10 Most Original Souvenirs To Take Home From a Journey

Souvenir shops

One thing all travelers are currently asking is – is it the right time to travel again? The answer to this question depends on your location and desired destination. Some parts of the world have been affected by the pandemic more severely than others. So, it would be best to wait a bit longer to be safe. After all, we waited this long. What are a couple of months more? However, just because we cannot travel right now, that does not mean that you cannot start planning for your upcoming trip. You can use this time to dig deep and research all the mesmerizing places virtually before visiting. And, while you are researching, it won’t hurt to get some ideas regarding souvenirs. This article is here to help you with that. Here are 10 original souvenirs to take home from a journey. 

1. Argentina – Leather Items 

Argentina is famous for many things, and leather is one of them. So, next time you find yourself in this amazing country, be sure to pick up some leather items. Those can be shoes, belts, bags, wallets, or even watch straps. And, do not worry, you will not get scammed – the leather pieces from Argentina are of excellent quality, so do not hesitate to pay a bit extra.

2. China – Teapots

If you decide to travel to China, one of the most original souvenirs you can come home with is a Chinese teapot. These can be found pretty much anywhere in China. Their prices vary depending on their quality, of course. If you have some extra spending money in your budget, we recommend getting teapots made from Chinese porcelain. And, if you want a complete collection to give you the ultimate tea-drinking experience, you can also get teacups in matching painted sets. And don’t forget to buy some Chinese green or black tea. All of these make for excellent birthday gifts for travelers, too, so keep that in mind if you want to buy a gift for someone special. 

A teapot and cup.
There is nothing more original than a Chinese tea set.

3. England – Cadbury’s Chocolate

Even though Belgium is the world’s chocolate capital, many people argue that England can participate in the competition. But it is not just any chocolate – it is the famous Cadbury’s chocolate. This will also be a perfect gift to an American as this chocolate can no longer be found in the USA. 

4. Belgium – Lace

Speaking of Belgium, this country has a lot more to offer than just chocolate. For instance, Belgium is known for its authentic, hand-made lace and tapestry. Some of the most intricate laceworks can be found in the cities of Brussels and Bruges. You can take this lace home and make curtains, table spreads, or some of the most beautiful pieces of clothing out of it. But, let us warn you – Belgium’s lace comes with a hefty price tag! 

5. France – Macaroons 

It is no secret that France is famous for its pastries and desserts. Some of those famous pastries include Croissants, Éclairs, Crepes, Crème Brûlée, etc. However, one dessert found its way to all of our hearts. The one and only – Macaroons. These delectable pieces of heaven come in many colors and flavors. You can buy them almost anywhere throughout France. And even though they look delicate, they will survive the ride home.

A selection of macaroons.
Your friends will love you if you bring them macaroons from your trip to France.

6. Ireland -Whisky

Besides food, alcohol and other popular drinks are some of the original souvenirs to take home from a journey. So, in Ireland, do not even think about going home without trying their signature whiskies. Every bar offers a variety of them. Try a couple and then buy a bottle of your favorite as your souvenir from Ireland.

7. Germany – Beer Stein

Most tourists travel to Germany during Oktoberfest. This festival is an excellent opportunity to dance, eat, drink, and simply have fun. Unfortunately, Oktoberfest was not held last year due to the pandemic. Nobody knows what will happen this year, but do not let that stop you from visiting Germany. It is a common travel myth that all the attractions are closed now. They are not! You can still try Germany’s famous beers and buy a beer stein as your souvenir.  

8. Italy – Venetian Masks

If you are looking for souvenirs you can buy that will not only stay on your fridge or your key chains, consider looking for pieces that serve a purpose. So, for example, when in Italy, consider investing in a Venetian Mask. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And, they can be used as art pieces for your home, not only as souvenirs. You can use them to add a personal touch to your office or your living room. 

A Venetian mask.
A Venetian mask can also be a great gift for somebody special

9. Morocco – Ceramic Items 

Morocco is a country famous for being one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. It is also famous for hand-painted ceramic items. Most often, you will see colorful bowls being sold on the streets. But, you can find pretty much anything made of ceramics – mugs, glasses, pots, figurines, and even tiles. What makes them so unique is the color choice and various intricate floral and geometric designs. 

10. Russia – Lacquer Box

One of the most popular souvenirs to buy in Russia is the Matryoshka doll. But, this doll has become a cliché over the years as everybody buys it. So, when in Russia, instead of buying a doll set, consider purchasing the Lacquer box. This is a fantastic souvenir to take home. It too comes in many colors and sizes, but what makes it unique are the pictures from Russian fairy tales drawn on it

And there you have it – 10 most original souvenirs to take home from a journey. What souvenir would you buy?

