- inexpensive postcards
- leaves or flowers to press
- plants - native to the area you are visiting
- an object for a charm bracelet
- refrigerator magnets from each place visited
- Christmas ornaments
- AND friends! (this one is a given for home exchangers!)
One of our family's favorite collections are squashed pennies -- You know, where you put .50 cents and a shiny penny into a "penny press" machine then turn the crank...and viola' you have a memorable souvenir and it only cost .51 cents. OK, OK maybe $2.04 because we have four children, but still, this little collection has saved us lots of money and space in our suitcases! Several years ago I found a "penny passport" which is a nifty little holder for our collection...here is a link to see what an example of what I'm talking about!
One year when we were doing an insect collection we found lots of great specimens on our trip to the beach. Our greatest find was on the sidewalk next to a gas station - a big, beautiful luna moth (fortunately, it had already died in a beautiful position) If you want to collect insects on your trip though you do have to be prepared ahead of time with necessary containers to protect your finds.