If we know each other well, you might know that I love shopping. It’s not just accumulating more things that I love though, it’s the hunt for things that express my personality, that remind me of a special place, or make me think of another person. I love giving gifts because I have so much fun picking out special items that a loved one might enjoy. Knowing this about myself, I have to set limits on the number and price range of souvenirs that I buy.
I decided to buy myself one splurge gift this trip (around €100). I fell in love with a Swatch on day one and decided that I had to have it, and that it would be my only big purchase of the trip. I have three Swatches at home, and I love that I can wear it every day, and that it brings a pop of color to any outfit.
As for souvenirs (from French, souvenir = memory), I was excited to buy gifts for roommate, Pringle’s dog sitter, and a few friends. This can be a challenge on a limited budget. First, I bought some French (and Swiss) chocolates at the Monop’ near me. The packaging may not be as charming as the chocolates at the museums and boutique stores, but the quality and price are usually better.
Next, I explored the love of my life, HEMA. This wonderful Dutch cain of small Target-like stores sells only HEMA products, and has fabulous color coordination. I am particularly fond of their dish towels and pot holders with fun patterns such as croissants picked out on them. HEMA also has cheap travel essentials such as extra undies, tissues, and umbrellas. They are often located in train stations and city centers - so convenient. Their snacks are all HEMA brand, and are medium tasty (though often dry). I recommend admiring their party decorations, stationary, and kid’s toys as well.
My last stop for souvenirs in Paris is the trendiest on this list. Fleux is a 6 part store located in the Marais neighborhood. I’m pretty much obsessed with everything in the store, from the vegetable shaped sex toys and earrings in #1, to the houseplants in #2, to the scrunchies in #3 and the art prints in #5. If you’re looking for a gift for me in Paris, look no further ;)
The Marais has way too many cute boutiques for me to hang out there for long on a limited budget, but if you have favorite shops in the area, I would love to hear about them! No matter what I’m shopping for, I try to think about suitcase space and weight, which can help me limit my purchases.
P.S. I also love buying museum postcards; they are relatively inexpensive, lovely, and can make someone’s day.
À très vite!