Looking for ideas for souvenirs when travelling with kids? Instead of buying the same old keychains at every stop, why not try something a little different? Here are some unique souvenir ideas to bring home when travelling with kids.

Travel and souvenirs go together, especially when you’re travelling with kids. They’re always on the lookout for something exciting to bring home with them to remind them of the adventure they went on.

But you don’t want to be collecting souvenirs, only to bring them home and have them sit untouched on a shelf, or put in a box in the closet, never to be seen again.

typical tourist souvenirs (tee shirts, mugs, shot glasses, snow globes) on display shelf
Tourist souvenirs

Good souvenirs should be something that are useful or that you see often, bringing back memories of that fantastic trip you took.

You want something that’s a reminder of your adventures, not just something that takes up space.

And there are loads of fun, unique travel souvenir ideas out there. But when you’re travelling with kids, in addition to some of the other challenges and things that have the be considered, you might not be able or want to bring home the same type of souvenirs – all those shot glasses? – that you used to collect when you travelled without kids.

Well, I mean you could, but kids are going to want to bring back souvenirs that mean something to them, and quite often, my idea of the best souvenir isn’t the same as the boys’ ideas.

So here are a few unique and useful souvenir ideas to collect while travelling with kids – ones that that are sure to be enjoyed and used long after the trip is over.

Pin for this post - unique travel souvenirs to collect with kids
Pin this post for later

Useful and Unique Souvenir Ideas for Kids

Tee Shirts

While tee shirts may seem like one of the most typical tourist souvenirs, they’re one that kids still love, especially if they have the option to choose their own shirt.

And they’re easy to pack and wear!

Once the kids grow out of them, turn the tees into a pillow or if you have enough tee shirts, sew them into a blanket or quilt to make a really unique souvenir.

A Map

This can be as simple as a hand-drawn map by your child, or an actual map of the area you visited.

It’s a great way to remember all of the places you’ve been and it can easily be hung on the wall as decoration.

We’ve also used some maps as a mat for a photo of our travels and added it to our travel wall.

Shells or Rocks

If your kids are anything like mine, they probably want to bring home a rock or shell from every beach you visit. But instead of having a bunch of random rocks and shells sitting around, choose one or two to bring back home.

Once you’re home, write the place and date on the back of the shell to help your kids remember where they got that rock.

Plus, they’re one of the few free souvenirs that you can bring home!


If you want to get really creative, bring home a small container or bag of sand and fill up a small jar, or even a larger jar with a photo behind it. It makes for a great decoration and reminder of your trip.


Coins are a great way to help kids remember all of the different places they’ve been. Many countries have unique coins, so it’s fun for kids to collect them and you can’t change coins back into your own currency anyways.

We glue a magnet to the back of some extra coins and use them as unique magnets on our fridge. Which brings me to the next souvenir to collect while travelling…

Kitchen Magnets

While magnets are another typical tourist souvenir, they can be practical and are probably one of the best souvenirs for kids.

Kids love collecting magnets and they make great reminders of all the places you’ve been, while holding up kids artwork or important notes on the fridge once you’re home.

(They also are great to put up kids artwork while you’re travelling and make your apartment or hotel room like a bit more like home!)


Postcards are a classic traditional souvenir to collect while travelling and kids love choosing them.

They’re lightweight and easy to pack, and kids can even write a bit on the back about what they did on vacation.

Once home, postcards can be displayed in the kids’ room on a bulletin board or used as a title page in a travel scrapbook.

Stamped Pennies

Stamped pennies are a fun way to reminder your travels. Many places have machines where you insert a coin and it prints out a flattened coin with a symbol of that place.

Christmas Ornaments

Christmas ornaments make great souvenirs! They can be hung on the tree each year and serve as a reminder of all the great places your family has been.

If you’re like us, you’ll very quickly be turning your Christmas tree into a travel tree!

A Journal

This is one of those travel souvenirs that I think is important whether you’re travelling with kids or not.

It’s a great way to document all of the places you’ve been and the things you did while on vacation. And it can be fun for kids to look back on when they’re older.

Younger kids can draw a picture or older kids can add a few sentences with a picture. We like to use cue cards and the boys fill out one card a day.

After our trip, or time in a certain place, we put those cue cards into a photo brag book and then they can read through their journals again and again.

Flag Badge or Sticker

Another popular tourist souvenir is to pick up a flag badge for a backpack or a sticker for a suitcase.

Every time you travel to a new country, add a new flag and it’s a great way to see how many countries you have visited.

It also helps kids learn about the flags of different countries!


While this isn’t a souvenir to collect while travelling, once you return home, create a scrapbook of photos, ticket stubs, boarding passes and any other momentos from your travels.

Kids will love to look back through these and they’re a great reminder of your vacation!

Memory Box

Similar to a scrapbook, but something that you’ll see all the time is a memory box.

