Someone has used them on you and you have used them on someone else. We have all been guilty of scrambling for excuses when we get home from a vacation to family or friends who look at us expectantly, hoping that we have brought something back for them. Here are 6 common excuses not to get a souvenir, and our solutions to all of them.
Excuse 1: There was no more space in my suitcase!
After a long vacation and many shopping sprees, we often find our suitcases stuffed to the brim. Getting a thoughtful souvenir that does not take up too much space is definitely not an insurmountable task, however. Ditch items with bulky packaging and look for items that can be packed flat or in the nooks and crannies of your bag. Most importantly, ditch this excuse!
Solution: Motion postcards by Red Republic
These unique postcards feature delightful scenes from a typical Singapore hawker centre or coffee-shop. The best part? Weighing next to nothing and with dimensions of just 10cm x 15cm, these can be easily stashed into your carry-on bag.
Excuse 2: It seemed silly to get you something useless!
Not all souvenirs are created equal. Some are meant merely for display. Others look pretty yet serve a useful purpose. Instead of gifts that will end up sitting on a console table or shelf collecting dust, narrow your choices down to items that can be used in one’s daily life. Your friends and family will never narrow their eyes at you again.
Solution: Metal bookmark
With a delicate cutout of the iconic Changi Airport control tower, the Merlion and Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid, this exquisite metal bookmark is the perfect souvenir for bookworms.
Excuse 3: I know you hate gimmicky souvenirs!
‘I ❤️ __’ t-shirts, fridge magnets and keychains might not be everyone’s souvenir of choice. Opt for a momento that alludes to the country you have visited, but does not look like the result of a quick dash to the bodega down the road from your hotel at the last minute. Our tip? Keep a look-out for gifts with subtle, national icons.
Solution: Risis Vanda hybrid orchid brooch/pendant
This beautiful Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid brooch doubles up as a pendant and is made from a real orchid that has been plated in 24K gold. Your stylish friends will be sold.
Excuse 4: I didn’t want to get you anything touristy!
Some of us prefer understated souvenirs that might not reveal where they were bought from at first glance. Search for gifts that reveal things about the country instead. Handmade products are especially meaningful - they can act as a gateway for you to share with your friends and family about what you have learned about the country’s culture.
Solution: Tanglin Gin
Handcrafted, batch distilled and bottled in Singapore, this iteration of Tanglin Gin uses the orchid as a secret ingredient and contains botanicals commonly associated with food from the various ethnic cultures in Singapore. All the ingredients complement each other perfectly, resulting in a flavourful gin, reminiscent of Singapore’s melting pot of cultures.
Excuse 5: I had absolutely no time to shop for souvenirs!
Some souvenirs can be found in the least likely, but most convenient of places - the pharmacy. Even if you don’t need to pick up any medical supplies before you go on your flight, you can still grab a local beauty or healthcare product unique to the country as gifts! Going to the grocery store for a bottle of water? What’s stopping you from buying a snack you cannot find back home? These days, there’s also the added convenience of click-and-collect services by many online retailers, so shopping for souvenirs can now be done in mere minutes and not having time to shop is now a mere excuse.
Solution: Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm, a Singaporean brand that produces the world-famous ointment that provides relief for muscle aches, inflammation and insect bites, would be a welcome addition to anyone’s medicine cabinet. You can pick these up from most local pharmacies in Singapore and with an abundance of pharmacies in Changi Airport, including the transit areas, you can grab them anytime before you board your plane.
Excuse 6: The food just couldn’t survive the journey home!
A chip in your cookie, and not the chocolate kind? Food items make great souvenirs, but when they arrive home in broken pieces, all you are going to end up with are broken hearts. Opt for food items that are individually and vacuum-packed so they do not get damaged on the flight home.
Solution: Bak Kwa
Available in pork, beef and chicken, this meat jerky snack is a classic Singaporean treat. These are bite-sized and vacuum-packed, so you can even chuck them into your check-in baggage and board your flight without a worry. No more excuses to leave your friends and family hungry for a taste of your travel experience!
There’s no such thing as a ‘good excuse’, so don’t leave Singapore empty-handed! Souvenirs are meant to be a symbol of where you’ve visited and even the smallest of gifts can be a conversation starter and allow you to share the greatest of stories about your travels with your loved ones.
From now till 31 August 2019, buy your souvenirs and get the Changi LoveSG tote bag for free when you spend a minimum of S$100 in Changi Airport or S$60 on iShopChangi on Changi LoveSG products. Shop on iShopChangi and have your purchases ready and waiting for you before you fly, saving you time before you depart from or when you travel through Changi Airport.