I travel quite a bit in my business. I am constantly challenged with the questions of do I get a souvenir for myself? For my kids? If so, what? I also am constantly on a budget – so getting some big elaborate thing is really out of the question. And I have two kids – so when I get one something I have to get something for the other one as well.
Several years back, my daughter was really into snow globes. So I purchased her a small snow globe. She loved it! So I started buying her the same thing. They are usually just around $5 to $7 so nothing that will break the bank. However, I found out the hard way that some security areas at airports will not allow you through their gates with one. Despite them being small. They are liquid (and apparently against TSA regulations (one agent who made me throw it away also said that the glass could be broken and used for a weapon). So I usually have to buy them at the airport. Which makes shopping pretty easy for me for her. Although the more that I have purchased, the more I realize that they are sort of similar. For example, I went to Orlando and purchased one that had a palm tree inside and there was a tag on the outside that said “Florida” but when I went to San Diego. There was the same palm tree just the outside of it said “San Diego.” Since my shopping options are limited to whatever is at the airport store…all I can say is good thing she likes palm trees.
My son on the other hand, has grown a lot in the past few years that I have been traveling. At first, I would get him a small stuffed animal. He was happy with that until he hit about 11 years old. Then I realized that it was sort of a waste of money. He would toss it up on his desk in his room (which is essentially a pile of junk) and never really look at it again. So I started buying him TShirts (he’s a sports fan – so the local team seemed the way to go). But then he would grow out of them and the price was certainly inequitable to what my daughter was getting (and she noticed and voiced it quite loudly). So when a friend suggested Christmas ornaments I did that. He seemed less than happy when I brought him an ornament in October from Mexico. (I was certainly not bringing back tequila to a 15 year old!)
As for me? I sometimes get myself something too. I started collecting either a Christmas ornament (which are sometimes difficult to find) or I recently found Alex and Ani bracelets that have charms of the cities (although they are certainly not everywhere – and sometimes difficult to find – I had to SHIP the San Francisco one – despite being in a store in San Francisco).
What is your favorite souvenir? How much did it cost? Do you bring things for your kids when you travel for work? Does TSA let you through with your treasures?