You can display whatever you like in a memory box – IKEA or Michaels both sell a shadow box that you can uses to display momentos from your trip, like the shells and sand you collected, or display a map, photos or ticket stubs.

This is a great way to make a unique, personalized souvenir from your travels.

Kids Stories

While we try not to buy too many books while travelling, as they can be quite heavy, we do like to pick up soft-cover stories about the places we visit, or that are set in the country we’re travelling to.

These make great bedtime stories while on vacation and can be added to your child’s home library once you return.


Most people take photos while travelling.

Once home, look through your photos and choose one (or a few!) that really represents your trip.

Display these photos throughout your home or begin to create a travel wall, with photos from all the different places you have been.

photos displayed on a wall make a great souvenir idea when travelling with kids
Frame your photos and make a travel wall

Handmade Craft or Figurine

One unique souvenir to collect while travelling, especially with kids, is a handmade craft or figurine.

You can usually find these in markets or from street vendors.

They make great decorations for your home and are another great conversation starter when people come over!

We have a small display shelf with a bus from Colombia, a lighthouse from the East Coast and a wood carved toucan from Costa Rica.

They’re great gift ideas too, if you’re looking to bring back things for family and friends. Just look for ones that are small and relatively easy to pack, and be careful when packing them so small pieces don’t break off.

Soccer Balls or Other Small Ball

While not all countries are big into soccer, you’ll find many places in South America and Europe will have be selling small soccer balls everywhere.

These are great, not only to use to burn off energy while you’re on vacation, but also once you’re back home.

We have 2 of these small soccer balls and since they’re small, they are great to travel with!

Attach them to kids’ backpacks with a small bag and a clip and it’s an easy activity to burn off some energy whenever needed.

Unique Souvenir Items for Parents

Coffee Mugs

Another common tourist souvenir you’ll find almost everywhere is coffee  mugs.

While these aren’t the easiest to pack, they are useful at home – as long as you don’t have too many!

Try to find a unique cup or mug, rather than a decal on a regular china mug.

In many places, you can find hand painted mugs, or cups made from something local. I still use my hand painted coffee mug from Morocco, and I just picked up a painted wood mug from Costa Rica.


Coasters are an easy souvenir to bring back from your travels. They’re small and lightweight, making them easy to pack.

You can find them made from all sorts of materials – wood, cork, stone, ceramic.

They make a great addition to your home and are always a conversation starter when people come over!

Spices or Food

One of the more unique souvenir ideas to bring home from your travels is a spice or food that you can’t find in your local grocery store.

Dried spices are easiest to pack and bring back, and be sure to check what food is allowed to be brought back into your country.

(Be aware that dried fruits, meat and produce often isn’t allowed to be brought into certain countries. Find more information on what can brought into Canada here.)

Recently we travelled to Costa Rica and I regret not bringing home some of the local sauce (but it was over the carry-on liquid limit). But in the past, I have brought home paprika from Hungary, Ras al Hanout from Morocco and piri piri sauce from Portugal (I had a checked bag for this one).

Earring or Other Jewellery

One of the smallest, but cute souvenir ideas to bring home from your travels is earrings or other jewellery.

I love finding unique earrings when I travel – they are a nice way to remember your trip for months and years to come and jewelry also makes great ideas for souvenir gifts!

You can often find local jewellery made from wood, glass or even shells!

Paintings or Art

One of my favourite souvenirs to bring home is paintings or local art.

I try to find a small painting or print whenever I travel – you can often find artists painting or sketching on busy tourist streets, or displaying their artwork to purchase.

These prints are lightweight and don’t take up too much room in your luggage, plus they make great decoration for your home.

I have a few smaller ones framed and hanging in our living room, and they also make great, unique presents for family members or friends.


While this isn’t something that kids would choose to bring back on their own, my guys do enjoy helping to choose a dish or piece of pottery when we travel somewhere new.

And then when we use that dish at home, the travel memories from our trip are the topic of conversation over the meal.

**I find it is a bit harder to bring pottery back when travelling with kids, as I prefer to wear a backpack instead of a suitcase, and we are usually packed pretty well! Once my kids start carrying their own clothes, my goal is to start saving room in my suitcase for fun, mom-type souvenirs again!  

What are some of your favourite types of souvenirs to bring home from your travels? Do you have any other suggestions of unique souvenir ideas to collect while travelling with kids? Let us know in the comments below.

pin for this post - unique travel souvenir ideas to collect when travelling with kids
Pin this post for later

For more family travel tips or travel inspiration, be sure to check out these posts:


  1. This is a great list, some of our grandchildren are easy ‘soccer balls & anything soccer’ others are hard this will help greatly…thank you

    1. Glad some of the ideas will help!

  2. Timothy Grant says:

    Good list…I collect coffee mugs. My kids have collected a variety of things

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.