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A while back, I received a copy of a little book filled with photos of some of the silliest, tackiest, kitschy-est souvenirs from all over the world.

The sarcastic geek in me loved this book.

Crap Souvenirs

Called simply “Crap Souvenirs,” the book compiled by Doug Lansky “celebrates the best and worst of crappy souvenirs.” Each photo is accompanied by a snarky caption that only makes the funniest souvenirs funnier.

Souvenirs like:

Kangaroo ball souvenirs

Kangaroo testicle lighters and bottle openers


The “I swallowed a Snow Globe” bear with demon eyes

Canned Fog

Canned fog from San Francisco

Paging through this treasure trove of kitsch (there are dozens of brilliant and hilarious entries) got me to thinking about some of my own souvenirs, and the souvenirs I’ve been known to bring home as gifts for friends and family.

I have to admit — I am often drawn to the most random, useless things I see in a souvenir shop. Sure, I’ll buy people things like shot glasses, magnets, and t-shirts. But I’ve also been known to bring home things like toast-shaped wallets, extendable forks, and mustache band-aids.


Here are 5 of the most random things I have been drawn to in souvenir shops around the world. (Thankfully, I only actually purchased one of them…)

Texas turd-birds

My sister and I spied these in the gift shop of the Big Texan steakhouse in Amarillo, Texas. Though I also really liked the “Bullshit repellant” and tornados in a can we found there, these turd birds (accompanied by the “God bless Texas” sign) were by far my favorites.

Turd Bird

Shakespeare rubber duckies

Nothing would commemorate a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon quite like a Shakespeare rubber ducky.


Tentacle finger tips

Because who doesn’t need a set of these? (Found at a souvenir shop in Portland, Maine.)


Last supper lunch box

While browsing through a hilarious kitsch shop in Apalachicola, Florida, I stumbled upon this gem. I was *thisclose* to buying it, but went for the “Don’t Have Ugly Children” gum and a Nelson Mandela air freshener instead.


Sarah Palin mints

Out of these 5, this is the one I actually purchased. These mints were my one and only purchase from the Sarah Palin Store in Skagway, Alaska.


Maybe I’m just a bit immature. Perhaps I just have a weird sense of humor. But I’m ALWAYS drawn to things like this when I travel.

I suppose my family and friends should be thankful that I usually travel light, leaving little space for crap souvenirs to accompany me home!


What kind of kitschy souvenirs have YOU brought home from your travels?


*Note: I received a free copy of “Crap Souvenirs,” but all opinions and predilections toward useless trinkets are completely my own.

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13 Responses to An Ode to Tacky Souvenirs

  1. Kieu says:

    Bahahaha.. Turd burd! Lol. I’ve never bought crap before, but seems wacky and fun. :P
    Kieu recently posted..A Proposal in Prague. Yes, WE’RE ENGAGED!

  2. Gaelyn says:

    Taking a photo of the weird souvenir options seems like best plan. Doesn’t take up space. I’m a sucker for unique jewelry.
    Gaelyn recently posted..Penguins at the Boulders South Africa

  3. Maddie says:

    I used to love buying tack when we were on holiday, no allowed when travelling long term though! Best thing I’ve ever seen is ‘Pope on a rope’ at the Vatican, the Pope’s face plastered on a soap on a rope, excellent!
    Maddie recently posted..An out of this world encounter in Roswell

  4. memographer says:

    I might get a “Crap Souvenirs” book. I love souvenirs! Thanks for the ad.
    You’ve also reminded me to post pics of my bring-backs I wanted to post for a while. From everywhere I go I try to get a nice wooden female figurine… but ended up having a farm of wooden animals :)
    memographer recently posted..The Roman Pantheon – A Temple To All Gods

  5. Canned fog! That one made me laugh out loud. The turd birds and Shakespeare ducks, meanwhile, are undeniably awesome. Tacky = amazing.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Philly highlights: Rocky, cheesesteaks, street art and hidden temples

    • DangerousBiz says:

      Haha, the canned fog made me laugh out loud, too! Love it.

      And I agree that tacky = amazing! The only non-magnet souvenirs I buy these days have to have at least some element of kitsch to them, otherwise I’m not interested!

  6. Haha, oh yes, the kangaroo balls bottle openers. How can you miss them when in Australia. We wanted to give this to a friend as a present once… turned out there almost 30dollars! Crazy! Changed that to a magnet straight away. Less gross as well :)
    Nienke | The Travel Tester recently posted..Relaxing On Rottnest Island, West-Australia – A Destination Guide

  7. Luke says:

    Ha, reminds me of what the inside of that box in the attic I never go into looks like.

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