While travelling, we often question ourselves what to buy for those loved ones back home, especially those that make them know you thought of them during your journey. However, with the limitation of luggage weight and the tight budget may cause restriction when it comes to buying souvenirs and sometimes even create a burden for you.
I don’t know about you, but to me, when it comes to gifts, any kind, I value the thoughts and the sincerity you put in it. I love that Y5 coin from a Japanese friend because of its meaning: Go-en, the pronunciation of this coin sound similar to the phrase “fortune to meet” in Japanese. Also, with a hole in the middle you can wear it as a necklace or bracelet. How thoughtful!
So, let use this humble guide for meaningful souvenir ideas, that work almost everywhere you go in Asia to avoid the boring keychains (unless your friends specify this), excessive snack bags or some random iconic decoration items.
Each country has their unique dish and you can always buy the packed spices come with instructions for special dishes that you loved there. You can either get some and cook for your friends when you back or distribute to among them. You bring back the tastes you experienced, you share the gathering moment with friends and family while telling them about your adventures. And of course, you all learn to cook a new dish, can any gifts be better?
Silk fabric, brocade fabric products
Travelling in Asia, you find that in almost everywhere you can get affordable silk or brocade products: range from clothes, bags, shoes to decorations. The price of these materials in Asia is always much cheaper as compared to those you get in the West.
Homemade herbal balm
You know what Asians love, the medical balm or oil. You know that friend of you that usually get muscle cramps or your grandma just loves the smell of herbs when she catches a cold? Get them this. You may also simply give them to your friends, they will surely enjoy a massage with the thoughtful gift.
These come with the incredibly cheap price and various in style. From bracelet, rings, earrings to necklace or hair wear, you can easily grab a couple of small pieces. It might not be as fancy as real jewels yet are unique to give to those back home.
Currency notes and coins
No worry about buying anything, just keep the notes or coins from the places to you have been to but to make them more special and stylish, get a frame when you are back, arrange those pieces randomly, put your friend’s name at the corner with your well-wishes. Tada, a decoration for their bedroom or living room.
Map with highlighted spot you went and a postcard of each place
Another classic idea yet creative one. Give a map of the country you went to, highlighted the places you visited and attached a postcard (from your own photos are fine too) to each place. Your loved ones will feel special and inspired from this gift.
Finally, always remember, souvenirs are a way to share your experiences with someone back home while you are travelling. So do not make it a burden, you know your loved ones still love you even if you come back with just stories to tell and photographs to show. After all, love does not always come with items, but rather the way you show and prove them.
June explores different roles to find out what is her passion. She used to be a travel consultant, a Kindergarden English teacher, an Expedia’s Lodging Partner Support agent, and the latest is being a freelancer. Eventually, she figures that her passion is to express the hospitality spirit from her heart and inspire others from her works. Being a writer for LadyRedot, where she get inspired and inspire others, and running her own bed and breakfast in her homeland. She views life as a colorful and adventurous journey, join her as she shares her passion with you! You can reach out to her @ LinkedIn.