I know there are a lot of you collectors out there but I'm curious about what you guys actually collect when travelling?
This is one of those things where at least for me, early on in my travels, I decided to stick to one or two things that I knew I could universally find find in each town, city, or country. Everyone has their one thing. What is yours?
What's the one thing you buy in each city or country you visit?
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What to collect when travelling
Travelling is such a fleeting moment and you have to cherish every experience that you have. That's why we take photos, snap selfies, record videos, and share on social media.
Things that you collect while travelling is unquestionably inspiring and nostalgic.
Another great way to remember all of your adventures is to start a collection that you can add with every new place that you visit. The Travel Channel and HuffPost has a bunch of ideas to get you started but here are 3 main things that I collect when travelling.
For me it all started with magnets and as you can see my magnet collection has grown quite a bit. I can no longer fit them all on one side of the fridge so I've started to assimilate the other side of the fridge as well.
These are fun to collect because they're typically pretty easy to find and sometimes you can find really unique ones out there.
As with magnets, I started a trend of sending postcards to parents, friends, and myself.
I have a whole box of these collected and over the years I've tried to do something creative with these by combining it with maps and on magnet walls as well.
Postcards are something I started when I first started backpacking Europe but as I learned early on, they take a considerable amount of effort and dedication.
- It's a pain in the butt to find stamps sometimes.
- Same goes for finding a place to drop off the postcards although its usually a lot easier.
- I'm always crunched for time to write them and I'll usually just scribble something quick before I'm off to the next city.
- It's stressful to try to consistently buy postcards and stamps in every city and deciding who gets which ones.
That said, because it's been such a tradition I've continued to do this.
It's not something that I do to brag about our travels but more of a personal touch that tells family and friends that we think of them when we're on the road.
In a digital world, tactile souvenirs that come from snail mail is pretty cool still right?
To make things a little more interesting, I've recently started to collect country patches as well.
Hear me out. I was struggling with the pressure of finding things in each city so settling on something country-based more sense. Also, patches are things that you can easily find online if you missed one and the truth is, the patches you find sold country to country are all pretty generic.
Out of everything, this one has been the most rewarding. Over time, I've been able to see this collection grow as we've been going to more awesome places. Since this is placed on something that I actually travel with, you can see the fruits of your labour so-to-speak.
The only time I couldn't find a patch of a country was in Palau but I was easily able to find one here.
Frequently asked questions
Other ideas for what to collect include wine bottle cork, bottle caps, bracelets, books, t-shirts, maps, pins, coins, stamps, bills, and handmade ornaments.
Depending on how thorough you want to be, it really depends on how rapid you want your collection to grow and each carries pros and cons. At a city level, you will have to find a new collection piece frequently whereas at a country level, you won't have to do it as often.
Normally they're not hard to find but there are a bunch of things I've learned over the years. 1) Sometimes places that sell stamps don't sell them individually so you'll have to buy a large pack. 2) Stamps aren't cheap when sending internationally. 3) If you procrastinate, you'll often struggle to find it on the day you're actually looking for them. 4) Finding a mailbox can also be an adventure.
Currency is always the easiest because you will definitely need it when you travel and you always end up with leftovers. Just decide early on whether you want to collect coins or bills so you can be consistent.
Art in the form of wall art or unique standing figures are impressive and always make great statement pieces at home or conversation starters.
Here are a couple of ideas: hotel key cards, shells and sand from beaches, match boxes, rocks, pamphlets, bottle caps, wine cork, tickets, and maps.
Weight, cost, ease of transportation, flight restrictions, and how easy it is to find in every destination you go. You want to be broad enough that it's available everywhere.
At home, display your collection on a shelf, as a collage, in a frame, pinned to a cork board, sewed to an object (i.e. backpack or bag), or as a magnet on a metal surface.
How about you?
So how about you? What do you collect? I'd love to hear from you! Do you collect magnets, pins, patches, flags, dolls, or spoons? Leave your comments below!