Souvenirs: Don’t let them end up in the closet
We scrimp, we save, we budget to take those dream trips. Then we are on the road and want mementos from our vacations.
I’ve always been frugal about souvenirs. I don’t buy souvenirs for people back home (unless something just screams their name), and I don’t expect people to buy me souvenirs on their vacation. This, of course, means I don’t leave my thrifty ways at home when on vacation, but I still want my memento!
My souvenir tip is to really think about souvenirs and recognize what you will enjoy one, five, or even ten years from now. If you know it is going to end up in the back of the closet within a month of returning home, put it back on the shelf ‚Äî save your souvenir money for something better.
I tend to like “practical” souvenirs‚ items I know will either be used often or to decorate my house.
Greece: When I went to Greece, I bought a hand-knit wool sweater that I still wear. (This trip was courtesy of an older sister. She bought both our tickets on frequent flyer miles — my total cost for 10 days in Greece: $600. I am not good at acquiring frequent flyer miles, but if you have them — use them wisely!)
Bulagria: I went in 2000, and everyone said I visited during a particularly beautiful year. I saw monasteries, a castle (okay, it was really a fortress), a wedding (for a friend of my sister), a flower festival, and many more sites. I wish I could have made it to Varna on the Black Sea, but I suppose that is just a reason to go back someday. Here is a pretty blue Bulgarian vase that is my reminder of that trip. (When considering where to go on vacations, remember places off the beaten path.¬† This trip, the ticket cost $800, but the everything else came to about $200. Total, $1000 for a 10-day trip I will always remember.)
Spain: The many, many castles and churches in Spain are beautiful. I visited Madrid, Avila, and Toledo. Now, I love fantasy and historical romance novels, so when I ended up in a sword shop in Toledo, I had to restrain myself. I mean, SERIOUSLY , what was I going to do with a $200 sword! Instead I found this letter opener (complete with its own sheath) that is a practical mini-sword that has come in handy on many occasions. It not only opens letters, but is great for opening packages and wedging things open.
London: LisaG and I travelled to London a few years ago. As most of you probably know, London is not a cheap town to visit. We saw most of the sites we wanted to see, but it was in November, and it was cold. One night we were strolling down one of the walking streets and found a kiosk with scarves on sale, two for five pounds (at that time, it equaled $10). So we each ended up with a $5 scarf. I still use mine all the time. It is one of the best purchases I have made as it looks trendy if it just hangs around my neck, but when it gets really cold, I wrap it around my head like a babushka (not a trendy look, I know — but I don’t like being cold!). Now, do I have occasional lapses? Yes— on this trip I bought a parasol at the Jane Austen Center during our day-trip to Bath. I’ll let you know if it ever comes in handy — otherwise, assume it is sitting in the back of my closet!