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Why You Need to Stop Buying Tacky Souvenirs!

Why You Need to Stop Buying Tacky Souvenirs!

Now don’t get us wrong, we love some of those cheesy souvenirs that our friends and family bring back from around the world. But how many sombreros, or I heart NY t-shirts can you have before you start wishing for a little something different? Have you ever looked back through all of your holiday souvenirs and wondered why you thought it was a good idea to get a plastic fridge magnet in the shape of a pineapple?

If you’re sick of the same old, same old, or just wanting to purchase a little something special that reminds you of an amazing holiday, then read on to find out why you should be buying tea instead of snow globes!


What you’re probably buying: Flamenco dolls. You know those little dolls of the dancing women with long black flowing hair, bright frilly traditional dresses and arms poised in the midst of dance? Yeah those. Every tourist shop in Spain is full of them, and where they demonstrate a much loved Spanish passion, they’re really not all that. Most of them are now mass produced in factories and have absolutely no personal touch.

flamenco dolls souvenir from spain

What you should be buying: Spain has some of the most incredible craftsmanship in the world, from gold that’s 18 carat and shoes, jackets and bags that are all made from some of the finest quality leather, you’ll be wondering why you ever bothered spending a penny on those tourist targeted souvenirs! If you’re after something a bit more traditional, then pick up a handcrafted fan from a skilled local, you’ll get to beat the heat whilst you’re on holiday, and when you get home you can frame it in your living room!

fans from spain

New York

What you’re probably buying: I heart NY shirts or those ‘my ____ went to New York and all I got was this t-shirt’. Sure, they’re great for throwing on when you’re redecorating the house, or for just lounging around but that’s pretty much it. At the end of the day they’re not too different to your run of the mill t-shirt that cost a couple of quid from your local department store.

new york souvenirs

What you should be buying: For a really personalized memento of your trip, then why don’t you try scrap-booking? Collect all your subway tickets, Broadway show pamphlets, museum brochures, photos and put them all into a book so you can continue to relieve the memories again and again!

travel journal


What you’re probably buying: Absolutely ANYTHING to do with the Eiffel tower, key-rings, miniature figures, you name it, tourists are buying it. It’s the quite possibly the most well-known structure in the entire world, so why do you need reminding of it? Surely a picture would suffice!

eiffel tower souvenirs from paris

What you should be buying: Books from Shakespeare & Co. Get your hands on Paris related fiction including: Parisian street style and even how to be Parisian! If you don’t fancy that then they also sell those gorgeous editions of classic novels. Can we go already?!

shakespeare and company book shop in paris


What you’re probably buying: Boomerangs… stuffed koalas… hats with corks on strings… ring a bell? Those three things alone are quite possibly the most typical souvenirs you could buy from Australia. Wouldn’t you rather buy something that actually supports the culture and not just reinforces the stereotype?

Did you know? Boomerangs were originally used for hunting birds and small mammals!

boomerang in australia

What you should be buying: Aboriginal Art! Each work tells its own story and it’s completely personal to you, as the artist shares the story of the piece with you, so only you know the real meaning behind the art. You can get artwork from galleries, markets and communities, not only do you get an incredible piece of art to hang on your wall at home, you also get to help the local communities!

aboriginal art in australia


What you’re probably buying: CLOGS. We know that the wooden crafted shoes are a trademark of the Dutch culture, but how many keyrings with miniature versions can you possibly want? And if you’re buying the full size version that you can wear on your feet, well, we’ll leave your relatives to judge you for that.

Did you know? Clogs were traditionally worn as protective footwear for farmers and in mines!

clogs from the netherlands

What you should be buying: If you’re in Holland you simply have to pay a visit to Keukenhof gardens, which is quite possibly the most beautiful spring garden in the entire world. With around 7 million tulips, hyacinths and daffodils, it’s the perfect place to see those iconic tulips!

If you can’t get enough of them, you may want to purchase some flower bulbs from the market, so you can plant them in your own garden and relieve the memories at home!

Keukenhof gardens in Holland


What you’re probably buying: Snow globes with a little red London phone box in, various memorabilia of the royal family… Tea towels with union jacks on… Are among some of the typical, incredibly dull souvenir choices. But at the end of the day, who really wants a plate with her majesty on it?!

royal family souvenir from london

What you should be buying: TEA OF COURSE. What better souvenir to have than their greatest tradition? If you’re feeling fancy, go to Harrods where you can get luxury tea in a pretty box. OR if you don’t have the cash to splash, stock up on blends from quirky cafes so you can sip away at home and think of your trip. If you really must buy something with a union jack on it, why not buy a tea pot for your English afternoon tea instead?

english tea in london


What you’re probably buying: Sombreros… By the bucket load. Worn by the locals who frequently live and work in the sun, they’ve become a much loved tourist purchase. But they’re not exactly practical once you get home are they? Sure you can hang them on your wall, but you’re hardly going to plan an entire outfit around a sombrero are you? We didn’t think so.

sombrero from mexico

What you should be buying: Textiles! Mexico is well known for their traditional hand crafted items that are not only woven with the eye-catching colours, they’re also great quality! Get yourself a shirt or a shawl to give yourself a splash of colour, or pick up a new rug to liven up the living room!

textiles in mexico

So now you know what souvenirs you should refrain from buying whilst on holiday! What do you think? Do you love the cheesy souvenirs you pick up at tourist shops? Or do you want something a little different that you can treasure for years to come? What’s the best or worst souvenir you’ve ever received? Let us know in the comments!

Bulletin Editor

Editor and Creative Copywriter of Cruise.co.uk's bulletin blog, bringing you cruise news, tips and guides daily! - Contact: [email protected]

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