Do you have something that you bought on vacation as a child that you still treasure now?

I actually don’t. I don’t know if this is common or not, but there’s nothing that I still have, nor is there anything that sticks out in my mind.

There are things from vacation as a child that I do treasure now, though: memories. (Awww!)

I will never forget our road trip to Reno, where we spent forever in the car and I had a tote bag full of activities that I had prepared. I will never forget meeting Minnie Mouse at her house in Disneyland. I will never forget my several trips to San Francisco, my favorite city.

These are all things that I thought about on my last trip to Disneyworld.

Sure, there were things I bought. It is much easier to spend money on vacation – because hey, it’s vacation, I need to treat myself! However, the things that I bought are things that I could see living in my home for many years to come.

So what were they?

The first was a Lego set with custom Lego people. I got it at the Lego store in Downtown Disney. Yes, there is a Lego store here in Seattle, but I will now look at them every time I play with them or the children in my life play with them and remember lovingly creating the set.

The second was a Mr. Potato Head. I have never had one, and it is a classic toy – plus you could choose the option of buying it with a mermaid tail.

The third was a sunhat to take on my tropical vacations, as I always seem to be lacking one and can never find one that I like.

Hat 2

The fourth was a bunch of stationery supplies and a candle. I am planning a business retreat for later this year where I reflect on my business and goals. These stationery supplies will help it to feel more special.

Stationery

I feel confident in my purchasing decisions and happy that I did not bring more clutter into my home.

So – how can you use these principles on your next vacation?

Get It Out In The Open.  Have a discussion with your family before you leave. What’s important about the trip? How do you want to spend your money on the trip? What makes sense to bring back?

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane. Talk about your last trip and what you purchased. What has become of that stuff now? Are you still using it? Do you even know where it is? Why or why not?

Learn to say no and then explain yourself. If a child asks for a toy that you don’t think will last, tell them no and tell them why you said no. “You have so many stuffed animals at home that you don’t play with. I am saying no to this one because I don’t want it to get ignored.”

Declutter beforehand. That way, if you do come home with stuff, it will integrate better.

Set a budget. Allow yourself and your kids to buy something within the budget that you have set – then no more. Encourage them to think about their purchase decisions. “If you buy that toy, you won’t have any money left for the rest of the trip.”

Do you have any wonderful suggestions for souvenir shopping? Share them with us! Feel free to visit us over on Home Key’s Facebook page or comment on this entry directly.