Family Vacation Memories: How to Help Your Child Bring Home Lasting Souvenirs

Every vacationer wants to return home with memories of the experience that

will help him relive the trip time after time. Adults rely on cameras to capture

these memories, but children all too often fall prey to overpriced souvenirs as a

poor substitute.

There is a way to help your child bring back vacation memories — without

breaking your trip budget. No matter where you travel, free (or low cost)

souvenirs are yours for the asking. Your children can collect everything ranging

from postcards to placemats. They are available in restaurants, resorts, and

attractions, potentially every place your family might stop.

By showing your child the fun of searching for (not just buying) souvenirs, you

can involve him in the excitement of seeking out free souvenirs and keep him

away from the trinket stands which plague so many tourist attractions.

Your first step begins before the vacation at your neighborhood discount store.

Buy each child an inexpensive photo album with adhesive pages. These pages

allow small fingers to stick memorabilia in the book, and they will survive

several rearrangements before you have to resort to glue or scrapbooking

supplies.

Keep an eye out for these souvenirs:

Restaurants : You’ll find special children’s placemats in many family

restaurants, often with pictures or a map of local attractions. Free children’s

menus, containing a game or a puzzle, are available in many restaurants. And

don’t overlook tiny sugar packets with the restaurant’s name or picture on it.

These can act as miniature postcards, ready to assume a place in your child’s

scrapbook.

Postcards : You can carry home a professional photo of almost any attraction in

the world for a little more than the cost of a postage stamp. And if you’ve

heard your child complain “I never get any mail,” encourage him to send a

postcard home! They’ll act as miniature vacation diaries when you return

home, and give returning vacationers a little something to look forward to as

well.

Foreign Money: A sample of foreign currency can be a good souvenir and a

great way to learn about a country. Foreign coins can be fun to collect and

could even interest your child in an entirely new hobby.

Stamps : Similarly, foreign stamps are also an excellent and inexpensive way to

bring home souvenirs. Your child will learn about the government, national

heroes, and often the national bird and flower through stamps.

This ‘n That: Theme park ticket stubs, museum maps, brochures, and other

freebies make fun and colorful additions to your child’s scrapbook.

Nature’s Souvenirs: Uniquely shaped leaves (or ones from trees unlike those

you have at home) make great additions to your child’s scrapbook. Also look

for small pebbles, bird feathers, small shells, and even a few grains of sand to

help bring home those vacation memories.

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