 

6 Reasons why Road Trips are Better than Flying

People on a road trip relaxing in nature

According to statistics, flying might be the safest mode of travel, and there are some destinations that a car can’t reach. However, traveling by car is usually more affordable and allows you to create your itinerary – that’s just the beginning of its benefits. In this article, we’ll uncover the reasons why road trips are better than flying.

#1 You are in control

When it comes to traveling by plane, there are many procedures that you must follow. First, you need to get to the airport 2-3 hours before the departure time. Then, you get processed through security, board a crowded plane, and sit for few hours in a cramped space. Depending on the airline and destination, food choices may be poor. As a result, people often arrive at the final destination feeling groggy. Some experience headaches or nausea due to turbulence and changes in air pressure. Not to mention the stress caused by delayed flights, long layovers, and missed connections.

If you’re lucky enough, you might fall asleep during your flight (in case there is no crying baby near you). If you happen to have a window seat and if you’re flying during the day, you can watch the clouds. And, that’s probably the only thing you’ll see, except the landscape before landing. All in all, traveling by plane is not very eventful.

On the other hand, when you travel by car, you can always have an enriching experience and be flexible with your schedule. When driving, you have many options available. You make the rules of your trip. You can stop and take a break whenever you want, whether to marvel at a lookout point, take photos, or eat something.

#2 It’s safer than you think

Many people are simply afraid of flying. On the other hand, do you know anyone afraid of traveling by car? Plane crashes are statistically more deadly than car crashes, even though they happen much less frequently. However, you’re much more likely to survive and avoid severe injuries if you happen to have a car accident.

Keep in mind that cars are safer now than ever before. You can rely on a car with GPS, automatic braking, anti-lock brakes, lane assist, parking sensors, camera, etc., and have a safe road trip.

However, if you still feel a little worried, you can always look for less busy routes for your road trip. Additionally, you can decide to pull over during bad weather conditions and keep your phone in silent mode for better focus.

Woman driving a car
Whenever you’re driving, safety should be your top priority.

#3 Driving is less expensive than flying

Even though gas can be expensive, plane tickets are much more so. There are many extra fees you’ll need to pay as well. Low-cost airlines charge a fee for checked bags, preferred seats, airport check-in, in-flight entertainment, etc. Prices of food and drinks at the airport are usually outrageous as well.

Traveling by car is an adventure that is even more affordable when traveling with others. Road trips are better than flying because you can split gas money with your travel companions. In case you’re traveling with family, it’s easy to calculate the difference between multiple airplane tickets and the cost of gas.

#4 You can bring more stuff

Another reason why road trips are great is that you have more flexibility when packing your bags, and you don’t have to pay expensive fees for them. You don’t have to follow strict airline rules, and there is no specific weight limit. If you have a spacious car, you can bring almost anything you want. Some of those things can be:

  • Various games
  • Sports equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Camping gear

You can also take your dog with you without worrying about the airline’s pet policy or the pet fee.

A man and a child near white SUV during sunset
Road trips are better than flying because they allow you flexibility in so many ways.

#5 Endless discoveries

You should go on an adventurous road trip at least once in your life. The fun is almost guaranteed, along with the opportunity to experience many different things. There’s so much to see and do on the road that you’d miss if you traveled by plane. There are numerous roadside attractions which you can plan to visit. Whenever you drive through a quaint little town, you can make a stop and wander through its streets. Moreover, you can stop to explore anything that seems interesting and worth your time, such as small museums, historical sites, famous statues, geological wonders, etc.

#6 Planning a nationwide road trip is so much fun

Everything mentioned above contributes to the idea that your vacation is not only your final destination – planning a nationwide road trip is much more than that. To plan this adventure, get creative and make a list of all the places you want to visit and see how you can connect them on a map. Then, create your itinerary, set a road trip budget, and decide where you’ll spend your nights. Be sure to download offline maps (just in case) and leave at least a little bit of flexibility for unplanned adventures.

Aside from being fun, road trips can also strengthen your relationships – whether that’s with your partner, family members, or friends. When traveling by road, you get to know your companions more intimately by having deep, meaningful talks with them.

Couple sitting in the back of a car
Going on a road trip with a companion will strengthen your relationship.

Final thoughts

Even though road trips are better than flying in many ways, every form of travel has its pros and cons. If you’re going on a business trip, it’s probably best to go by plane. When you need to travel to a remote location, the same logic applies. But, when you do have the option to drive, go for it. You’ll have more quality time, more flexibility, you’ll see things you would have never seen by plane, you’ll learn some history, and you’ll even save money. However, remember it’s essential to be cautious and drive safely. Being on the road promises thrilling experiences which you can remember for the rest of your life.

