Souvenir Savvy

People spend a lot of money on souvenir purchases that fill their travel bags and their bookshelves as soon as they are unpacked at home. It is hard to resist the urge for knick knacks that will just add clutter! The good news is that it’s easy to improve your souvenir-buying savvy! Here are 7 ideas:

  • Furniture and Home Decor. Think of how the treasures from your adventure would add to the charm in your home. By remembering the places you saw, sat and stayed, you can bring that feeling with you and incorporate unique pieces into your decoration.
  • Local Art. From its history to its landscape, art is a special way that a culture can express itself. Shop local art displays, grand and roadside, and you’ll be surprised at what you find.
  • Handmade Clothing. This is a lightweight and an easily-packed way to pay homage to those who made a destination come alive on your vacation.
  • Curiosities. Find something that you would see at home? Pick it up. Pieces like this create interest and help tell the story of your experience.
  • Children’s Toys. For the a child or grandchild in your life, toys are always a winner. Even simple trinkets that spark imagination, along with your story of adventure, will be sure to please.
  • Packaged Foods. Don’t forget the power of the sense of taste! Take a box of delicacies with you and you’ll delight in how one bite unlocks the little moments that meant so much.
  • Found keepsakes. Oftentimes, what will mean the most to you is something with little monetary value, but it is rich with sentiment. You’ll know this souvenir when you see it.

Another helpful tidbit…tie the souvenir to your vacation location. The items might include national colors or depictions of a famous icon or be made of well-known items endemic to the locale. With some things you find and buy, specifically fresh fruit or meat, check customs requirements on transporting across country boundaries.
With that, let’s talk about BOCAS DEL TORO SOUVENIRS! Maybe you have a favorite? We’d like to hear about it below! Our top three…drum roll please…are:

  1. Molas. Intricate, colorful fabric designed and worn by Panama’s indigenous Kuna Indian women. You’ll spend between $10-$40 dollars. These can be bought on street stands or small shops and come in many forms- a purse, pillow cover, wallet, framed art. Designs are unique to the maker and best of all, lightweight and packable.
  2. Tiny Frogs Toys. Who doesn’t love cute and colorful little things? These “smaller than a penny” frogs are seen mostly in Central America. They come in an array colors on the islands of Bocas.With the island named after them, who wouldn’t want a toy to remind them of their trip?
  3. Oreba, or chocolate in Panamanian, from the Chocolate Farm. Panama’s chocolate is known for being as good as the Swiss make! There are a few chocolate farms on Bocas. The chocolate nibs are always a favorite.

Whether it be for yourself or another, you’ll probably know the best souvenir when you see it. Go with your gut and remember….
DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO BUY YOUR SOUVENIRS…. Because neither you nor anybody else wants another key chain!
Have a favorite souvenir category that you turn to? Ever received a terrible souvenir? A great one? Please share your souvenir savvy (or not!) in the comments section.

Have a favorite souvenir category that you turn to? Ever received a terrible souvenir? A great one? Please share your souvenir savvy (or not!) in the comments section.

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