Keepsakes Worth Keeping

Ending a trip can be a drag. These souvenirs all under $50 ease the pain.

Keepsakes Worth Keeping


1. Buzzy Bee
Auckland, New Zealand
Icons of New Zealand’s cultural heritage, including this Buzzy Bee toy, are called Kiwiana. The toy’s colors are known to attract the national bird, the kiwi. ($31,

2. Haathi Chaap Elephant Poo Paper
New Delhi, India
The name says it all. The cards, printed on varying shades of brown paper (color depends on the elephant’s diet), are decorated with both front and rear views of their long-trunked source. ($1,

3. Ladurée macaroons
Ladurée macaroons are Parisian couture in food form. These delicacies trace back to the early 20th century, which makes us wonder how the French have stayed so thin for so long. ($20,

4. Pillowcase
Cape Town, South Africa
The animal on this pillowcase was inspired by a 2,000-year-old cave drawing in Cederberg, 140 miles north of Cape Town, where designer Heather Moore lives.


5. Bowl with wooden shoes
Playing on misconceptions of her home country (no, the Dutch don’t live in windmills), designer Anne-Marie Jetten’s work, like this bowl with wooden shoes, has a strong sense of humor. ($28,

6. Coin purse
Finnish textile designer Marimekko leaves nothing to waste. After fabric is cut for dresses and bags, the scraps are used to craft coin purses. ($46,

7. Serving tray
Inspired by artists like Picasso and designers like Paul Rand, Maria Dahlgren’s work shows the best of Stockholm in a fresh way. “It’s very personal, as if I were talking to a friend,” she says. ($40,

8. Mate gourd and bombilla
Buenos Aires, Argentina
To drink yerba mate the traditional way, let the leaves steep in a gourd and drink the infused, caffeinated tea through a bombilla, a filtered metal straw. ($6, San Telmo Market)

9. Porcupine alebrije
Oaxaca, Mexico
For a particularly pointy piece of folk art, look to this porcupine. Handmade in Oaxaca, it’s a fine example of an alebrije, a carved wooden animal or mythical creature often made of copal wood, native to the region. ($15,


10. Coasters
In 18th-century Britain, it was a status symbol for families to have their estate etched on a plate. The tradition gets a contemporary update with these coasters, which offer a timeline of British architecture. ($32,

11. Painted mug
Aboriginals comprise just 2.3% of Australia’s population, but their art is recognized as integral to the nation’s heritage. This image, by Judy Napangardi Watson, symbolizes the journey of indigenous women who traveled through the Outback gathering food. ($27,

12. Matryoshka dolls
Dating back to the 19th century, Russian nesting dolls gave birth to the Matryoshka Principle, which has since found a home in modern design: The object-within-an-object trend is now everywhere. ($30,

13. Street-style T-shirt
Plastered T-shirts, Beijing’s first original T-shirt brand, celebrates Chinese street culture. This kung fu kid comes from a 1972 government-published art book; the back image shows split pants, a popular fashion for kids in China. ($25,

14. Body scrub
Tel Aviv, Israel
At 1,400 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is referred to as “the lowest health spa in the world.” Soap maker Sabon captures the sea’s properties in this fig-cocoa body scrub, letting visitors take the coveted experience home. ($30,

Photographs by Jeff Harris