from every city or state
  • Olive oils from different regions
  • Salt from different countries
  • Bag of pasta in different flavours, shapes, brands
  • Local food products from the grocery store to make an authentic home-cooked meal from this city when you get home
  • Wine corks
  • Beer sign from brewery
  • Drink coaster from different restaurants or bars you visit
  • bottle tops (make a coffee table into a travel souvenir keepsake by creating a resin artwork with these) 

travel souvenirs pez candy by greg goebel

Image credit: Greg Goebel via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.2: Best Candy Collection Hobbies

  • Different flavoured Tic Tacs from everywhere you go
  • Pez candy – one of a kind containers from different places
  • Different unique candy snacks from each country
  • A bag of rock candy from each place you visit
  • A local sweet, lolly or candy that you can’t find elsewhere

READ MORE: The Best New Zealand Candy to eat

READ MORE: The Best Japanese Candy to try

best souvenirs fashion from peru by adrian-dascal

Image credit: Adrian Dascal via Unsplash CC0


Collecting things is fun, especially when you have a motive.

I find shopping is much more exciting with a narrow focus.

There’s a challenge involved, plus it leads me to amazing shops I never would have entered before.

No.1: Unique Clothing to collect

A piece of clothing from the region eg;

  • Merino wool poncho from New Zealand, or a a Swanndri coat from NZ
  • Thai fisherman pants
  • an Akubra hat from Australia
  • a hand knitted jumper from Germany
  • a hand embroidered dress from Mexico
  • bright boldly coloured ponchos, dresses, blankets, sweaters, layered skirts, tunics, hats, or chullos (hats) from Peru
  • woollen scarves from Mongolia
  • handpainted silk scarves from Vietnam

You can also collect a t-shirt from each destination, to be made into a quilt one day.

clothing tag by mnz

Image credit: Mnz  via Unsplash CC0

Things to collect if you love fashion

  • statement badges (eg police badges from all over the world, or political badges, or cute badges)
  • brooches and cameo pins
  • hand painted silk scarves from each place you visit 
  • a pair of shoes from each destination
  • shoelaces from each city
  • headscarves
  • hair accessories
  • a bottle of nail polish from each city or region 
  • clothing tags from well known couture brands
  • unusual, fun or strange woven clothing tags 
  • woven patches from around the world

flower jewelery by julia kuzenkov

Image credit: Julia Kuzenkov via Pexels CC0

No.2: Jewellery & Fashion Accessories

  • Necklace pendant or resin jewelry from a local designer (eg Dinosaur Design in Australia!)
  • Sunglasses from different countries
  • reading glasses
  • A particular type of earrings – eg blown glass, wooden, ceramic, or by colour
  • A Silver Charm for your charm bracelet
  • Unique Pandora charms to add to your collection
  • Lapel pins
  • Pocket handkerchief
  • Silk hair ties
  • antique jewelry in your favorite style
  • rings
  • pearl jewelry
  • topaz or amber or quartz crystal jewelry
  • coin jewelry
  • flower jewelry
  • statement jewelry pieces eg chunky bead necklaces

best hats to collect by quang nguyen vinh pexels

Image credit: Quang Nguyen Vin via Pexels CC0

No.3: Best Hats to collect

Hats is a travel collection FULL of opportunity.

Collecting hats is a good excuse to visit all the flea markets around the world to find them. 

  • caps
  • trilby hats
  • bowler’s hat
  • mariner’s cap
  • fez
  • Vietnamese nón lá (leaf hat)
  • tam o’shanter
  • Aussie bush hat with corks
  • Greek fisherman’s hat
  • sombrero
  • handmade Finnish woollen beanies from Lapland

Venice carnival masks could join this collection at a stretch. 

best watches to collect by pixabay

Image credit: Pixabay via Pexels CC0

No.4 Best Watches to Collect

  • pocket watches
  • vintage Rolex watches
  • Omega watches
  • cute kids watches

types of contests to win stuff - mud spa rotorua 800

No.5: Beauty Goods & Make up

Beauty goods and skin products are meant to be used of course! 

Then keep the packaging and containers as proof of everything you’ve tried.

  • Mud masks, for example from Rotorua Hells Gate Mud Bath at Hells Gate Geothermal Park. Read our review here.)
  • Skin products, for example salt scrub from the Dead Sea
  • Popular skin care products from the cities you visit
  • A popular brand of Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Local nail polish
  • local handmade soap from artisan vendors 

toy collections by engin akyurt pexels

Image credit: Engin Akyurt via Pexels CC0


Start the kids collecting from a young age.

