The Best Souvenirs from around the World

As you prepare for your summer travels you may be thinking about what to bring home as a reminder of the fun times and adventures you’re about to undertake. We’ve compiled a list of popular items that will help you focus your shopping eye on the best souvenir options for you—and your budget.


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Furniture and Home Decor. Decorating your home with the wares of your destination will add a certain flare to your living space and remind you of the places you saw, sat, and stayed.

Local Art. From its history to its landscape, traditions, and customs, art is one of the best ways a culture can express itself—and it’s often very portable!

Musical Instruments. For the music-minded traveler, an instrument can keep the sounds of your journey playing long after your return.

Handmade Clothing. Carrying the traditions of a people on your back is a very tangible and living way to pay homage to those who were your hosts while you were with them.

Curiosities. Chances are you’ll find something in your travels that you won’t find at home. Better than telling the tale of the oddity, bring it home to prove that it’s not just jetlag talking.

Children’s Toys. If you’ve got a kiddo on your shopping list pick up a gift for them that’ll be like none other.

Packaged Foods. Think ahead to help you remember! The sense of taste can unlock the little moments that meant so much, and that can’t be documented with a picture or journal entry.

Found Keepsakes. As they say, “The best things in life are free.” Sometimes the most meaningful souvenirs are those with no monetary value, but that are rich with sentiment.

 

Have you picked up the ideal souvenir but don’t see it listed here? Share your photos and ideas with us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram—and be sure to tag us at #RosettaStoneTV!

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Transcript

Hi, and welcome to Rosetta Stone TV. We’re here to let you know some of the best types of souvenirs you can get on your travels around the world. We’ve organized these tips from most expensive to least expensive, so that you can pick the best souvenir for your budget. So let’s get started.

First off, a piece of furniture or home décor, can be a great reminder of your travels abroad.  For instance, a Turkish Rug can showcase brilliant craftsmanship, quality materials, and regional flavor.

Art from the region you’re visiting can be a fantastic souvenir. Whether you buy it from a contemporary artist or an antique shop, we recommend original pieces rather than reproductions or posters. Locals can often have a unique way of capturing the landscape, whether it’s through painting, photography, or drawing.

Musical Instruments can also make great gifts and investments. A well-crafted panflute in Peru or a kalimba from Kenya can bring the sounds of your travels back home with you. They make especially good gifts for someone who can actually play them.

You might be able to find some handmade clothing during your travels. For instance, Aran Sweaters get their name from the Aran Islands in Western Ireland. The sweaters are famous for being water resistant, thanks to the oil in the wool used to make them. The pattern of stitching on these “Fisherman’s Jumpers” holds symbolism, so be sure to ask about the meaning behind an individual sweater.

Sometimes things are so curious that you just know they’ll make a great keepsake. That’s why curiosities are next on our list. One example: snake wine from Vietnam may make a great gift for the non-vegetarians back home. Make sure to pack well, though, since a broken bottle would leave a scary surprise in your luggage. Another example is a set of matryoshka dolls from Russia, which stack one inside the other. These nesting dolls are often available as caricatures of famous people, including politicians, athletes, or characters from your favorite movie.

Sometimes food can make a great souvenir. If you’re ever in Argentina, make sure you bring home their famous dulce de leche. The sticky dessert sauce tops everything from cookies to pastries in Argentina. On the other hand, if you’re in South Africa, rusks would be the food to bring home with you. This type of biscuit is a holdover from Dutch settlers, who tried to preserve bread by drying it. Food can be an inexpensive way to bring home some of the flavor of your international destination.

Lastly, you may want to consider bringing home something free, like a shell, vial of soil, pressed flower, or a ticket stub. These small keepsakes can sometimes hold more meaning than the most expensive souvenirs.

So wherever your travels take you, be sure to keep your eyes open, you never know what you might find! If you’d like to share your favorite souvenir, please comment on one of our social channels. We’d love to hear from you.

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Kelly Doscher

Kelly is the Social Media Contributor, Blogger and Editor for the Rosetta Stone and Livemocha blogs, and is an award-winning mom blogger in her spare time. She holds a B.A. in French Studies from the University of Washington, has a passion for languages, food, and travel.
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