Cultural Experience | Resources

10 Things to do with all of the Junk You Bring Home

Ticket stubs, street maps, stickers, “useless” junk repurposed.

There are two kinds of travelers: those shed every excess piece of junk to keep their luggage light, and those who cannot bear to part with anything reminiscent of their travels. Each has their merits and faults, and one is no better than the other. Regardless of which you identify best with, everyone who travels should have a way to remember where you have been.

If you travel light…

Try patches on backpack or another bag.  Most places sell souvenir patches and it’s easy to fashion it to your bag (try staples or a stitch or two with a pocket sewing kit).  Once it’s on your bag, it takes up no extra space and weighs practically nothing.  The more places you go, the more you collect, and the cooler your bag gets.

Press some flora and fauna from each place you go.  This may seem odd, but if you’re into the more natural side of things, this is for you.  Keep a notebook of some kind, and put an interesting leaf or flower from each place between pages, or if you’re ambitious, tape them in.  When you’re done, you have a really unique way of remembering the places you’ve been.

Get a sticker for each stop.  Stickers are everywhere, and they’re cheap.  They take up little room and usually have a noteworthy location on them.  Once you’re home, there are a ton of ways to display your collection.  Put them on your laptop, your water bottle, or even on something bigger or on display in your home.



Take nothing but pictures and start an instagram or blog specifically for your trip.  You will have a central place to go back to and see your memories without having to scroll through your Facebook or picture storage on your computer or phone. Share your story with The College Tourist here.

Send yourself a postcard from every place you stop. Include a memory on each, and when you get home, you have a picture book-like account of you entire trip.  Postcards are cheap, and this method adds nothing to your luggage.

If you keep everything…

Create a memory board.  Take all those ticket stubs, receipts, polaroids, pictures,  and notes and create one big visual scrapbook.   All you need is a cork board and some tape or thumbtacks and you’re set to have all of your memories on display.



Incorporate it into some furniture.  Redoing old pieces of furniture to fit your style is a huge pinterest fad, so why not include something special from your travels? Picking out something that means a lot to you, and making it part of your every day life is a great way of keeping it close to your heart and on your mind.


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Start a collection.  Having one way of commemorating every place you go is a really cool way of seeing all of them at once, so pick one thing.  Mugs, t-shirts, stickers, patches, shot glasses… the list goes on! Pick one and stick to it; being able to compare all of them side by side makes for great stories, and funny memories of picking them out.

Turn aforementioned collection into room décor.  If the collection starts to take up too much space or seem useless (why is one person supposed to do with 20 shot glasses?), repurpose them!  Turning cups into candles is super simple, as is using old maps to paper mache letters for your room.



Make a t-shirt quilt. If you’ve outgrown some shirts from trips past, but cannot bear to part with them, turn them into a t-shirt quilt!  Patterns can be found online, or if you never had a knack for crafting, there are services that will do it for you!


What to do with all the junk you bring home

Rayne Pestello

Tulane University | 8 stories

Hi! I'm Rayne (like rain) and this summer I am hopping on a plane for Geneva, Switzerland and leaving North America for the first time! I currently attend college in the greatest city that ever existed, New Orleans, and am originally from the paradise that is Texas, but I'm ready for Europe to blow my mind. I like long walks on the beach, politics, running and I would not be where I am today without the help of Jane Austen, CJ Cregg, coffee, and the Girl Scouts of America (and friends and family of course). My friends would describe me as a Ravenclaw with a bad shopping habit and a caffeine addiction. Watch out Geneva, I’m coming for you!

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