Decorating with Travel Souvenirs

Over the past couple years I’ve had the chance to travel to some wonderful places for either work or vacation. I’ve been to New York City, Ireland, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Atlanta, and most recently, a cruise with Carnival through the Caribbean. It’s been a whirlwind, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

No doubt, you’ve already realized that I love to shop. Wherever I’m traveling, I always try to carve out time to visit some of the local stores. I do this for two reasons. First, the shopping in my area is limited. So when I’m traveling, especially to larger areas, I love hitting up my favorite clothing and home decor places to check out what’s new. Secondly, I like to buy mementos of my trips. Things that I can look at, touch, or taste. Things that transport me mentally to that time and place.

While I like to bring home items for friends and family, I always make it a point to get a little something for myself. A souvenir that I can use to style my home. I can’t recall his exact words, but I remember a few years ago hearing Nate Berkus talk about decorating with things that matter. He said he likes to have things around his home that remind him of where he’s been, who he loves, and where he wants to go. He went on to say that when you have things like this around you, that’s when the magic happens with design and style, and you can really start having fun.

That idea has stayed with me, so in addition to taking photos (which can also used for decorating – witness my wanderlust gallery wall), I like to bring home a souvenir or two.

Just as I did following my Portland adventure, I thought I’d share some of the things that I brought back from my cruise and show you how I’m using them (or plan to use them in my home.) Cool?

While cruising on the Carnival Liberty we stopped at four different ports, so I picked up something at each. Our first stop was in Cozumel, Mexico. There, I found this beautiful carved vessel.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

With intricate details and tiny piercings, I thought this would be ideal for a candle. I love small items such as this that don’t take up much space, but are sure to spark conversation.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

Next up, we traveled to beautiful Belize. After checking out a few of the shops, I found this unique stone artwork that was actually crafted there. I’m planning an art wall of sorts in my closet renovation (more on that soon), and the color palette of this piece is perfection. Plus, it makes me smile.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

I’d also picked up a tie-dyed tank top that reads “You better Belize it!” And while I’m not featuring the shirt in today’s post, I will try to Instagram it at some point. I love a good catchphrase on a shirt and this was especially meaningful as my friends and I had thought about planning a trip to Belize. I think they’ll get a kick out of it.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

Sailing a little farther South, we stopped in Mahogany Bay, Roatan in Honduras. This was my (and Mom’s) favorite stop. The boat docked near a beach. We took a chair lift over to the white sands, floated on the water, caught some rays, and sipped on really big pina coladas. Truly a slice of heaven. After sunning ourselves, we did a little shopping. I immediately gravitated to this colorful and gold trimmed tray.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

Having been to a few of the places featured, I thought this would be fun to have on my coffee table or use for serving drinks and snacks at a party. It’s also a cute catch-all for vacation Instagram pictures.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

I was so in love with this port that I actually picked up another treasure – this woven bowl with (for lack of better word) plates. I was really drawn to the colors and texture.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

While I haven’t picked a permanent spot for them yet, they are destined to hang on a wall somewhere in my home in the very near future. Stay tuned.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

As we neared the end of the trip, we traveled back north and stopped at our final port of call: Costa Maya, Mexico. Here, with thoughts of the upcoming holidays, I found a pair of ornaments for my tree.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

The colors and artistic paintings on each bulb had me at first sight. My mom also picked up a pair for her tree.

Decorating with Travel Souvenirs | Inspired by Charm

Thankfully, all of my purchases fit nicely into my carry-on bag and arrived home safely. Now, there are souvenirs tucked throughout my home to remind me of the unforgettable and beautiful vacation I got to share with my mom. As Nate said, they are truly pieces to remind me of where I’ve been, who I love, and where I want to go.

Do you pick up souvenirs on your travels? What is your favorite piece and how have you used it to decorate your home?

Inspired By Charm

This post was created as part of my collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that receives a small commission by linking to and other sites at no cost to the readers.

