With the summer season drawing to a close it's not just a tan British holidaymakers are coming home with this year. New research by Travelzoo, the UK's top travel and leisure deals company, sheds light on some of the purchases that seem like a great idea when you're abroad but disappoint on home soil.
According to the study by Travelzoo, which polled 1,000 UK travellers, resort logo t-shirts, keyrings and mugs topped the list of the most-regretted dust collectors of 2015; not forgetting the 'I HEART España' type fridge magnets, which one in four of us opted for but later wished we hadn't.
Brits and tacky holiday souvenirs go hand-in-hand, but we were surprised to find that men had such a penchant for homewares – including authentic carpets, rugs, tablecloths and the odd cup and saucer – whereas women were more inclined to purchase (and subsequently regret) the more kitsch dust collectors, such as snow globes, candles and dolls. Whatever the souvenir, both men and women are guilty of spending their money on impulsive 'must have' souvenirs when abroad, with most destined for the bin when reality hits back at home.
Louise Hodges, Travelzoo's head of communications said: "It's fascinating how being abroad can affect British tourists' purchase decisions. The research reveals how a purchase can seem like a good idea at the time but will instantly be regretted when sun-kissed Brits return back to the grey skies of the UK. How many of us have brought back a bottle of the local tipple, which tasted so wonderful on holiday, only to find the taste is far less pleasant now that it's enjoyed in front of a box set on the TV? But with holidays come such important life memories, and I think we can all be forgiven for trying to bring back a little bit of those memories. Well, most can be forgiven!"
When it comes to the Millennials, it seems the souvenir purchased and most regretted is fake accessories – just under 40% of 16-24-year-olds admit to bringing home a rip-off designer item, like a pair of sunglasses or a handbag, then later wishing they hadn't.
As part of this survey, Travelzoo also set out on a mission to uncover the worst souvenirs British holidaymakers have received as a gift – so take note before you surprise your loved one with a treat from foreign shores. The list isn't pretty so we would warn those of a nervous disposition to look away now.
Worst 10 Holiday Souvenirs you've been gifted
- A pair of singing flamenco shoes
- A wonky-eyed self portrait
- Christ on an egg cup
- A broken keyring
- A giant plastic fish
- A 'cat in a basket made of real fur'
- A doll made of shells
- A large Japanese statue with a scary face
- A crab set in a clear plastic setting
- A stuffed donkey/camel
Hodges commented: "If we're honest, our researchers uncovered plenty of unique souvenirs that don't appear on the above list – unfortunately, these weren't fit for publishing, and certainly not fit for photographing! We had some laughs discovering Britain's unfaltering love of tacky souvenirs and we're glad to see that the UK's sense of humour is alive and well."