You’re overseas, having the time of your life, taking photos in front of iconic buildings you’d only ever dreamed of. Life is great and your Instagram account has never been so popular!
You have to go home soon, but you want the memories to last forever, so off you trot to buy a few meaningful souvenirs… this is where things could become dangerously basic.
Here are 8 cliché souvenirs to avoid:
1. I ♥ ____ tops
Please stop buying those ♥ tops/jumpers/hats etc. You know, like the I ♥NY ones. Even if you’re just buying a t-shirt with the intention of wearing it to bed. I mean, that just shows that you don’t ♥ said destination that much at all – you’re not even wearing it out in public. Save the money and spend it at Zara. I do ♥ Zara.
2. Traditional cultural clothing
Speaking of clothing, you don’t need that Mexican sombrero, nor do you need those wooden clogs from The Netherlands. If you really want to buy that traditional Vietnamese dress, I’m not going to stop you, but I’d love to know how many times you actually wear that back in your home country.
3. Key rings
How many keys do you have? Please count these prior to travelling. I’d allow you to buy up to 3 for personal use. Anymore and you’re on a slippery, slope to CHD (Compulsive Hoarding Disorder). Key rings – a real gateway to drowning in junk.
4. Shot glasses
Who do you think you are, Pitbull? Please.
No normal person needs a collection of shot glasses. Who take’s shots at their own house? I just can’t think of an occasion, where I’d ever need to break out a collection of mismatched shot glasses so all my friends could take a shot in my house. Seems very unlikely and tacky. Not to mention the impracticality of carrying shot glasses around in your luggage.
5. Official tour group t-shirts
You’ve had the time of your life, cruising around Europe on tour with a bunch of strangers, who you now call your ‘family’. Your tour ends soon, but you want the fun to go on, and these memories to last forever. So you buy the official souvenir hoody, with the names of all your ‘crew’ printed on the back.
This might seem like a great idea at the time, but it’s not. That jumper won’t do anything back home for your street cred, and it’s also really ugly. Soz.
6. Hair braids
Ok, so you went to Bali and had a bit of an ‘Eat, Pray, Love moment’, and decided you just had to get a braid in your hair, because ‘What’s beauty anyway? It’s so commercialised these days, time to break the trend and do what you want to do…’
BS. You went to Bali and got drunk on the beach with a bunch of other foreigners. Own it, and take that dirty braid out of your hair.
7. Inspirational travel tattoos
You know the ones… ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ tattooed on the arch of your foot, ‘Carpe Diem’ tattooed on your wrist, or a compass tattooed on your ankle…
They are today’s version of butterflies on pelvic bones, stars behind ears and tiny bird tattoos anywhere.
Your body is not a Pinterest board.
8. Starbucks collectors mugs
Firstly, you’re in another country, why are you going to Starbucks? So you can snap a pic of your name on a paper cup and tag #dailycortado? That’s not even a cortado you’re drinking. So just don’t.
Secondly that Starbucks collectors mug is made in China, and you’re not in China… and do you really want to be known as a ‘Starbucks Collector’?