28th June 2018
Sick of wasting your money on gimmicky souvenirs every time you go overseas?
Rather than buying keychains and t-shirts, why not get something more original to commemorate your trip?
No matter which part of the world you’re planning to visit, unique souvenir ideas can be found in every country. The next time you set off on an international adventure, skip the typical touristy souvenir gifts in favour of these more authentic keepsakes.
Souvenir Idea #1: Camembert Cheese, France
No one does cheese quite like the French. If you’re looking for a souvenir that captures France’s foodie culture, why not bring a slice of it back to your loved ones? Camembert comes in compact little wheels, so it’s easy to stash in your luggage.
This type of cheese can last up to 8 weeks without refrigeration, but only if it’s left unopened. Avoid breaking the seal on your camembert unless you want your entire suitcase to stink like cheese.
Customs might say sacré bleu at the sight of your camembert, so be sure to declare it on your way back into the country.
Souvenir Idea #2: Gin, New York City
As one of the biggest and most diverse cities in the world, New York is a goldmine of unique souvenir ideas (don’t even think about buying one of those ‘I <3 New York’ t-shirts). To avoid getting overwhelmed when gift shopping in the Big Apple, keep an eye out for souvenirs that signify the city’s vibrant charm.
Buying for someone who enjoys the occasional drink? Grab your Currency Pass and head to Brooklyn - home of some of the finest gin distilleries in the world, several of which have been around since the days of prohibition. The lucky recipient of this souvenir will get to feel like a Brooklyn hipster.
Brooklyn Gin, The New York Distilling Company and Greenhook Gin are some of Brooklyn’s best distilleries.
Souvenir Idea #3: Sensu, Japan
A Sensu is a traditional Japanese fan crafted out of thin wooden slats, thin paper, and silk cords. Adorned with pretty patterns or depictions of famous artworks, they’ve been a part of Japanese culture for over a thousand years. You can often buy these from local markets, so ensure you have yen on hand to secure the perfect fan!
Whether they end up using their Sensu to beat the heat or purely for decoration, your family is sure to appreciate this authentically Japanese gift.
You can get Sensus that are small enough to fit inside a handbag, and large, ornamental ones for hanging on walls.
Souvenir Idea #4: Arabic Attars, Dubai
Attars are a type of perfume used by both men and women throughout Dubai. They’re infused with essential oils derived from plants, and will make your family smell like Arabian royalty.
You’ll find plenty of attars for sale in Dubai’s Old City, with a huge range of scents to choose from.
Some attars come in beautifully decorative but fragile bottles, so be sure to pack them carefully in your suitcase.
Souvenir Idea #5: Kopi Luwak Coffee, Bali
The perfect souvenir gift for a coffee connoisseur, kopi luwak is a famous Balinese delicacy. It’s made out of partly digested coffee berries eaten by the Asian palm civet (the civet is kind of like a cross between a cat and a possum). Like many destinations in South East Asia, cash is king. Don't forget to have some small denominations of rupiah on hand for ease of use at markets.
Drinking coffee derived from animal poo might sound kind of gross, but if your family can get past that minor detail, they’re in for a treat. With its strong, smooth flavour, kopi luwak is downright delicious.
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