Jack and Ned are both in on the game.

It saves time, money and frustration when kids are limited to picking one cool thing, instead of wanting the whole shop.

rubber duck toys collection by george becker

Image credit: George Becker via Pexels CC0

No.1: Best Toys to Collect

Rubber ducks

  • Be sure to mark the base with a permanent marker so you know where each one came from!

Soft toy to represent the country

For example;

  • a panda in China
  • a Loch Ness monster in Scotland
  • a frilled neck lizard in Australia
  • a Pokemon soft toy or Hello Kitty doll in Japan

Stuffed animals 

Jack has collected:

  • a pink poodle that barks and flips from Hamleys Toy Shop in London
  • a plush tiger from Taronga Park Zoo
  • a fluffy orangutang from Bali Zoo
  • the cutest fox toy from Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto
  • a panda toy from Berlin Zoo
  • a reindeer and husky dog from our Lapland trip last year!

On his list is a lion from Africa, and a Mickey Mouse from Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii. 

Good Toy Collectibles

  • Collectible “ooshies”
  • Action figures and Superheroes from different countries

Or, one particular toy brand, where you can collect a new piece each place you visit.

Like these below:

  • LEGO (buy a LEGO model of an iconic building in each city you visit)
  • Barbie dolls
  • PLAYMOBIL from Germany (different sets are stocked in different regions & countries)
  • American Girl Doll (a piece of regional clothing)
  • a new train to add to a train set
  • Schleich plastic animal toys
  • Pinocchio toys (we started our collection of cute Pinocchio collectibles at this Pinocchio toy shop in Rome)

PIN best travel souvenirs to collect 800


No.1 Christmas Keepsakes to Collect

  • Christmas ornaments
  • Nutcrackers
  • Handmade holiday ornaments
  • engraved glass baubles
  • handmade felt ornaments eg Australiana animals
  • handmade Christmas ornaments from craft markets 
  • pop up Christmas cards
  • ceramic Christmas tags 
  • Christmas bears
  • Christmas dolls

christmas nutcracker collection by jelene morris

Image credit: Jelene Morris via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

No.2 Christmas ornaments to collect

We collected a Christmas ornament at every European and German Christmas Market we visited last year. 

We also have a collection of Disney Christmas ornaments too. 

starbucks mug by brigette tohm pexels

Image credit: Brigette Tohm  via Pexels CC0


No. 1: Branded Souvenirs to Collect

  • Hello Kitty items
  • Hard Rock Cafe shot glasses
  • Starbucks City Mugs 
  • Hobbit and Lord of the Rings souvenirs (from around the world) 

harry potter souvenirs by vinicius vieira ft

Image credit: Vinícius Vieira ft via Pexels CC0

No.2: Harry Potter souvenirs

Harry Potter souvenirs from all the different Harry Potter locations around the world, including:

  • Universal Studios Osaka
  • Harry Potter Studios London
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios California & Orlando
  • Harry Potter walking tours in London

BEST travel souvenirs - eki stamps in japan 800


No.1: Eki stamps in Japan

Eki stamps in Japan are train stamps.

You can imprint into a special journal book as you travel through most Japanese train stations.

You’ll find eki stamps at many tourist attractions too.

No.2: Santiago de Compostela stamp for the Pilgrim passport

If you have the chance to wander the Camino de Santiago route from Saint Jean Pied de Port in France to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, collect the pilgrim stamps in your Camino passport at each town you pass on the 500 miles journey. 

This walking expedition is on our bucket list. 

key by rosielea pixabay

Image credit: Rosie Lea via Pixabay CC0


Something for the brainy ones!

  • Science Kit from every science museum you visit
  • Flags
  • Transport maps
  • Hotel room keys (the ones you forget to return of course)
  • Inflatables – blow up soccer ball, inflatable toy, inflatable swimming ring, inflatable drink holder

tiny ceramic houses by john-moeses-bauan

Image credit: John Moeses Bauan via Unsplash CC0


No.1: Cute miniatures collections

Collectible ideas can be as simple as picking a size.

GIANT stuffed animals might be the choice of collectible for someone with a big budget for excess luggage.

Miniatures might be someone else’s idea of a fun souvenir to collect.

