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5 hacks to score travel souvenirs without breaking the bank

The lifting of travel restrictions means this summer is sure to be packed with trips put on hold during the pandemic. As university students, we are constantly trying to find creative ways to make our money last longer — about the same time it took to release season 2 of Euphoria.

Unfortunately, our attempt to stretch the dollar hardly ever works out once you factor in the basic travelling expenses. Between the cost of a plane ticket, food expenses, and actually enjoying the trip, not much money remains for the heaps of souvenirs that we long to bring home.

Luckily for you, the mystery of how to find affordable souvenirs has been solved. No longer will you be duped into buying overpriced mugs or t-shirts with cheesy sayings; instead, you will have five new tricks up your sleeve to land unique keepsakes that won’t make your bank account weep.

1. Don’t ditch the tickets

Don’t say adiós to your tickets as soon as you leave the gates of your tourist attraction. Instead, try putting these nifty cards in a scrapbook or shadow box so you will constantly be reminded of the excursion when you see them.

2. Take advantage of your hotel

Your hotel shouldn’t just be a place where you come to rest your head. Try taking a look around and seeing what interesting trinkets lay there. Many hotels will have free maps, coupons, or even local magazines that make great visual reminders of your vacation.

3. Take a closer look at your guidebook

The guidebooks you collect while sightseeing is not just for showing you around; tons of beautiful pictures and fun facts often fill the pages. These booklets make an excellent source for homemade collages or as mementos to remind you of your trip.

4. Bigger is not always better

When shopping on a budget, it is essential to remember that you do not need to spend $50 to get a souvenir. Try popping into local stores and picking out a keychain or a postcard for just a fraction of the price.

5. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Who says bottle caps and food wrapping should be thrown out? They can make fantastic keepsakes that are unique to your destination. Many times, popular travel locations will have special versions of everyday items. Also, keeping the packaging of foods unique to the area you are visiting is a fantastic way to both eat like a local and save money on souvenirs.

While your post-pandemic travels are sure to be expensive, the cost of souvenirs does not have to stress you out. With these tricks in your pocket, you’re sure to have an amazing trip and unique souvenirs that won’t break the bank.

Jenna Legge

Carleton '24

Jenna Legge is a journalism and law double major student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism once she graduates. In her spare time, Jenna can be found swimming, spending time with her dogs, or traveling.