Buying souvenirs from gift shops can quickly get really expensive. More often than not, these items are overpriced tourist traps. If you’re looking for tangible items to remind yourself of your trips, here are ways you can preserve your memories, all for free!
Pamphlets and Tickets
This is the easiest way to commemorate any trip! Simply collect all of the tickets, pamphlets and maps of all the places you go to and compile them in a scrap book. If you are an artistic person, you’ll really enjoy beautifying your scrap book (although I didn’t really try, I still enjoyed piecing my memories back together).
This also helps you stay on track during your trip as you’ll always have a map with you and you can find things to look out for using the pamphlets. You can also print and add photographs, although this is not necessary if you collect as many pamphlets as I did.
Pressed Leaves and Flowers
As someone living in the tropics, even seasonal plants and flowers offer a different experience for me! I really enjoyed collecting maple and ginkgo leaves when I went to Japan, and they now hang on my walls reminding me of the very first time I experienced autumn! I’ve also found that doing this really helps me appreciate the nature around me.
This can be done at any season, but is especially great if you’re visiting during spring or autumn. Simply keep the leaves and flowers between a thick book (or between papers, and then under your heavy luggage) during your trip, and laminate them when you get back. The colour can last 10 to 15 years if kept away from sunlight!
Travel blogs are a great way to compile your experiences, and you can even help others along the way! Reliving my memories through writing has been really therapeutic for me, as my exchange trips to Japan and UK are special to me for many reasons. If you’re comfortable with it, you can even document your trip on YouTube, where you’re sure to inspire others as well.
At the end of any trip, you’re always going to have a bunch of coins left over that you no longer have any use for, so in a desperate attempt to get rid of them you buy a ton of random food items at the airport. But coins are actually my favourite things to collect when travelling as I feel that they’ve shared the journey with me and capture that moment in time. In many countries, coins still play a crucial role and you’ll realise that you actually use them frequently at vending machines and small family owned businesses, so keeping them is a great form of memorabilia.
This one is a little unique to Japan. These stamps can literally be found everywhere, in shrines, train stations and some landmarks! The ones found in shrines even have meanings attached to them, such as good luck in love or academics.
What’s more is that these stamps are all unique to the place, and have really cool designs. You can choose to stamp them in a special stamp book sold at most shrines and temples, or you can just stamp them in your own notebooks, as I did.
In addition to all of these, remember to take a ton of photographs! Happy travelling!
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