  • miniature dolls
  • miniature dollhouse kitchenware
  • tiny ceramic houses from around the globe
  • miniature paintings
  • miniature books
  • miniature supermarket collectibles (Like Coles Little Shop miniatures)
  • miniature chess pieces
  • miniature pottery cups
  • miniature tea sets
  • miniature porcelain ornaments
  • miniature die cast vehicles
  • warhorse miniatures
  • miniature Red Rose tea figurines
  • miniature artificial plants

No.2: More tiny collections

  • typewriter keys
  • arrowheads
  • new coins from the Mint in each country
  • small minerals and rocks from reputable sellers eg topaz, pink quartz
  • tiny crystals in specimen jars

travel magnets souvenirs by jametlene

Image credit: Jametlene Reskp via Unsplash CC0


Inexpensive things to collect include:

  • Postcards
  • Heart-shaped rocks found on your travels
  • Fridge magnets
  • Key rings (key chains)
  • Car decals

heart rocks by ivo-raeber

Image credit: Ivo Raeber via Unsplash CC0


Collecting stuff doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

It might not even cost a cent!

If you’ve ever wondered, why do people collect stones, perhaps it’s because they wanted to bring home a souvenir of a favourite beach or river they’d visited. And then it snowballed from there.

Here’s some more free things to collect while traveling.

  • Hotel pens and notepads pilfered from a hotel room
  • Hotel matchboxes
  • Sugar packets
  • Collect one rock from every new place. Add to a garden mosaic at home**
  • Heart rocks** 
  • Collect a tablespoon of sand from every beach you visit and add it to a test tube – mark each location on the glass tube**
  • Or take a spoonful of dirt and do the same.**
  • Collect a piece of driftwood timber or shell from the beach. Make a wind chime with your collection.**
  • Seedpods for craft projects**

NB: **Some people might not agree with taking things from nature. But the ocean carries things from place to place without asking. I think it’s personal choice, unless there are laws preventing you, such as in a National Park.

caricature by aaron_language

Image credit: Aaron Language via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0


No.1: Best Travel Activities to DO in every city

These are the best fun ways to remember things you did on your travels:

  • Book a photo shoot – Flytographer is one brand I know and trust.
  • Fujimax instamatic (instamax) camera, and take ONE significant photo at each place
  • Do a food tour
  • Book a fat tire bicycle tour – Fat Tire tours in Paris is our pick.
  • Book a cooking class and make (and eat) the local dishes
  • Visit a Zoo in every city and buy a soft toy animal
  • Take pictures of your feet (barefoot or with shoes) touching the land at every destination
  • Sit for a caricature by a local street artist
  • Take a row of strip photos in a photo booth
  • Take the putt putt challenge by visiting a putt putt course in every new destination
  • Go geocaching.
  • Get inked!  Inscribe a new tattoo at each destination
  • Take a yoga or pilates class
  • Try a new exercise craze, such as a Bungee Fitness class, Circus, or Goat yoga!

indian dancing classes by ishan das unsplash

Image credit: Ishan Das via Unsplash CC0

No.2: Take a dance class in the city.

Pick a class that represents the people, culture or location eg:

  • salsa in Cuba
  • hip hop in New York
  • 50’s west coast swing dancing in Los Angeles
  • Viennese waltz in France
  • Irish dancing in Dublin
  • Indian dancing
  • Scottish highland dancing in Edinburgh, or
  • mountain music flatfoot dancing in Appalachia, middle America.

museum shop berlin by neil h

Image credit: Neil H via Flickr CC BY- 2.0

Where to Shop for Travel Mementos & Last minute souvenirs

  • Local craft collectives
  • Museum shops (like this one at the Berlin Hamburgerbanhof museum for modern art)
  • Art gallery shops
  • Local supermarkets and grocery stores for food souvenirs
  • Duty free shops at the airport

how to display your travel souvenirs by NMBE

Image credit: NMBE via Flickr CC BY- SA 2.0

What is the best way to display travel souvenirs?

Once you start to amass a quantity of delightful travel souvenirs, such as postcards or ornaments, magnets or craft materials, you need to find a way to display them.

Here’s our guide to the best ways to display travel memorabilia. 

car licence plate numbers by elijah-macleod

Image credit: Elijah McLeod via Unsplash CC0

Frequently Asked Questions – Best Travel Souvenirs Tips

Why do people collect things?

Why not?

What are the best things to collect for kids?

Anything they have an interest in.

My 11 year old loves reptiles, so he also likes to collect reptile books and paraphernalia.

What is the weirdest thing you know that people collect?

Snake skins is one.

Pieces of hair is another.


What do you call someone who collects different things?

A hobbyist, a collector, an accumulator, a compiler, or perhaps a pack rat!

Take your pick.

Now, start your souvenir collection on your next trip!

best souvenirs to collect REVIEW


Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in AUD dollars, unless otherwise stated

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