When we travel, we tend to think of the souvenirs to bring home to our family. We don’t think about giving things to the friends we make along the way.
I used to think this way, too. Until I met my friend Savannah.
She was taking a year off to travel, much like I was. During her travels, she was collecting playlists from the new friends she made. This gave her a way to connect with and remember the people that she met along the way.
She opened my eyes to the idea of sharing souvenirs while you are travelling, instead of just when you get home.
Over my 8-month trip through Europe, I tried out a few different souvenirs to share with the people I met. Some worked, and some didn’t. Through trial and error, I have come up with this list of 3 souvenirs you can share with travel friends.
This one comes directly from Savannah.
Playlists are a great thing to share with the people you meet along the way. They don’t burden people with something they have to add to their pack. And sharing them can be extremely easy.
I didn’t have Spotify when I first met Savannah, so I wrote out a list of my top 20 songs for her to create a playlist from. Now, I realize how much easier downloading Spotify and making a quick playlist would have been.
I ended up getting the app to get yoga playlists from the friends I met in Spain anyway.
Playlists are a great way to share your personal music taste with friends. It reminds them of you and can open their minds to new music they may not have heard.
My friends in Austria listen to completely different music than I do. Without listening to the radio with them, I would never have known some of the cool songs they love!
Podcasts are a great thing to share, as they’re like portable TV shows. You can listen to them anywhere any time.
As someone who is more into podcasts than music, I tend to share podcasts constantly.
This is partially because I play them constantly, so anyone around me is bound to hear them.
Coming up with a couple of favourites to share is a great way to share your personality with friends. It can also be a great conversation starter or connection when you go back home. Checking in with them can become a great time to chat about new episodes and keep the conversation going.
As someone who enjoys cooking, recipes are one of my favourite things to collect when I travel, especially for a long time.
They are also great to share with new friends.
Recipes don’t need to be printed out, but if they are, make sure they’re only a page or so long. That way they don’t take up too much space.
I often get asked what “Canadian food” is. One of the best ways to explain it is to share some recipes. When I have the chance, I even try to make the recipes for my friends to try.
Recipes are useful things that people can take home and use. They’re also easier to take with you than candy that will expire or melt. Your friends will be reminded of you every time they make maple syrup salmon (my go-to Canadian recipe)!
It’s fun to share things about your home with new friends you meet. Giving out these “souvenirs” can help you connect more with new people, and will keep them in your mind once you part.
The best part is: they’re all free!
Free and light-weight are my two favourite words when it comes to souvenirs.
I hope you find these tips useful and maybe even discover your own things to share with new friends.
What are your go-to travel souvenirs to share with others?