Holiday season has come again – your tickets are at the ready, you’ve got the local currency sorted and you’ve packed – leaving just enough room in your suitcase for precious mementos, those little things that remind you of the wonderful time you had on your trip.
But so often, those knick knacks get put on a shelf when you get home, maybe with all the other things you’ve brought back from past holidays, just gathering dust. What about bringing home a souvenir that you can wear, carry or even take with you on your next trip?
Here are some of our suggestions:
Panama hats from Cuenca, Ecuador
Yes it’s a shock to everyone, but the Panama hat actually comes from Ecuador! They were originally shipped to Europe from Panama, hence the confusion. Now Cuenca in Southern Ecuador produces 90% of all the world’s authentic Panama hats from old-time hat stores to street-front workshops. Make sure yours is created from the ancient Ecuadorian craft and make from toquilla palm straw.
Fragrances and toiletries from Florence, Italy
Smell is one of the strongest triggers of memory, so what better way to remember your trip than a scented reminder? Florence is home to one of the world’s oldest apothecaries – Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella – and still uses traditional recipes and artisanal scale to produce luxurious Tuscan soaps, shaving creams, toiletries and natural remedies.
Cowboy boots from Jackson, Wyoming
If you have an inner cowboy or cowgirl, then these are definitely for you. And even better, these boots never seem to go out of style! There’s nowhere better to get your pair than right in the heart of cowboy country – Jackson, Wyoming, a town that still feels like a one-street frontier from old movies. Now though, Boot Barn and Beaver Creek Hat and Leather Company have so many styles of cowboy boots, you’ll have a tough time choosing your perfect pair!
Traditional combs from Tokyo, Japan
Hair combs and ornaments have featured in Japanese hairstyles for hundreds of years – particularly in geisha culture. The secret behind both their and the Samurai’s luscious healthy hair is the tsgegushi – a traditional handmade wooden comb, soaked in camellia oil. The best examples are at Jusan-Ya, where they’ve been making the combs since 1736 – according to legend, it was started by a disgruntled Samurai who realised he could make more money from this than at war.