Guide to working and traveling abroad

A girl walking on the street in Japan

When it comes to traveling, most people would agree they don’t do it as much as they would like to. A lack of time and money are among the most common reasons behind it. While a tight budget and a 9 to 5 job make traveling more complicated, many people don’t realize there are other ways around it. Nowadays, many possibilities allow even the less privileged to experience the world outside of the standard once-a-year 10-day vacation. All you need is a bit of courage and the willingness to step outside of the established conventions. Easier said than done, right? Whether you’re daydreaming about backpacking your way around the planet or looking for jobs that allow you to explore the world, this guide to working and traveling abroad will bring you one step closer to embarking on your adventure.

Choose your destination wisely

Unarguably, the most exciting thing about traveling is choosing the destination. However, remember that nice beaches shouldn’t be your only priority when working and traveling abroad. Depending on the kind of work you will be doing, you might want to opt for places that offer plenty of job opportunities, a reliable internet connection, or other essential amenities that will ensure a positive experience. Places that are good for digital nomads won’t necessarily be suitable for someone who wants to teach English to kids, and vice versa. Consider choosing less popular or touristy destinations as they often offer more affordable living costs. Having less competition when applying for a job is another perk of going off the beaten track.

The idea of spending months or even years far away from home might seem overwhelming. Since traveling light is advisable, it might be a good idea to rent a storage unit for the things that are better left at home. This way, you can rest assured your precious belongings will stay intact while you’re having the time of your life on the other side of the planet.

Do the paperwork

Before you even think about packing your bags, one thing you must do is gather information about necessary visas and documentation. The regulations and restrictions can vary vastly from country to country, so thorough preparation is imperative to avoid unpleasantries. When working abroad, some countries will require a working visa, while for others, a holiday visa will suffice. Make sure to know and respect the laws. The last thing you want is to be deported or even banned from the country of your dreams. Not only is this embarrassing and discouraging, but it can lead to pressing issues with the authorities as well.

Woman sitting on a bench with a passport in her pocket
Misinformation about documents can ruin your work and travel adventure.

Taxes are another thing you must pay attention to since working and traveling abroad means you will be earning money in a foreign country. Some companies might offer to take care of all the paperwork for you. However, this is no reason to be clueless about what you are getting yourself into.

Jobs

Unless you already have a job that allows you to work remotely, you must be wondering how to financially support your passion for traveling. Fortunately, there are many different possibilities for travelers of all ages and interests.

Teaching

English is among the most popular subjects you can teach, but you can teach other languages and subjects, as well. Landing a job as an English teacher is relatively simple, especially in Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, and Korea, since a degree in English or education is not obligatory. Experience or a teaching certificate might be a plus.

Working on a cruise ship

If Around the World in 80 Days is your kind of thing, working on a cruise might be a good option for you. You’d be able to visit many countries during the cruise, but you would only be spending a few hours or days in each place. There are different positions to choose from, but the most common ones are in restaurants and bars. Beware that most of these jobs have long working hours, most of which you would be spending on your feet. Working on a cruise ship can be a fun way to travel the world, but it is not for everyone.

Freelancing

If you’re good at writing, programming, designing, or anything else that can be done online, freelancing might be your cup of tea. Freelancing gives you the freedom to work whenever and wherever you are. Since working on the road is remarkably flexible, it means you will have the ability to create your own schedule that allows you to travel as often as you wish.

Man working on a laptop
Freelancing can be very liberating if you are an organized person.

Volunteering

There are many volunteering options for those who would prefer to make a difference in locals’ lives. Although you probably won’t be able to earn any money, your work will likely be compensated with free accommodation and food. Additionally, you will experience the authentic local lifestyle and meet many fascinating people, and that is something money can’t buy.

Adjusting to culture shock

When spending a long time abroad, you are bound to experience a fair share of culture shock. A language you don’t understand, unfamiliar food, and strange customs will surely be intriguing at first. But sooner or later, there will come a time when you will miss home. During these times, it’s important to remember why you embarked on this adventure in the first place. Know that culture shock is only temporary, and as time goes by, things will get easier. If you ever feel lonely, make sure to search for expat groups or other travelers. These people will understand your feelings as they have probably gone through the same things. Make sure to put some effort into integrating with the local community as well. Traveling is all about challenging the borders of your comfort zone.

Man working on a laptop
Freelancing can be very liberating if you are an organized person.

Working and traveling abroad will teach you that drive and passion can make even the wildest of dreams possible. You won’t always have the most comfortable bed to sleep on or the tastiest food to eat, but the memories and experiences you will gain will surely make it all worth it.