Decorating with Travel Souvenirs

Most people like to bring something back from their travels as a reminder of an awesome experience or funny story. We also love travel souvenirs but wanted to make sure that they were functional as well as beautiful in our home.

Picking out what to bring back

german steintray with coffee maker

Each person (or family) has their own personality which will drastically change the type of object they’ll pick out. So make sure your souvenirs are something YOU love and what to showcase in YOUR home. Personally, Will & I decided very early on that the objects we bought had to 1) be unique to the area and 2) be useful in our home.

We do a little bit of research beforehand to have a list of things in mind but more often than not, while out and about, the perfect gift just appears. We love cooking so something food-related is always on my mind! The two images above show a German beer stein from Fussen and Costa Rican coffee grounds with a “sock” coffee maker.

Packing your gifts

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You would hate to unpack your suitcase only to find that beautiful porcelain bowl is now shattered. Packing objects carefully is 80% of the battle. With limited resources, use your clothes to “bubble wrap” objects and nestle them in gently. I like to bring back souvenirs in my carry-on purse so I can personally guarantee their safety.

However, while in Amsterdam this past spring break we wanted to buy a cheese cutter from the Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Room but, because it is considered a weapon, we couldn’t take it on our carry-on luggage. So instead, I ordered it from the store and had it shipped to our house with a sampler pack of cheese. Sure it cost me more money, but it was guaranteed to arrive!

Displaying or using souvenirs in your home

Because we typically get practical gifts, we actually end up using a lot of the stuff we collect. However, there are some things that are more decorative around our house. It’s a fine balance between feeling like your living in a gift shop and displaying souvenirs. I try to incorporate souvenirs into the natural decor of my house and I try to coordinate things like style, size, and color scheme.

The images above are two little religious decor items currently on display by the entrance to my kitchen and front door. The image on the left is a “Pax et Bonism” tile from Rome, Italy and the one on the right is the “Hand of Fatima” with a blessing for the home from the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. I made sure both items were in the same color scheme, around the same size, and “went well together” since I knew I would be displaying them nearby.

JMF

What kind of things do you like to bring back as travel memories?


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