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Once upon a time, on her first few trips abroad, there was a girl who would always return home with foreign gifts and goodies from exotic destinations and far off lands. For mum, a Guess handbag straight from the streets of Milan. For the grandparents, a handwoven recreation of the last supper. Weaponry from the tower of London, Pacific Island artifacts, plush toys, designer clothing and African art – there was nothing which didn’t make it home, and she loved the joy these gifts would bring loved ones upon her return.

However unfortunately now, with a travel itinerary so hectic and round the world tours so packed, it would send her broke to return home with such lavish souvenirs from each and every far off land (though it kills her inside). Also, she doesn’t have the packing space.

And though she no longer buys, she still takes joy in what each family member and friend would have loved, and so without further ado, I give you the gifts I would have bought you from Iceland…if I had more money and space to pack everything.

For: My sister Emma.

For: My sister Emma. Lover of cute underwear.

For: Dad, to wear when you take mum to Iceland. That's a hint.

For: Dad, to wear when you take mum to Iceland. That’s a hint.

For: Koby - my 3 year old nephew. Though I have undoubtedly gotten his age wrong.

For: Koby – my 3 year old nephew. Though I have undoubtedly gotten his age wrong.

For: My sister Amy. Works with children and would probably wear this herself anyway!

For: My sister Amy. Works with children and would probably wear this herself anyway!

For: Tom. My brother gets a kick out of amusing shirts!

For: Tom. My brother gets a kick out of amusing shirts!

For: There's a new baby on the way! Em, we would buy them because we don't know yet!

For: There’s a new baby on the way! Em, we would buy them both because we don’t know yet!

For: Bethany. My cousin has the best collection of plush toys I have ever seen!

For: Bethany. My cousin has the best collection of plush toys I have ever seen!

For: Mum.

For: Mum. You get your own little piece of Iceland, plus, I’m convincing Dad to bring you on a trip of your own!

For: My 6 year old nephew.

For: My 6 year old nephew Malakai.

For my brother-in-law Nate. Getting you a Viking Ship!

For my brother-in-law Nate. You get a Viking Ship!

For: Duncan. It reminds me of Lord of the Rings, plus there was no Lego. We checked.

For: Duncan. It reminds me of Lord of the Rings, plus there was no Lego. We checked.

For: My girlfriends. Iceland beauty products and skin care!!

For: My girlfriends. Icelandic beauty products and skin care!!

For: Everyone I forgot. Everyone else gets socks...

For: Everyone I forgot. Everyone else gets socks…

...and postcards!

…and postcards!

We actually had the time of our lives running around the gift shop in the Golden Circle while it poured outside with rain.

Finding ‘things I would have bought’ for each person we love and hold most dear was an incredibly fun and entertaining way to spend the better half of an afternoon. (Try it sometime!)

And even though they’re not actually receiving these gifts – it’s the thought that counts!

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.



  1. Love this! Meg, you have the Souvenir Finder’s 100% approval! After photographing all the fun stuff I often finds that satisfies my need to purchase. Love your picks!

    • Thanks Kristin! It’s so true – running around photographing amazing souvenirs was actually just as fun as purchasing them – except 100% cheaper :D! I think we’re onto something here!!

  2. This is great advice to know in advance prior to heading to Iceland! Honestly, we are pretty much in the same position as you that when the novelty of traveling was new, we would bring gifts back for different folks. Now it’s a rarity but it’s always nice to check out new countries and what is top of their souvenir list.

    I am sure there are one or two Icelandic souvenirs that our friends and family would love but my tip to them…get your thinking caps on and figure out when you can make the journey there!!

    • Love the tip! Mine is the same…I know my mother really wants to get there, so maybe they can all convince her to bring back souvenirs when she and dad finally get there!

  3. Omg what a hilarious post! I love buying gifts and souvenirs when I have the money and space. When I’m on a budget I usually buy local snacks! They’re usually cheap and one pack can be enjoyed by several people LOL

    • Local snacks are a great idea! I love that it’s a gift that can be shared; takes up minimal packing space, and people always love exotic foods…especially if it’s chocolate lol! Thanks Halida – I may just start doing that!

