As much as you think of your little ones while you are away on a business trip (or an adults-only vacation), they are thinking about you as well. From their first bites of breakfast to their nightly bedtime stories, your kids are missing you terribly while you are away, just as you are missing their enormous smiles and tiny hugs!
Unfortunately, plenty of adult responsibilities require frequent travel, which means you and your beloved little ones might be apart quite a bit. Fortunately, you can lessen the sting of your separation (and make your kids more eager for your return) with any of the following seven excellent souvenir ideas:
All kids are tiny hoarders-in-the-making, squirreling away all sorts of trash and treasures for apparently no purpose. You can channel their eagerness to accumulate into a more productive endeavor by purchasing similar souvenirs wherever you go. Every destination boasts snow globes, smashed pennies, and even shot glasses emblazoned with the place name that your children will cherish forever.
For nearly every destination, you can find a children’s book related to that location. There are picture books that are set in the Arizona desert or in New York City; there are beginning chapter books set in Portland, Oregon or in the plains past the Mississippi River. All you need to do is head to a bookshop and find a fun, educational souvenir.
Then again, you can never go wrong with something sweet. Every kid has a favorite treat, whether it is milk chocolate or fruity gummies, and most never grow tired of receiving a sweet gift. Your little ones will always look forward to your return if you come laden with surprises from Hershey’s Chocolate World or another world-famous sweet shop.
4. Stuffed Animals
Sure, their beds are already covered in all the stuffed critters, but that does not mean your little ones can not squeeze in one or five more. You can make the souvenirs extra special by selecting animals endemic to the region you visit, like a manatee from Florida or a bison from Kansas. Soon enough, your kids will be able to fill zoos with all their exotic stuffed pets.
Your kids love bragging about you, whether you realize it or not. When they are able to wear the evidence of your worldly travels, they will find it much easier to convince their friends that you are the coolest parent of them all. However, you should double-check your kids’ sizes before you go; little ones grow fast, and a too-small sweatshirt is a waste.
If you know you will be gone for a particularly long stretch of time, you might consider sending souvenirs ahead of you. Kids love receiving anything in the mail, and special notes from you throughout your travels are sure to warm their hearts. When you come home, you can see all our letters stuck on the fridge or hung creatively around your kids’ rooms and know how much they appreciate you.
When your travel budget is small, it can be difficult to find meaningful souvenirs your kids will love. Fortunately, the littlest ones can be tickled by almost any gift, including stickers. You should strive to find stickers that relate to the places you have been, which can usually be found in airport shops or souvenir stands, but honestly, toddlers might not even recognize the difference.
Tips and Tricks to Prevent Tantrums
Unfortunately, all kids can get a bad case of the gimmie-gimmie’s, and the dolling out of souvenirs can inspire meltdowns if not handled properly. Here are some tips to make sure all of your little ones are satisfied by their souvenirs:
- Set a budget. You know all too well that when it comes to your kids, it is easy to overspend. Your gifts should be small and meaningful, not expensive.
- Make them equal. You could accidently make younger kids jealous by getting your oldest a cool gadget, while everyone else gets something less fun. While your gifts to each kid might not be the exact same, they should have equal value.
- Ask locals. When your idea bank runs dry, you can ask locals (including servers, baristas, and other service industry professionals) what they might bring home for a child.
Do not feel guilty! You do not owe your kids souvenirs — you get them out of love. If you do not have time to shop for your little ones, you should not feel guilty about it. The experience will only make them appreciate their previous and future souvenirs more.