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Leave the clogs in Amsterdam

Bringing home travel mementos can be one of the hardest parts of one's travels. You want to bring a small part of that city back home without it going unnoticed. Although photographs and postcards can be a cheaper alternative, you want to bring a special something for mom, dad or any other loved ones. Rather than getting frustrated with generic souvenirs that are usually a waste of money, there are plenty of unique alternatives. There are just some items that shouldn't even enter your luggage.


1. Paris Eiffel Tower Replica: Sorry friends! It will be hard to bring home a nice French man with a sultry accent, or even a hot loaf of French bread. But, do your friends a favor and don't bring home a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Everyone is quite familiar with how it looks and it might not match with the décor of everyone's living space anyway.


Instead: Bring home a Parisian fragrance.


2. Hawaiian Lei: Unless you personally know someone taking hula lessons or how a lei can work into their wardrobe, leave this item in the stores. Movies often depict travelers being crowned with a lei the minute they step onto the Hawaiian islands. In reality, the “ceremonial crowning” is actually a $25 service. As traditional as they are, it comes down to it being cheap, plastic flowers.


Instead: Find a boutique with pleasant scented tanning lotion. There are many varieties that give Hawaiian Tropic a run for the money.


3. Amsterdam Clogs: Obviously, you can't bring home any prohibited items needless to say, especially any proof that you were in the Red Light District. As lovely as Dutch clogs are, it's about as typical as bringing home Dutch cheese. And face it, clogs don't seem to go with your jeans. (Or your Hawaiian lei at that.)


Instead: Bring home a delicious package of stroopwafels; savory waffles with caramel.


4. I Love New York Shirts: Everyone (hopefully) loves a bite of the Big Apple. The city streets are bombarded with souvenir shops that light up Broadway. You can buy one “I Love New York” shirt for $10, or find cheap imitations at 10 for $10. It's easy to spot this item; even outside of New York, so why bring this back home as a unique gift?And what about the person that just might not love New York; as hard as that might be to believe!


Instead: Shop in the vintage shops for unique threads. Shop till you drop in SoHo for some great finds.


5. Shot glasses from any city: We're not sure who started making endless amounts of shot glasses with city names, maps or symbols on it, but there sure is an abundance of it. There could be interesting varieties of shot glasses, like one that might change colors. As fun as a few shot glasses sound, how many shot glasses can one have? If you're a world traveler and have been to many countries, you could be borderline accumulating junk.


Instead: Buy a bottle of the local spirit, wine or beer for someone to consume and properly enjoy.

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