  4. What a really sweet idea.

    I’ve never been one to but souvenirs (apart from one really tacky Braveheart tshirt I bought in Edinburgh on a ‘buy the tackyist item I can find), but there have been times where I saw something and thought of someone. This would have been a great idea to do.

    • I really think I’m going to keep doing this in different destinations; it’s fun from our end, and it’s also kind of fun to send the photos home saying “thought of you when I saw this”!

      Lol I spent my whole gap year abroad buying tacky souvenirs. They’re now collecting dust in a box in my parents ceiling in Australia!

  5. I was the same way. I used to buy gifts, but the more I traveled, the less I wanted to pack more stuff on my return flight and spend money on gifts that my family may not have appreciated other than the thought since they are not big travelers. This post cracked me up because I recently took a picture of something I was going to buy my sister and then sent it to her when I was traveling! Still showing her the thought but not the price tag!

    • Sounds like great minds think alike! And this way you can totally blow your “budget” so to speak of what you would have normally actually spent. Win win!! (except for the them not actually getting the gifts part!)

  6. Megan, when were you in Iceland? I’m going next week…and while I already have a stacked line up of things I’m going to be doing. I’d love to hear about anything specific you recommend or just your thoughts in general!


    • Hey Greig! We were in Iceland in July 2014, so not too long ago now – LOVED it! It’ll be different for you visiting in winter as we were there during summer; we mainly spent our time driving the ring road which was epic and I highly recommend it if you have the time (some roads will be closed in the winter so just check this).

      Here’s a link to a guide I put together for roadtripping Iceland after our time there:

      We weren’t too impressed with the Golden Circle honestly after having done the Ring Road as everything to that point had been just spectacular and then the Golden Circle was packed with tourists and way too commercial so was a bit of a let down.

      Had a brilliant day white water rafting with Arctic Adventures which you can read about here:

      And also spent a day with Safari Quads on a monster quad bike tour which was epic – video and photos here:

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you’re after any other recommendations – you’ll seriously have such a fab time; our favorite country in the world and we can’t wait to get back!

      Happy travels :)

    • Hey Megan,

      Thanks so much for all of the feedback! I think our trips will end up being very different because of the time of year. White water rafting and quad tours are 100% my style.. but unfortunately I don’t think they’re offered to the extent we’d like at this time of year. As of right now we’ll be seeing the Northern Lights, seeing the Golden Circle, visiting several waterfalls including Gulfoss, touring the Southern Coast, hiking on glaciers, visiting the blue lagoon and scuba diving the continental divide. Should be very interesting I really can’t wait. I’ll be posting lots of pictures on the blog so please check them out!

    • Definitely – We really want to get back to experience Iceland in winter just because I’m guessing the experience really would be totally different.

      Sounds like a great itinerary – will definitely be following along because I would love to eventually see the Northern Lights and complete a glacier hike! Sounds epic!

      Happy travels!

  7. I want the underwear, pink please!

    • Deal – noted for the next time we head back :D!

  8. I wish we could buy more souvenirs on the road, but our backpacks are already busting at the seams….Iceland is high high on the bucket list!

    • It really is like that! We’re always so short on space so will only generally buy postcards, though it’s always fun to window shop and imagine how wonderful it would be if we had an unlimited budget and an unlimited amount of space :D!

      I hope you manage to make it to Iceland soon, you’ll LOVE it!

  9. Why are those darn puffins so cute?!?! All of your Iceland photos were amazing, those puffins…

    • Thanks Carrie…and OMG I know!! They’re so mesmerizing we were actually photographing them for hours one day we couldn’t tear ourselves away! Ended up heading back tot he car completely covered in bird doo because we were there for too long lol :D

  10. Just got back from Iceland. I WOULD have picked up a wool sweater, if I lived in a more persistently cool climate. This time it was lava rocks and art :).


    • Absolutely!! Though lava and rock art are equally as cool and unique! Sounds like you had an amazing time, heading over to your blog to read all about it now!

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