top of page

30 Travel Tracking And Souvenir Ideas (Common and Creative)

Updated: Mar 23


Vintage Globe

When it comes to travel, almost everyone makes at least one goal, whether they write it down or just mentally jot down some places they're interested in visiting. Extremists (like myself) create bucket lists: reach all 50 U.S. states, visit as many countries as possible, visit every continent, go to all of the national parks in a country, climb the 14ers in a certain area, visit all of the Disney World locations ... and the list goes on.


But for most of us, it can be hard to reach these travel goals because of issues like a lack of time and a lack of money. For this reason, it's important to celebrate when you do reach a destination or your overall objective. It's why we collect souvenirs.


That said, the "souvenirs" that people value vary. Some experience that celebratory feeling just by pinning a new destination on their wall map, while others want to buy an item in the place they visited. Some like practical objects, while others want more meaning to go into their collectibles.


So, what souvenir or tracking concept is best for you? It's time to think about your travel goals and use the lists in this post to find out.


What You'll Find In This Post:

 

Pin this post for later!

Pinterest Pin Souvenir Ideas

 

Travel Magnets

General Collectibles

The listings in this section might seem cliché, but there's a reason these souvenirs are so popular! Not only can you find them at pretty much any tourist site, in every country, in every national park, etc., but they're also usually reasonably priced and most are suitable for kids.


T-SHIRTS

For those of you who only like to buy things you can use, this is one of the best souvenir solutions. For those of you who like T-shirts but would rather be a little more creative, consider turning the shirts into a T-shirt quilt. This allows you to incorporate the logos of the places you've been to in a creative way. When you snuggle with it, you'll be reminded of the memories. My cousin actually had a bunch of Hard Rock Café T-shirts because she was trying to visit them all, and she turned them into a colorful and beautiful quilt!


HATS (BEANIES and BASEBALL CAPS)

Another apparel item, hats (from beanies to ball caps) are a great idea if you wear them a lot. People love reading the logo or words on the front, so they can be good conversation starters or talking points. This will also give you a variety of hat options for your daily outfits. Just be sure you have a big enough closet to store them.


Travel mug with Australia on it

COFFEE MUGS/SHOT GLASSES

I know many many people who love this trend! Usually, they're big coffee drinkers or have a bar area in their house. I also like this suggestion because it's not as normal as some of the other collectibles, and this drinkware can have really cool designs on them. That said, be sure you have a place to store the mugs or glasses before starting your collection because they can take up a lot of space!


Coasters

For those of you who use coasters in your home, it might be exciting to learn that most travel destinations sell location-specific coasters in their gift shops. While some are made of wood or cork, others are marble or ceramic. They'll be adorned with a popular building, nature scene, or activity from the place you've visited. And if you don't like the designs at the tourist stops, consider looking on Etsy or even get creative and make one yourself after each trip.


Coasters can be a fun way for guests to see where you've been. Perhaps as you host, you can even invite them to sift through the coasters and pick their favorite to use for the evening.


KEYCHAINS, MAGNETS, STICKERS

All of these objects are really cheap choices that can be found everywhere. The key is finding fun ways to display them. Magnets can obviously be used on the fridge to hold invitations, cards, etc., or you could also consider getting a magnetic board for your office or bedroom and displaying them there.


Stickers can be added to a laptop, a car, or on hard luggage. I've even heard of people being creative and sticking them on, for example, a vintage door that they prop up somewhere in their house. Keychains can be stored on a rotating jewelry stand or hung on a corkboard. Of course, if you don't care about displaying them, you can keep them in a special box just for you.


Travel snow globe souvenirs

SNOW GLOBES

Originally I wanted to collect music boxes when I went to a new country, and many of them were also snow globes. However, I quickly discovered that finding music box snow globes is challenging when traveling. So now I simply collect snow globes.


What I love about this idea, though, is that the globes are cheap and you can find a fun design that matches your experience in the country. For example, my Jamaica snow globe has a turtle as its base with a palm tree inside. I went there for my honeymoon, and we mostly lay on the beach, so this was perfect. Or, as another example, when I went to Canada, the main event was skiing (and it was my first time), so I found a globe with a ski lift inside.


CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

My husband and I recently started buying a Christmas ornament at every place we visit together because ornaments can be used, and it might be fun for our kids to see them on the tree and ask about the places we've been. They don't have to be Christmas-related ornaments either! In fact, I think it's a better to simply find an ornament that reminds you of the location you visited.


Holy Cow Canvas Map with pins

Map and Globe Ideas

For some people, tracking their travels is a souvenir in and of itself. They love the feeling that they get when they're able to check off another destination. And maps and globes are one of the most popular ways to do this. So, let's talk about what kind of maps and globes there are out there to buy.


