Vacation without souvenirs
Curtis and I just had our 20th wedding anniversary and we celebrated by taking a 10 day vacation by ourselves, no kids. I will talk about the benefits of an adults only vacation later, but today I want to share how to go on vacation and not buy any physical souvenirs.
Have a "take only pictures, leave only footprints" mentality going in. Leave for vacation knowing you are only bringing home what you brought with you, nothing else. Having this mentality will help when confronted with a gift shop at the end of a tour. These purchases are almost always an impulse buy and something I try to avoid. In the digital era even the Mayan Cocoa Company has a website and I can buy that chocolate when I get home and I have thought about it some more.
Talk about it. With your travel companion, talk about each part, or each day of your trip. What was the most memorable part? Where you scared? Happy? What made you laugh? What didn't you like? Why? Talking about stuff helps you sort out the parts you want to remember and helps to cement those memories in your brain.
Write it down. After you talk about your day write down the story you want to remember in a journal, whether paper or digital. This gives you a way to look back at your time away and remember the feelings you had. It is your written souvenir to yourself for years to come.
Choose an experience over a thing. While we didn't purchase any things we did purchase some experiences to make the trip extra special. This trip was about great food, relaxation, and time together so we had a nice food budget, got a couples massage, and paid for a couple of shore excursions (part of our trip was a cruise). Those experiences were the highlight of the trip for both of us and the photos we have and the journal entries we wrote will help us remember them.
It is possible to have a great vacation without buying any things to remember it by even with children in tow. The important part is to communicate with your kids that you aren't going to buy any things but that the trip itself is the fun.