Scarves, scarves, scarves! They are fun to look for, they are light and easy to pack, and they are the gift that keeps on giving because they can be worn all year. And, unlike many souvenirs, they never break and are not likely to get lost.
I like to bring home either good wine, or the kitschiest things I can find — things like the "Las Vegas" sign or a shot glass keychain or the Kyoto tower made out of plastic. I like to find the ugliest things I can.
I get coffee mugs that say the location so I can share the memories of these wonderful places and entice my friends to come with me next time.
I don't really look for anything in particular. I just wait until I see something during my travels that seems to me to be "screaming" the name of a friend or a family member. And if it's something small and easy to pack, I buy it and bring it home for them.
I have a friend who collects Superballs. You know, those little balls that you get out of vending machines. I'm always on the lookout for Superballs for her. And for my family, I bring home a tambourine. For everyone else, I usually bring home the basics; keychains and shot glasses and such.
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