PUSH PINS

Maps or globes that use push pins are probably my favorite type. I like that the pins provide more of a 3D effect and allow you to pinpoint more exact places that you've been to like popular cities or islands, etc. rather than just countries.


Usually, the maps are made of canvas or foam core. However, wooden maps have become more of a craze for big travelers lately. Basically, you'll get 3D wooden pieces that form a world map. (You'll have to put them up yourself, so be prepared to measure and be detail-oriented.) The main downside of wooden maps is that they're pretty expensive.


My canvas push-pin map is from Holy Cow Canvas, and I love it! If you go through the company's website and find something you like too, use my code (KARLEE11) for 11% off your purchase.


SCRATCH-OFFS

Scratch-off maps can be really beautiful and colorful, and they're fairly cheap. Plus, the act of scratching off the top coat of whatever country or state you've been to is fun. They are messy, though, so keep that in mind. But if that doesn't bother you, and you find a scratch-off map that you really like, then go for it!


MAGNETS

Magnetic maps can be an interactive activity for families or a solution for those who don't like poking holes into their maps. They are made of metal or have metal in them, which allows the magnetic pieces to stick. The benefit of a magnetic map is that the pinned locations aren't permanent, so they're conducive to goal setting. For example, you could use blue magnets for the places you've already been to and green magnets for the places you want to go to in the current year. Then when you visit them, you can change the magnet from green to blue.


PHOTO COLLAGE

There are maps that allow you to add a photo of yourself at the destination or of the destination itself. Many of these are just for the United States; however, there are world maps too. You can get one with a frame to put the photos in or one that uses photo stickers.


APPS

Apps can document your travels too! Many apps will track where you've been on a digital map and also allow you to plan trips or save photos in each destination's album. Some cost money, and others are free. So, check out several before deciding which app fits your goals and personality best.


Some of these apps are also just fun and practical to have. For example, although I own a push pin map, I also downloaded a free app because I like that it tells me the number of how many states and countries I've been to so I don't have to count the push pins in my map. (By the way, the app is called been.)


Travel postcards

Ideas For Capturing Memorable Moments

Many of the above items are all just based on the location you're traveling to, but what if you would rather remember more details about your trip than just buy a souvenir? This section will help you brainstorm ways to capture special moments while you're at the destination as well as showcase those memories when you get home.


SCRAPBOOK or PHOTOBOOK

Taking photos on your trip can make for some wonderful memories later on, and you want to be able to enjoy them in a fun way. So, create a scrapbook or photobook. Photobooks can be made very quickly using templates if that's what you prefer, or you can customize it to be exactly what you want. Scrapbooks are a more creative activity, perfect if you like crafts or have kids that enjoy being crafty.


Whether you go for a photobook or scrapbook, both of them allow you to add not only photos but words as well. You can talk about the memory that the photo shows, include the location and date you were at the destination, etc.


POSTCARDS

Find a meaningful postcard at your destination, write about your favorite part of the vacation and then send it to yourself. This will help keep the trip alive for a little bit longer because after you return home and get back to normal life, you'll find your postcard in the mail. From there, you can store your postcards and get them out when you want to reminisce, tack them on a board for all to see, create some wall art or hang them on some string such as how photos are often displayed.


Travel journaling

TRAVEL JOURNAL

Journaling is a great idea for those who are embarking on a long trip or are on a self-discovery trip. For example, when I studied abroad in Australia, I journaled as much as possible. Years later, this notebook has allowed me to remember all of the fun times, weird times and hard times and how I felt during that adventure. Of course, you can journal on short trips as well if you have the time.


BLOGGING or VLOGGING

Another type of journaling, blogging and/or vlogging are perfect for those who enjoy writing for others or making videos. They could even allow you to make some money if your blog becomes popular or you place your videos on YouTube. Just be sure to blog or vlog for you and not necessarily others. This is the way that you're keeping track of your travel goals and adventurous memories after all.


Pressed Penny Silver Dollar City

Kid-Specific Ideas

While many of the souvenirs above can be great options for families, here are a few more that your kids might really enjoy because they involve more of an interactive aspect.


ADVENTURE BOOKLETS/PASSPORT BOOKS

There are a variety of travel booklets for children on Amazon and other sites. Some of them are United States-specific, and others are for global destinations. Many of these booklets include prompts for the kids, stickers, facts about the destinations, illustrations for coloring, fun pictures that tell them more about the destination, etc.


There are also passports for kids that you can buy. Most include stickers that children can add after they've visited the place, but you can also buy stampers if you prefer to stamp the passports.


