We all know the sinking feeling that comes at the end of a great trip. It can be downright depressing to say goodbye to a beloved destination and return to real life.
For this reason, lots of travellers create some sort of collection to remind them of those great times on the road-little mementos to temporarily transport you back to that sunny beach or enchanting city street. Some people collect art, clothing, or other expensive and bulky souvenirs from all of their travel destinations, but for those of us backpackers who are looking for something inexpensive that we can carry on our backs, here are some ideas for cheap and easy travel collections:
As you travel, you’re going to be handed innumerable little slips of paper–museum tickets, subway tickets, movie tickets, public intoxication tickets, parking tickets…the good the bad and the ugly. Your impulse might be to crumple it up and toss it into the nearest recycling bin, but as they say, one broke backpacker’s trash is another broke backpacker’s treasure. These are all memories that can easily be slipped into a special pocket of your backpack for later or pasted into your travel journal that night. They won’t cost you a thing (except for the entrance fee you were going to pay anyway) and they will tell a great visual story of all of the places you’ve been and things you’ve seen.
Popular among backpackers, small flag patches from all of your destinations are cheap and easy to find at any market or souvenir store. Let your bag boast your itinerary and spark conversations with a colourful patchwork of all of the amazing places you’ve been and memories you’ve created.
This is another easy one. You won’t have to go out of your way to collect a piece of the local culture if you just hold onto a small bill from every country you’ve been to. These colourful mementos create a beautiful bulletin board, scrapbook, or phat stack to gaze upon and remember all the good times abroad when you still had money.
Your Favourite Phrase in Every Language
This one is free, fun, and lets you get in touch with the locals. Choose a phrase like “hello”, “I love you”, or the ever-important “where is the bathroom?” and ask locals to write it down for you in your travel journal, the outside of your backpack, or on a travel memento. This is a great conversation starter and a wonderful excuse to connect with local people, as well as to learn something new and take a visual reminder of the places you’ve travelled and the people you’ve met home with you.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to relax (or un-relax) with a nice malty beverage, this is an easy and fun way to collect your memories. Not only do beer labels have great graphics, they often hold a lot of great memories (not that many crazy stories start with a tall glass of milk). Peel ‘em off, stick ‘em in your journal, and create a collage, beerdazzle your phone case, decollage your laptop, or wallpaper your room with ‘em when you get home. Cheers to a great holiday!