Natural souvenirs | Pieces of nature to collect on your travels

Posted on 22 March 2024 By Louise Bell

From weighty fridge magnets to large gifts for friends, souvenirs can sometimes be a hassle to fit into your suitcase. While obtaining treasure items is a wonderful way to remember your travels, there is a sustainable and unique alternative to buying foreign keepsakes.

By collecting items from nature, you’ll be able to ensure you remember your past journeys by reminiscing and peering at pieces obtained in the environment abroad.

Walking and exploring nature is a great choice for travellers to experience their surroundings fully, so why not do your souvenir scouting on your adventures outdoors? We’ll guide you through a few natural keepsakes to collect on your travels.


This is a great option for individuals on a tropical vacation or planning to add island hopping to their itinerary. Not only is seashell hunting a fun activity for all ages, but it also allows you to channel your inner child and collect remnants of once-living creatures of the sea. Before adding it to your luggage, make sure no living species are still lurking in the shells and place the shelled treasures in a plastic bag.

What to do with them: By adding a kaleidoscope of seashells to a vase, you can add a touch of beachy splendour to your home with a wonderful backstory.


Grainy granules might be a strange one to add to a natural souvenir list, but this idea all comes together if you’re travelling to various locations. By collecting small samples from each destination, you’ll be able to combine these pieces of nature into a colourful jar that represents your journey in full.

From the white sand of Camps Bay to the famous red dunes of Namibia, you’ll be able to create your own sand art by simply scooping up a tablespoon of this natural substance.

What to do with them: Place these varieties of sand colours in a glass jar and gift them to your friends and family as thoughtful presents to represent your travels.


Floral samples are a wonderful choice if you’re planning to take a lot of hikes on your holiday. While snagging a whole bunch of flowers is not considered the proper etiquette on a hike, so be sure to find a great selection on the ground to add to your collection. 

By adding flora to your natural souvenir collection, you’ll have to opportunity to gather local and indigenous plant species to your suitcase.

What to do with them: Flower pressing is a wonderful activity to pick up to create eco-friendly, sustainable and natural pieces of art. These pressing can be used to add to travel scrapbooks or serve as a bookmark for your latest summer read.

*Note: be sure to do your research on environmental bylaws and enforcements in any given location to ensure you tread and collect items in the visiting country legally and respectfully.

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ALSO READ: Travel sketching: going old school

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