We travel light on most of our trips – a combination of an effort to live more minimally and that we’re too cheap to pay for checked luggage on European discount airlines. I used to find it quite difficult to limit myself to just one small carry on bag, but over the years I’ve gotten quite skilled. As a matter of fact, for our four-day honeymoon in Tallinn we shared just one small carry on suitcase! I think that’s pretty impressive, even if I do say so myself!
The one aspect of minimalist packing that I do still find difficult is the lack of shopping space! I love poking around craft shops and markets to see all the beautiful and unique local wares. Grocery stores are a particular favourite for finding inexpensive souvenirs, as well as being a great place to become acquainted with the actual food and culture of a city or country. The problem is however, that not only does one have limited space with carry on packing, but any liquids have to be under 100ml to comply with airport security. Well, that’s wine out then!
Inexpensive, small, and unlikely to get you in any trouble with customs control, patches are the perfect souvenir. I collect one from every country we visit and then sew them all onto my backpack (sometimes years later) when we get home. It’s a bit labour intensive, but they really are a great reminder of all the places we’ve been.
Not only that, but they also guarantee that my backpack can’t be mistaken for anyone elses when it comes along the luggage carousel (on those few trips that I don’t have to limit myself). A great souvenir and functional. It’s a win, win!
Do you have a favourite souvenir that you collect when you travel?
I love sew-on patches too, and have a huge collection from my travels. I just haven’t found the right thing to stitch them to yet.
We gotta start doing this. We’ve been keeping stickers but patches will last longer.