Earrings from Everywhere I Travel – Wearable Souvenirs

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Traveling alone I like to travel light so that carrying my bags on my own is easy. I have used one roller style carry-on suitcase and a small backpack for all of my solo trips.

My favorite keepsake souvenirs to buy while traveling are earrings. Guys you should keep this in mind when you are looking for a great keepsake gift while traveling.

  • Small size means I can purchase many without worrying about the weight or space they take up in my travel bag
  • Useful accessory while traveling as well as back home
  • Great as gifts for friends and family
  • I can usually find locally handcrafted jewelry
  • Wonderful keepsake reminder of my travels
  • Earrings usually last for years
  • Available in a variety of outlets – museum shops, street markets, jewelry shops, sidewalk vendors
  • I often get to meet the artisans who designed and made the jewelry

I have a decent collection of earrings from my travels around the world – my wearable souvenirs. I have many earrings from my first solo trip to Southeast Asia – all of the earrings I purchased were from Indonesia.

My other favorite souvenirs are consumable items like the chocolate in Mexico.


Treasured keepsake souvenirs from my first solo trip to Southeast Asia

Colorful handmade earrings from Ubud – cultural center of Bali Indonesia


The earrings from Indonesia were purchased primarily in Ubud which is known for its silver jewelry artisans.

Looking at each of these little works of art brings me right back to Ubud – the gamalan music, aroma of incense, ubiquitous offerings of rice, flowers & incense in tiny hand-woven baskets, and the friendly smiles of the Balinese people.


Treasured keepsakes from my first solo travel experience to SE Asia - Balinese silver jewelry

Souvenir handcrafted starling silver earrings by artisans in Bali Indonesia – from my first solo trip


These treasured keepsake souvenirs each have a story and I can recall clearly some of the interactions I had with the local people and with other travelers. Fond memories.


Great gift ideas when traveling - handmade earrings and jewelry by local artisans - wearable souvenirs

Souvenir felt earrings purchased in Istanbul Turkey – handmade in Azerbaijan


In Istanbul I was smitten with the felt jewelry in many of the shops. My Turkish friend told me the jewelry was handmade in Azerbaijan. i bought several rings, necklaces, and earrings.


Best gift and wearable souvenir ideas from travels around the world - earrings and jewelry handcrafted by local artisans

Colorful hand knit earrings purchased at the market –  Plaza Serrano – Buenos Aires Argentina


At the outdoor markets of Plaza Serrano in Buenos Aires Argentina I purchased several pairs of brightly colored knit earrings.


Handmade earrings are great gifts and keepsake items from travels - favorite wearable souvenirs

Handmade silk earrings designed by Conchita Menéndez García – souvenir from Barcelona Spain


In Barcelona there was an outdoor art show near Plaza Catalunya – I purchased a couple of handmade painted silk scarves as gifts for my mom and my sister and painted silk earrings for friends, family, and me!


Unique handmade gifts - shop local artists at Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro Brazil - favorite wearable souvenirs from Rio

Seeds transformed into earrings by Amazon artist – Rio de Janeiro Brazil –  Copacabana promenade


Wandering the mosaic promenade along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro artisans set up booths of artwork and goods for sale. There was an Amazonian woman selling her handcrafted jewelry made from seed pods. I purchased several pairs as gifts and a few for myself.


Handmade lace earrings and wood/sterling silver earrings by local Montreal designers - great gift ideas - wearable souvenirs from Quebec

Souvenir handmade lace earrings and painted wood with sterling silver earrings


Visiting museums and art galleries around the world I usually stop in the gift shop to have a look at their offerings. In Montreal while visiting the marvelous Musée des beaux arts de Montréal (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) I wandered into their boutique-bookshop and there were local jewelry artists exhibiting their work so I was lucky enough to get to chat with a couple of them and purchase their beautiful handmade treasures.


