The Best Things to Buy on Vacation

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Of course, the best things you’ll bring home from any trip are your memories.

That said, tying those memories to physical objects are great little reminders of the adventure.

Souvenirs come in more shapes and sizes than you’ve probably considered. It’s time to think outside the box.

I always try to pack light on my travels so that I have extra space to bring home a unique find or two.

We have some ideas for things to buy on vacation – fantastic keepsakes to bring home from your next expedition.

things to buy on vacation - bracelet

Local Crafts

Every region has some kind of specialty craft item, and they often make fantastic souvenirs.

Nassau, for instance, is famous for its straw baskets.

These gifts are totally unique to the place you visit, and the proceeds usually feed directly into the local economy, making them one of my favorite things to buy on vacation.

I love that you can take home a fantastic keepsake while giving back to your hosts.

Fine Jewelry

Investing in a piece of fine jewelry while you’re traveling adds to its sentimental value.

In addition to local specialties, you can find hidden treasures like antique opal rings, fine gold chains, and gemstone pendants in jewelry stores and antique emporiums.

These unique pieces will brighten up your wardrobe and remind you of your trip whenever you wear them.

Quality jewelry also retains its value better than essentially any other category on this list.

Travel jewelry are also the items I use the most, and get lots of compliments on.

Low-Cost Trinkets

Sometimes, the nicest thing to bring home is an affordable little toy or trinket.

Mark your trip to Paris with an Eiffel Tower paperweight, find a patriotic plushie to make you smile, or keep your collection of LED rave lights to remember a music festival.

Inexpensive baubles like these cost very little, letting you spend more on your experience, and they’re usually very light and easy to transport home.


Shops hang tourist t-shirts in their windows for a reason.

These are great, simple souvenirs, but they aren’t the only clothes you can take home from a trip.

organic indigo farm el salvador

Look around for products made locally, or products that feature regional prints, fabrics, or dyes.

You get the benefit of a locally crafted item like and it’s a practical buy!

Lots of tourist centers sell ties, dress shirts, skirts, dresses, and accessories appropriate for day-to-day wear.

Food and Spices

Do you love exploring new foods on your travels? Bring some of these flavors back home with you!

Although fresh fruits and vegetables won’t pass customs, packaged goods like spices, tea, coffee, and even oils typically pass without a problem.

You get to relive your trip as the smells and tastes of your time away fill your home with memories.


There are artists creating visions in paint, stone, and embroidery all over the world.

Many cater to tourists with artwork inspired by their hometown, but you don’t need a painting of the local skyline to carry home memories with your purchase.

things to buy on vacation

You never know when an artist may rise to fame, increasing your buy’s value, but the piece’s sentimental value is what really matters.

It’s pretty easy to find art at a huge range of price points, too.

Bring a piece from a local artist home to support the arts, improve your décor, and remember your experience.

What to Buy on Vacation

Ultimately, the best souvenir is one that will keep your memories close.

Find something that you won’t feel guilty about buying – whether that means buying something locally made, something that won’t break your budget, or something that will hold its value over time.

Keep an open mind as you shop.

You may find the perfect accent piece for your new apartment, a tie for that one suit that doesn’t match anything, the perfect plushie monster for your collection, or a beautiful ring to help you pop the big question.

Your options are open, and the choice is yours.