Creative Ideas for Your Travel Souvenirs

I firmly believe memories are sacred and deserve to be out in the open, not tucked away in a corner. Here are some tips for doing that.

7.29.2021

We all have that top shelf in the closet which holds boxes of “memories.” Or maybe they are under your bed. Either way, these boxes hold precious memories of seasons past. We fondly look at them each time we move. Unless there’s a move, though they may not get much attention.

I firmly believe memories are sacred and deserve to be out in the open, not tucked away in a corner. Here are some tips for doing that. They can apply to anything. In this article, though, we’re going to look specifically at travel memories.

First Things First: What to Keep

Get rid of items that don’t age well. Those candies you were saving for a special occasion need to go. This applies to any snacks, coffee, drinks etc. If it’s meant to be consumed, consume it or toss it.

Another category is trash. If you would normally throw it away in your home country, you should probably throw it away even if it is from someplace special. An important principle: you do not have to keep the item to keep the memory. That dingy napkin from the cafe where you had a cool conversation can be tossed. Find a journal and write down the memory instead. That’s a much more meaningful keepsake. Any everyday receipts fall into this category too. If you're keen to hold onto it, jot down the significance on the back.

You do not have to keep the item to keep the memory... if you don’t know why you have it, trash it.

Clothing is often sentimental. Wear it and enjoy it. If it’s very worn and lived its best life (I’m talking about stains, holes, fading), go ahead and part ways. You’ll be better off. If you’ve outgrown it, give it away to someone else who will appreciate it. If you thought you’d wear it more (I’m looking at you, sarongs!), but you still love the item, hold on to it. We’ll have a way to use it later.

Lastly, an overall principle: if you don’t know why you have it, trash it.

Travel Shadow Box

multiple examples of travel shadow boxes

If you have a lot of odds and ends from your trip, a shadow box is a great option! You can put those tickets, currency, maps, and small keepsakes on display in a creative way. It’s almost like doing 4D scrapbooking. Make your memories a travel art piece that becomes a conversation for you and your guests. Megan has a great tutorial on how to achieve this look.

Create a Gallery

Photo gallery wall

Promote the photos from the box to the wall! Create a travel-specific gallery area where you can often remember and reflect on your time. If your photos are still only on your phone or computer, this is a perfect excuse to print them out. Personalize your home with one-of-a-kind experiences and memories. Check out more gallery inspiration.

Customize Pillows

colorful pillows

Remember those clothing items we talked about earlier? Repurpose the fabric for household items. Lay them across hallway tables or dressers for flair, or even hang them on the wall! My favorite is creating unique statement pillow covers. If you’re handy with a sewing machine or needle, this is super easy and fun. Here’s a quick tutorial to get you started.

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