Visiting San Jose Costa Rica - unique shop La Salamandra features art, jewelry, clothing from Nepal and SE Asia - wearable souvenirs

Earrings handmade in Nepal but purchased in San Juan Costa Rica at La Salamandra


I spend a couple of nights in San José Costa Rica – one night each before and after my week of relaxation in Manzanillo on the Caribbean coast. While exploring the city of San José I found a shop called La Salamandra with clothing, furniture, and artwork primarily from Nepal. The owner, Julio, is from Argentina but left to travel the world many decades ago. Now settled in San José he runs La Salamandra boutique and I had a nice chat with him whilst shopping.


Souvenri earrings - colorful handmade knit earrings from Bogota Colombia - big city in the Andes mountain range

My souvenir earrings from Bogotá Colombia  handmade knit earrings


While visiting Bogata Colombia I found some unique earrings at a shop just down the street from my hostel in La Candelaria district. I purchased three pairs of hand knit earrings and I wear them often.


Cute souvenir earrings from Cartagena Colombia - mini sombrero vueltiao (turned hat) traditional hat of Colombia - wearable souvenirs

Cute earrings – Cartagena Colombia – mini sombrero vueltiao (turned hat) traditional hat of Colombia


I traveled to Colombia twice and the reason I went back a second time was due to the wonderful friends I met in Cartagena during my first solo trip there in May of 2012. When I returned to celebrate New Year’s Eve with them we danced until 5:30 in the morning! My friend Liliana gave me a pair of earrings fashioned after the traditional Colombian hats known as sombrero vueltiao (turned hat) – very cute!

Do you buy souvenirs when you travel? What are your favorite souvenirs to give or to receive as gifts?

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

17 Replies

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  1. Roger Green says:

    What a wonderful collection, for all occasions!


  2. Marcy says:

    What a collection and wonderful souvenirs!

  3. Photo Cache says:

    Your collection is immense and beautiful, so precious. I just started. I too try to collect small pieces of jewelry (earrings if possible) from places I visit. So far I have a pair from Egypt, a Maltese cross from Malta and a couple of pairs from different parts of US.

    • I haven’t been to Egypt or Malta yet – i would imagine there are some incredible jewelry shops and markets. I would need some discipline to keep from buying up everything I liked.


  4. Leslie says:

    You have a splendid collection of earrings here – I love them all. When I travelled last time (to England and Wales) I only had a small case, too. I had squeezed in some gifts for people who were putting us up so these gifts made room for me to bring a few things back. I decided to get tea towels because I could roll them up or fold them flat and they didn’t take up much room. But I love the idea of earrings – since I feel naked without them! What a great gift idea!

    abcw team

    • Leslie, I also feel naked without my earrings! I stopped wearing makeup a couple of years ago but I could never give up my earring habit. Tea towels are a great gift or souvenir item too! Non-breakable and flexible shape is so easy to pack.


  5. Hildred says:

    An amazing collection and what a great idea for gifts!

  6. ellen b says:

    If I wore earrings that would be such a great souvenir to collect! I’m such a minimalist in accessories! I do like necklaces or mugs or egg cups or cards…

    • Wish I could see everyone’s souvenir collections. I used to collect mugs from places I traveled – still have the European tour collection from the ’80s :)

      I also like to buy a few extra stamps when I send post cards so I can keep a few for myself as souvenirs – now that’s really tiny and light weight!


  7. Rajesh says:

    Those earrings are very lovely.

  8. Laurie Kazmierczak says:

    I tend toward bracelets for souvenirs…I must say you have an exquisite collection♪

  9. Shady Gardener says:

    Great idea! Of course they would be unique to each culture and site you visit! :-)

  10. Indrani says:

    Wow! You have a precious and unique collection. Each of them are so creatively done.
    Gives me an idea to start one of my own.

  11. melissa says:

    A woman on my Haggis Adventures tour collected earrings from the places she’s been. She had quite the assortment. I stick with postcards and a deck of playing cards if they’re available.

    • I love receiving post cards so I still try to send them out to family and friends and buy a few extras for myself. A deck of playing cards is a great idea! Makes a great gift item and if you get stuck in transit you have something for entertainment :)

  12. Charlys Trevino says:

    Earrings are my thing as well! Love..love ..love your collection. I passed up some locally made earrings at an art market in Split, Croatia. I kicked myself afterwards.

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