Being on vacation can range from relaxing to invigorating, but the feeling rarely has a chance to sink in before it’s time again to return to reality and the daily grind. Photos in kitsch frames or T-shirts used to be the standard way of remembering your trip for many decades, but they have since given way to something truly sensual: art. Whether you purchase some abroad while on holiday or online after your vacation, art pieces have a way of capturing your travels and moments of bliss for you to relive every time you see them.
What to Buy
Anything from paintings and sculptures to vases and even wearable art like handmade jewelry can remind you of your vacation; all that matters is that it speaks to your personality. Some people collect teapots from every destination they are visit, while others like to pick up something unique and indicative of their time spent abroad. Never follow souvenir trends. Just because everyone is going to Venice and returning with carnival masks doesn’t mean that you have to do the same in order to have a beautiful memento. Pottery and ceramics, tapestries, wood carvings and local folk art are all impressive alternatives.
How and Where to Find Art
Again, the options run the gambit. It all depends on where you visit and what type of art you are interested in purchasing. For high-end paintings and sculptures, even replicas of original works, you will want to stick with reputable galleries and art fairs where the dealers are thoroughly vetted, because the number of counterfeit art pieces is staggering, and you don’t want to get ripped off! This risk is doubled for the antique market. Also, be sure to protect yourself and your purchases by getting insurance before going on vacation. Some policies offer extensions which allow for buying art abroad and declaring them once you return home.
If strolling through artisan markets and looking for smaller, more unique pieces, don’t be afraid to quibble over the price. In some countries, like Morocco, Dubai or Argentina, haggling is part of the fun and is a local custom in which many foreigners rarely partake.
Getting it Home or Buying it Afterward
Now here comes the tricky part. Not only can large pieces be troublesome and expensive to ship home, it is vital to know the rules both in the country you are visiting as well as your country of residence. The United States has strict laws about what can and cannot be imported, with many items requiring special permits before they are allowed to cross the border. The general rule is that any art piece made entirely by hand, including paintings, and antiques that are over 100 years old may enter the U.S. duty-free.
If you’d rather travel light and look for art once you are safely back home, there are many online retailers that specialize in authentic art pieces as well as framed prints from your favorite holiday spots. Artismo, a reputable and affordable online art dealer, is a great place to start your search for vacation memorabilia. They boast the world’s largest selection of art and decor for your home, and you can search by style, artist, subject or even color.
Whatever reminds you of a travel destination, there’s a place to find it as well as a way to display it in your own home. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but so is a handmade bracelet, a driftwood sculpture, a necklace made of sea glass, or a beautiful painting made by a local artist. Find art that speaks to you and transports you back to your memorable excursion. That’s a bit more satisfying than a t-shirt, don’t you think?
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wlappe/2903363114/