One of the fun aspects of taking a road trip vacation is collecting all kinds of souvenirs to remind us of the places we’ve been. While most of the souvenirs our family buys tend to be books, refrigerator magnets and the occasional poster, sometime we end up buying souvenirs that are highly breakable. Here are some of the strategies we’ve used over the years to prevent our breakable souvenirs from getting damaged.
Ask for special packing
When I bought some Indian pottery on our last road trip, the sales clerk was more than happen to dig up some boxes and bubblewrap so as to pack the bowls for safe travel. It’s been our experience that most independently owned shops are happy to oblige you with special packing if you only ask.
Do it yourself
For stores that don’t have packing supplies like thrift stores or roadside stands, we’ll carefully place the item on the floor of the car (behind the passenger seat) until that evening when I can wrap the item myself for safe transport. Most discount department stores carry basic shipping supplies including bubble wrap and strapping tape for just a few dollars which is the best way to protect a breakable souvenir.
Consolidate your souvenirs
Another strategy I use is to pack all my souvenirs in a single tote or box which is carefully packed in the trunk. Movement is the biggest cause of breakage in souvenirs, whether it is something else tumbling on to the item or the items rolling over on its own. Keeping souvenirs contained prevents them from bouncing around while also protecting them from the impact of other items in your trunk.
Consider shipping home
When my husband and I bought some 120 pounds of pottery in the San Juan Islands one summer, we knew that our vintage VW bus wouldn’t appreciate the extra weight. The simplest and safest solution for us that year was to have the items shipped back home instead of lugging them around on the rest of our road trip. Most art stores and high end souvenir shops offer shipping for a fee which is a great way to keep your breakable souvenirs safe and saves on space in the car too. For stores that don’t have this option, a Mailbox Express or similar venue will also pack and ship your breakable items home.
These are a few of the strategies our family uses to prevent breakage while on the road. Proper packing is the only way to ensure that your fragile souvenirs won’t be in pieces at the end of your vacation.
More by this contributor:
How we projected costs for a month long road trip
How to pack a car trunk for a month long road trip
How to organize and display your vacation souvenirs