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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

We all want to take our vacations home with us. To remember the sea breeze, the mountain stream, the city lights, the museums and shows. But other than the T-shirts, pens, and tacky frames bought last-minute at the airport, how can we bring something home that is meaningful? Here are three easy ideas for your summer travels.

Photography by Brittany Ambridge

The first one is to simply collect matchboxes from your favorite vacation restaurants and then purposely look for small treasures you can tuck inside. They don’t have to mean anything to anyone but you! A piece of handmade candy that you bought at that cute little sweet shop, the tiniest of pinecones you found while hiking or a seashell from the beach.

If you’re feeling a little more crafty, cut out some small pictures from your vacation to make a photo box. When you get home, display your matchboxes around the house…they’re like little works of interactive art.

Maybe some of your favorite restaurants (or even hotels) have matchbooks instead of matchboxes. These make for great little “Top 10” souvenirs. Journaling isn’t for everyone, but making a list is pretty easy.

Simply tear out the matches, accordion fold a piece of paper no wider than the matchbook and glue one end to the top flap. Then write down your top 10 best moments from your trip. Or your top 10 favorite meals. Or hikes. Or pieces of street art… whatever you loved while on vacation! Make one for each family member and compare notes.

Photography by CORNETT GRANT

Two other freebies you can turn into souvenirs are maps and paper placemats often found in diners or clam shacks. They make for great covers for a small book of pockets. Sometimes we don’t know what to do with things like ticket-stubs, ferry passes, and drink stirrers that we may have unintentionally collected after a day of sight-seeing. But these are just the kinds of momentos that will mean far more than a store-bought snow globe. (Unless of course, you intentionally collect snow globes. If you do, then by all means, buy some!).

Fold the map or placemat to the size you’d like. Add a few other pieces of paper, including some that are cut in half to create a pocket. Use decorative tape to hold it all together if you’d like to make it extra pretty. We love these kinds of souviners because they feel truly connected to your actual experiences while traveling. Happy trails! xoxo Karen and Zandra from Little Yellow Couch