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  • Tina at


    I recently provided content for article, and was looking to revise it further by further taking pointers from my own experiences. There is one thing I always do when I travel far, I collect local newspapers during my stay. This was something i wanted to blend into the article but, I have never been able to incorporate that into home decor – do you have any idea how i can do this ? Please Please help ?

    Thanks you soo much !! 🙂

  • Erin at

    Love this post!! Where did you go to find the “carved vessel” from Cozumel? I’m so used to seeing cheap/tacky souvenirs and would love to kind good quality souvenirs on my next cruise.

  • Lori at

    PS I forgot. LOVE the mounted little painted rock “fish”. So cute!

  • Lori at

    I love your email newsletters. Feels like your listening to a friend.

    I always pick up a Christmas ornament on vacation. When the tree goes up at Christmas it’s like you’re reliving those vacations. So much fun.

    While on vacation, I also like to pickup something that’s made in the area or crafted by a local artist. So much more meaningful to get something that is special to that area.

  • Amanda at

    Love this post! I always try to find something on trips, it is such a nice reminder when we are stuck in a doldrum at home… I just returnedfrom Florida and I bought my Mom a pelican figurine which was made with sand. I wish now that I had gotten an ornament! I did scoop up a baggie of small shells and am trying to come up with a cute and stylish way to display them or incorporate them into something DIY.

    • Lori at

      Get a glass christmas ornament and fill it with your sand and maybe your shells if they fit. Tie a cute ribbin stound the neck of the ornament or thru the hanger. They sell those all over here in Florida. You’ve just done it yourself. :).

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        Cute idea!

        xo Michael

  • Rachel at

    I had the privilege of visiting India a few years ago and purchased some beautiful saris. Do you have any suggestions for using them in home decor? I’m struggling with not wanting to cut them, but that might be better than sitting on a shelf in my closet.

  • jennifer at

    sounds like a great adventure was had! not positive, but I’m pretty sure the things you’re calling plates are actually trivets.

  • Nicole at

    Those woven bowls and the ornaments are beautiful! all good finds! I laughed when you mentioned your tank top from Belize. My husband traveled to Belize many years ago and he still talks about a bumper sticker he bought there that said “Unbelizeable!” Too funny!

  • Nancy Carr at

    I enjoyed reading about your adventure and the momentos. I live in Vieques, Puerto Rico and have my house for sale as I need to go back to the states. I love this place and all the places I have traveled and lived which are quite a few. I have a post card with the Caribbean map on it and when I hear of something on another island and am not sure where that is, I can always find it on the post card like you can on your tray. I think one of our local stores has a similar tray which I may pick up to take back to the states with me when I leave. I love the Caribbean and especially this island and have so many beautiful things from here. Cherish your memories and thanks for sharing.

  • pandoras box at

    A few of my favorite souvenirs include a wooden box from Haiti that holds a watermelon seed necklace, a small painting of Mt Fuji and a scarf from Alaska. What I have started to do is to buy a small painting from each travel and I have created a “travel wall of memories”…and next week I hope to add to it as I cruise the Mediterranean! I love your treasures and I hope they always remind you of the special adventures you have been on!

  • Lori at

    Love your treasures. Oh, and those woven plates are trivets by the way. 😉

  • Maria at

    I love travel momentos as well! I always try to pick up an ornament on my travels. I love having mostly “meaningful” ornaments on my tree. It doesn’t really look like the best designed tree, but it’s full of special moments. It’s always fun at Christmas when we’re decorating the tree to reminisce about the places we’ve been!

  • Angie at

    i love travel treasures! Every trip I get a Christmas ornament to remember our travel there. Costa Maya is amazing isn’t it?! We spent the best day there with a bucket of beer, fresh guac, and lobster tail. Our own personal Corona commercial. 🙂

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Haha! Love it! Yes – Costa Maya is magical. 🙂

      xo Michael

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