Last-minute Gift Ideas to Bring Back From your Travels. That was a time when I used to buy lots of souvenirs when travelling. From fridge magnets to toys, you can end up spending quite a lot of money on useless souvenirs. I blame it on the fact we are more relaxed during our holidays. We shop more, we spend more, we drink more, and so on.
Even though, I still buy things when I travel. Most of them are presents or meaningful items for my home. That’s when I think last-minute travel souvenir comes handful.
Besides, they are perfect last-minute gift ideas and a thoughtful way to share your adventures with loved ones without much planning or advance notice.
It’s important to make sure you bring back meaningful and cherished souvenirs. So, it is always better to consider planning your shopping ahead of time, but also remain open to spontaneous discoveries during your journey.
But if you are a traveller who has not had the time to shop for souvenirs earlier in their journey, especially if they had a packed itinerary or were focused on other activities. Here are some ideas to save time, pocket, and peace of mind:
I don’t think I need to remind you of the importance of helping local communities thrive when you are visiting a new holiday destination. This is the kind of souvenir that I refer to buying nowadays. Something that will be meaningful not only for me but also for the people who produced it.
For this reason, I do recommend you bring back local delicacies, such as chocolates, spices, or snacks, that are unique to the region you visited. These are often easy to find and transport.
Local souvenirs offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of the destination. Who doesn’t like trying a new different type of food? I do. Well, I know lots of travellers who will stick to eating fish and chips everywhere they go, but, please, don’t be this person.
I love looking for locally crafted items like pottery, jewellery, or textiles. Handmade souvenirs have a personal touch and are often easy to find in markets and shops.
Food is a powerful expression of a region’s history, traditions, and way of life. Trying local treats allows you to connect with the local culture and its people.
It’s the perfect opportunity to buy souvenirs from local markets that are commonly found in some European cities. You can also go for clothing pieces, for example. Why not choose gifts for all whole friends and family there? After all, there will be always a special occasion to gift your loved ones.
You can always find something like teacher t shirts, teacher bag, geeks t shirt, geek shirt, family christmas shirts, christmas shirts for family or any special person in your life that deserves a nice treat.
Not to mention that souvenir t-shirts are readily available in many tourist spots and can be fun and light-hearted gifts.
Artisan pieces are another must-go. They are unique indeed. In some regions, hand-painted tiles can be a beautiful and memorable gift that can serve as both decor and a keepsake.
In some destinations, you can find small cultural masks or artefacts that represent the local culture. This is something that will be on my list for my next travel destination. I have a wall at home exclusively saved for this kind of souvenir.
I have bought so many tablecloths and tea towels during my travels to give to my mom. Nowadays, she has a collection of ones coming from Croatia, Hungary, Portugal and so on.
Small Local Books
Here is something that always fascinated me – books. And I have been buying books in different travel destinations for years now. I always bring something from Brazil, for example.
But I have been to iconic bookshops in New York, Porto, and Hay on Wye, and brought much more than memories from these places. Not to mention that it is always amazing to read books that come from different places.
I would highly recommend you look for small local books or cookbooks that introduce your destination’s culture, history, or recipes.
I do have a collection of books from Brazilian chefs, and every time I cook something from there, it brings me back to my travel destinations and the different flavours that I find in them.
You can also find local art prints or illustrations that capture the spirit of your destination in some of those shops. They can be framed as wall décor, and they are certainly a lovely gift to a special person too.
Herbal Teas or Aromatherapy
I have a special bond with smells and fragrances. They help me keep memories of experiences in life. The special occasions and places that I lived in. It’s a quite strong bond. So, yes, perfumes, food, fragrances, and all kinds of smells will be part of any travel memories to me.
It’s quite common for me to bring back unique teas, spices, or herbs from my travels. These are not only delicious but also a little exotic and thoughtful.
It applies the same to local scented candles often come in unique fragrances, making them a delightful and practical gift.
The sea salt ones remind me of Cornwall and it was during a stay on the Cornish coast that I bought for the first time a Wax Lyrical Sea salt and moss candle for the first time. The wood-cent ones remind me of Scotland, or places nearby mountains.
Another hit at home is incense or aromatherapy oils that can provide a sense of relaxation and tranquillity for your gift recipient.
Food and Drink
As you can expect, bringing candies, different types of food and spices is a must-do on my travel journeys too. And it is an excellent type of present for families and friends.
I usually take some British candies to my niece back in Brazil. And of course, I always bring back home some bottles of caipirinha I also brought some paprika from Budapest and wine from Portugal, liqueur from Bratislava.
You can literally know more about a country and its people through its cuisine. And if the person you want to gift appreciates spirits, bring back a bottle of local wine, liqueur, or liquor as a special gift.
Bringing back local cooking ingredients, like unique spices, sauces, or special olive oil, for a culinary adventure is always a way of revisiting your holiday destinations.
Remember that the thought and effort you put into selecting a gift, even if it’s a last-minute souvenir, can make it meaningful and cherished by your loved ones.