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No travel experience is complete without a souvenir to commemorate the trip and serve as a constant reminder of your journeys once back home. Unfortunately, it can often be a hassle to get these purchases home safe and sound.

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when selecting and packing these precious mementos from your exciting travels.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Although it can be tempting to scoop up the first souvenirs you see, it is wiser to put off any purchasing until the end of your trip. Resisting the urge to buy right away will help to reduce the risk of something getting damaged during the course of your trip. And by making the final buying decisions at the end of the trip, you can also be assured that you have budgeted correctly to include such extravagances, and that you still have room left in your luggage to haul it home.

GO SMALL

Choosing smaller souvenirs, such as jewelry and photos, make it immeasurably easier to transport the items back home. Local markets are an ideal place to pick up authentic products at affordable prices. You should also try to buy from local vendors, if possible, instead of chain stores. A handmade good is always more special than something made in mass.

LEARN CUSTOMS AND QUARANTINE RULES

Do not make the mistake of assuming that everything you purchase will be allowed back into the country. Familiarizing yourself with your homeland’s quarantine and customs laws will ensure that you do not get caught off guard when it comes time to declare your purchases.

MAXIMIZE CARRY-ON ALLOWANCES

Carry-on pieces of luggage are an ideal way to transport your souvenirs home since they never leave your sight and you can ensure that they are handled with care. Packing an extra carry-on bag or expandable duffel bag in your luggage can help solve the problem of not having any place to store all of your fantastic purchases.

DO NOT DISCOUNT SHIPPING

Depending on where you are traveling, it may be economical to ship your purchases home. Not only will you be able to monetarily insure your goods, but it will also give you fewer things to worry about as you make your way back home. Additionally, by leaving it to the experts to carefully pack up your products, you can feel good about how they will be handled in transit.

Above all, remember that the most important souvenirs to bring home are the memories you make. Take some pictures, keep a journal and embrace the beauty of your destination.