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  • Kay Davis

The Best Gifts To Bring Home From Vacation

Updated: Jun 19, 2022

Visiting new places is exciting, and sometimes you want to share that with your closest friends and loved ones. I always bring home gifts for my mom, significant other, or best friend when I visit a faraway place. It’s my way of giving them a small piece of my own experience of seeing a new place they never have before.

I always like to bring home gifts from my travels
I always like to bring home gifts from my travels

Across my travels, I’ve spent tons of money and used up lots of luggage space on gifts for my friends and family. For my dad, I always bring back olive oil from Greece. For my mom, handmade flower vases and seashells.

Whenever I’m purchasing gifts, I try to stay away from the tacky gift shops that all have the same overpriced mug. Instead, I stick to street vendors, open markets, or boutique stores to find locally made goods and more unique, personalized gifts.

You always want to keep in mind the person you’re buying a gift for, but you also need to remember practicality. There are several things you should consider, such as:

Do you have room in your luggage?

Can you safely transport the gift?

Will it be affected by temperature? (e.g. melting chocolate)

Will it add to your suitcase’s weight?

Are there any restrictions that prevent you from bringing specific items back into your country?

With all this in mind, it may seem like your options have greatly decreased. However, there are ways to work around some transport concerns, like breakable or delicate items.

For example, I brought a handmade vase home from Greece for my mother. Instead of packing it in my check-in suitcase, I kept it with me in my carry-on, stuffed the inside of the vase with socks, and wrapped it in my clothes to minimize stress while on the move.

The vase I purchased from a local artist in Crete, Greece
The vase I purchased from a local artist in Crete, Greece

Luckily, there are some gifts that are always safe, and practical, to bring back and will put a huge smile on the recipient’s face. Now, let’s go over some of the best gifts to bring home from your vacation.

Handmade Goods

Anyone can walk into a store, or find an online website, to purchase the kinds of gifts you see in a tourist shop. Sometimes, you may end up in one for a gag gift. But the best gift you can give is one with a lot of heart in it, which is why buying from a local artist or vendor is the way to go. It also is a great way to support the local economy in that area.

Christmas Ornaments

Now, this suggestion happens to be a gift I buy for myself every time I go somewhere new. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but ornaments are a great souvenir because they are small, easy to transport, and pretty cost-conscious. It’s also a great way to track where you’ve been and collect unique Christmas pieces from different countries.


The first thing you should consider when buying a gift or souvenir is if any weight will be added to your luggage. That's why textiles, like clothing or other fabric goods, are another thoughtful gift to bring home. You can also easily roll them up in your suitcase and don’t have to worry about anything breaking.

You obviously don’t want anything too bulky, like a blanket, but small items like scarves, dishtowels, or shirts are easy to store.

Local Art

Local art is found everywhere, and most times it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. When I was in Amsterdam, there were street painters everywhere selling pieces for as little as 10 euros. On a beach in Santorini, I even ended up purchasing one from a Jamaican man for 5 euros.

Not only are these gifts handmade, but they are also one of a kind, just like your mom, or dad, or best friend.

The painting that I bought in Santorini
The painting that I bought in Santorini


Everyone has that one thing they get in each country they visit. My friend would purchase postcards to send back to her family. In each one, she would write a personal and detailed note about our trip there. Not only are these obviously the easiest to transport, but they are also inexpensive and extremely thoughtful.


Bringing home awesome gifts for your friends and family is easy, you just need to keep in mind some factors that may impact the item during transport. What kinds of souvenirs do you like to bring home from your adventures? Share it with us in the comments below or head over to the forum and start a conversation!


Want to know more? Are you interested in becoming a contributor for Pedacitos? We'd love to hear your stories! Send me a message and I will get back to you!

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