PRESSED PENNIES

I remember loving pressed pennies as a kid and recently saw a post from a friend on Facebook about her children collecting them. It's a great idea for families, especially if they live in the U.S. because most tourist places in the U.S. have penny-pressing machines.


You can also display them in a fun way. For example, my friend has 3D letters for the names of her children that are empty inside and clear in the front. They've been putting their pressed pennies in them, and one day they might just fill the whole letter! I've also seen pressed penny holders on Etsy for those who want to be able to see the designs on the pennies more clearly.


STATE QUARTERS FOLDER

Another coin-related option, collecting state quarters was something I loved as a child. You can buy thick "folders" that have a map inside with holes where the quarters should go. So not only is it fun to find each state's quarter, but after your children have visited the state, then they can add that quarter to the map until they make it to every state. (Here's an example of this map folder on Amazon.)


Passport with stamps

Foreign Travel Ideas

Traveling outside of the U.S. or outside of whatever country you live in opens up more souvenir and tracking opportunities.


PASSPORT STAMPS

Passport stamping has been around for a long time, but getting a stamp automatically at the airport is pretty much a thing of the past. However, if you ask to get your passport stamped, you should still be able to get one in airports. And if not, usually you can visit the tourism office, but I would call ahead to be sure.


While stamped passports might not be the easiest souvenir choice, I still love it! A passport will keep your trips all in one place (until you need another one) and it's not a big item that takes up a lot of space in your house.


BOARDING PASSES/TICKET STUBS

Perhaps you're someone who loves keeping the paper items you receive when traveling, whether they're airplane, museum or show tickets. I would think about some fun ways to display them for when you want to look at them or if you want others to view them, though, because piled-up paper can just lead to clutter. A travel collage is one idea, another would be putting the items in a physical scrapbook with photo slots. You can also consider framing them or turning them into bookmarks if you're a reader.


foreign Currency

CURRENCY

I used to collect coins as a kid, so saving foreign currency has a special place in my heart. If you end up visiting a lot of countries, you could even display these coins and bills in frames on the wall or shadowboxes, in a big jar or vase, or in a display case like a museum. I've also seen people put magnets on the back of their coins and use them on the fridge or turn their bills into bookmarks (which I might eventually do since I read a ton!).


RESTAURANT MENUS

Although many restaurants have digital menus now, most of them still have physical menus too. And if you're a foodie, collecting menus from your favorite restaurants abroad might be just the thing for you. (I suggest asking the establishment to keep a menu rather than just taking one, of course.) I saw this idea in a book once and loved it! Menus always come in all different designs, and collecting them from various food shops that speak different languages would only enhance the design variety. Plus, this could be the perfect décor for your kitchen or dining room.


Grand Teton National Park

U.S. National Park Ideas

National park goals offer a few other fun souvenir options since there are 63 national parks in the U.S. and landscape landmarks at the park that can be artistically copied.


NATIONAL PARK PASSPORT

There is a U.S. National Park Passport that is similar to a typical passport in that you can get it stamped. The stamps can be found at the park's visitor center or gift shop. What's cool about them is that they include the park you visited but also the date you went to the park. Plus, you can also get it stamped when you visit the U.S. national monuments. Of course, there are other types of national park passports online that might pique your interest, so do some research.


PATCHES

If you have a hiking backpack or just a backpack-type bag that you love, national park patches might be something you're into. Many of the patches can be ironed on, but they also might stay better if you sew them onto your bag. You can find listings for national park patches on Amazon or Etsy.


WATER BOTTLE

While you can get a water bottle with the national parks on it that can be filled in with a marker every time you go to one, I think the sticker water bottle from Uncommon Goods looks more intriguing and cooler. (And I've seen a few hiking influencers use it, so hopefully, that means it's good quality.)


POSTERS

As I've mentioned, I'm not a big fan of the scratch-off maps; however, I do like the scratch-off national park posters a bit more. All of the parks should fit on one poster, and usually, there's a bit of intrigue to it because the icon/photo of each park changes after you scratch it off. For instance, it might go from a gold or black-and-white color to a colorful image.


You could also think about buying a regular poster for each national park you go to, though that would be a lot of posters. To limit the amount, decide which parks were your favorite and buy a poster for those three or five, etc. top ones. Here's an Etsy listing for national park posters that customers seem to like, but you can do some other Googling as there are plenty of posters out there.


If you're more artsy than just buying a poster or enjoy crafts, you could also buy a paint-by-shadow national park kit (here is an example) or a PaintGem national park kit, which looks fun to me. (PaintGem also has a few pieces of art that are more travel-related.)


 

I'd love to hear from you if you have other souvenir and travel-tracking ideas or a specific type of travel that you'd like ideas for! You can contact me here.

 

Related Posts

See All

Commentaires


bottom of page