Let’s be honest. While traveling is such an amazing opportunity in itself, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to bring home things from your trip. To some people, shopping abroad means a chance to buy cool clothes or shoes that aren’t available in their home country. For others, it might mean grabbing a few souvenirs or local treats for yourself or friends and family.


No matter what you think might interest you, actually deciding on what’s a good thing to buy for yourself is a hard choice. What’s a good price? What will last you a long time? What’s worth it? If you’re buying a gift for someone, will they like it? Will it fit in your bag? And, most importantly, will it be something that reminds you of the place you’ve visited?


These tips can help.


Foods or Candy


Having trouble finding a gift for yourself or your loved ones? There’s really no easier and more delicious gift than foods or candy from the country that you’re traveling in. Whether it’s chocolate truffles, cheese samples (that will stay good until you get home), or local coffee, it’s a small gift that goes a long way.



Artisan Crafts


Sure, you can walk into any souvenir shop and buy a shot glass or a magnet with the name of the city written on it, but it’s not really helping out the local economy and it’s not really original. If you want something nice to remember from your European travels, then visit a local crafts market, ceramics village, or even a Christmas market depending on the season. There, you can find something original that you’ll hopefully have for a long time.


Postcards, Paintings, or Photographs


Even if you’re not sending the postcards you see on the street corners, they are so awesome to collect. It’s a great way to remember your favorite sites from travels.  You can also buy one for each day you’re there, or each week you’re in a new city. Then, on each one, write down your favorite memory from that place. Later, when you go home, you can make it into a scrapbook.


If postcards aren’t really your thing, there are plenty of stores and markets that will sell paintings or photographs that would be a great take-home treasure from your trip.




Antiques don’t always need to be expensive or huge. In fact, some can be very small, unique, and actually, quite inexpensive. Last time I went traveling with my friend, she went to a local market that sold little knick-knacks, like old keys, coins, stamps, and other things. These made great gifts for her friends back home. They may be kind of out of the ordinary, but they’re cool!





If you’re a book-lover, then traveling in Europe on a tour is pretty much a gift from the heavens. In many of the major cities, you can find book markets, book stores, and second-hand book sellers spread out all over. Whether you’re looking for an English book or some kind of literary collector’s item, you can’t go wrong. It makes a wonderful souvenir for yourself but also a great gift for others.


What’s Cool?


There are many different kind of things you can buy while traveling in Europe. But, sometimes, you just need to do what feels right and what sounds right:


“Oh, I bought this bag in Paris.”


“Those chocolate are from Switzerland.”


“I got those shoes from Holland.”


What’s cool to buy in the places you’re visiting? If one item is kind of the ‘thing’ to buy, then go for it! Otherwise, these ideas should do the trick!


Hana LaRock is originally from New York, though has called other places around the world her home for the last two years. She currently lives in Mexico and freelance travel writer. When she’s not working, she enjoys writing, reading, spending time with her dog, and of course, traveling. You can find her at www.hanalarockwriting.com.