Holidaymakers warned 'don't do it' as common travel habit is 'waste of money'

Woman packing suitcase
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When you're on holiday somewhere new and exciting, you really want the memories to last long after you get back - and you also want your friends and family to know you've been thinking of them.

Because of this, it can be tempting to raid your local souvenir shop and pick up a handful of cheap trinkets such as keyrings, ornament or shot glasses from your chosen destination.

But a gifting expert has warned that this might not be a good idea, as more often than not, these just end up collecting dust, creating waste and leaving you out of pocket as well.

Jessie Sampson from Hurley Burley is keen to help people create memories that last until long after you return from your holiday - and so she's created a 'no-buy' list that you should try and steer clear from when picking up souvenirs on your trip.

However, there are certain mementos you can buy that are likely to stand the test of time much quicker as they mean a lot more and are unlikely to be discarded when you get back - and she's offered suggestions for these too.

Holiday souvenirs to avoid


Jessie said: "Those souvenir keychains with jangling bells and miniature landmarks? They might look cute at first, but trust me, the novelty wears thin faster than a flip phone battery. Instead, consider collecting something that sparks conversation.

"Maybe a local board game teaches you the rules of a different culture, or a quirky, hand-painted sign with a funny saying becomes a talking point every time you see it. Choose souvenirs that ignite curiosity and connection, not just noise pollution on your keychain."

The 'I was here' T-shirt

It can be tempting to pick up one of these from the souvenir shop, especially if you've been somewhere exciting and want people to know about it.

But Jessie says these 'generic' T-shirts often end up just stuffed in a drawer unworn, so instead, you could try to pick up clothing that reflects the unique style of your destination.


These can seem like a great idea at the time, but it's likely you'll regret this when trying to pack the large and bulky item away in your case at the end of your holiday - not to mention trying to find a place to put it at home.

Jessie said: "Sure, they're fun to shake in the shop, but imagine lugging that home and finding a place to display it. Think lightweight, packable keepsakes that won't dominate your living space."

Cheap trinkets

The excitement of being somewhere new can make it really easy to go overboard in the souvenir shop and pick up mass-produced trinkets, but unless you're actually going to use them, it's wise to leave them on the shelf.

Jessie commented: "These often end up broken or discarded quickly. Look for souvenirs made with love and care by local artisans. They'll be better quality, more interesting, and support the local economy."

The 'just in case' gifts

The last-minute rush to buy souvenirs at the end of a holiday is something many of us will have experienced, as there's sometimes a certain 'obligation' felt.

Instead, by putting some extra thought into your shopping, you can treat your loved ones to gifts that won't just end up getting discarded or forgotten about.

Jessie recommended: "Did your friend love the street food? Find them a cookbook with local recipes. Is your mum obsessed with scarves? Look for a handwoven one in a style specific to the region you visited. Souvenirs that cater to individual interests show you put thought into them, making them much more cherished.”

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