Souvenir buying seems mandatory for anyone who's taking a trip. However, not everyone has a good eye for purchasing the best travel memento. Billions of dollars are being wasted on travel souvenirs that will be most likely discarded, according to CNN.
Below are some tips to ensure you score travel souvenirs that are worthy and memorable:
1) Go beyond postcards, refrigerator magnets, snow globes and the "All I got was this shirt" shirts.
Trivial travel keepsakes are fine, but don't limit your souvenir shopping with these items only. You will want to have something that's a memorable collectible to mark your vacation. Perhaps this is the best time to give in to impulse purchases. You might actually score a real treasure.
2) Explore unusual shopping destinations.
You're traveling to a place you've never been to before, so you might as well be adventurous. Check out local neighborhoods and smaller stores for potential useful treasures.
"My passion is not for objects designed for foreigners - I avoid tourist shops. Instead, I take great pleasure selecting everyday local items that can be put to traditional or new uses back home," wrote Forbes' Deborah L. Jacobs.
3) Befriend the locals.
How else will you know where to score good deals? Talk to hotel staff members, waiters or your taxi drivers for some ideas. Locals can provide the best intel on what you might be looking for.
4) Pick small, practical items if you're giving these as gifts.
It's easier to transport and carry small souvenir items in your luggage. However, don't grab generic things like key chains. A batch of toiletries will be useful for many people, or pick out something that's either wearable or useful in the kitchen or office desk, according to Vagabondish.
5) Allow yourself to splurge.
This could be the one and only time you'll get to visit such an exciting place, and while you might not have to blow your life savings for a souvenir, allow yourself to splurge on a gorgeous tapestry or quilt you saw at a local vintage store.
If it's not generic, or not available where you live and if you can find a spot for it at your house, or if it will make you happy having it, then go for it, according to Cultural Travel Guide.