Growing Our Travel Art Collection

I always have the hardest time choosing souvenirs. When Kevin and I traveled to London and Paris for our honeymoon in 2013, all I brought back from London was a cheap scarf and three tins of Vaseline lip balm. No regrets on the lip balm, but I definitely could have done better.

We had greater success in Paris, where we bought a set of three art prints from a vendor along the Seine. The prints depicting the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Arc de Triomphe are probably actually very poor in quality, but the memories made them some of my favorite things we have hanging in our house…until now.

On our recent Adventures by Disney cruise along the Danube River, we made a point to buy a piece of art (either original or reproductions) in each city we visited. Due to the nature of the cruise, where we were in a different place each day, we came home with quite a collection.

I had a feeling that some of the pieces we bought wouldn’t be standard sizes, but I definitely wasn’t expecting this:


Not one would fit in a standard American frame. So to Michaels we went, armed with coupons and a gift card I’d been hoarding since Christmas.

We had custom mats cut for three pieces and ordered a fourth mat and a small custom frame for one piece, which came pre-matted, online later. In all, I’m really happy with how they all turned out. We hung them together in our dining room, on a wall that’s been blank since we moved into our house more than four years ago. All it took for us to finally agree on what to hang there was a trip through Europe.


I’m hoping to grow this collection over time (the wall spans the entire side of our house so there’s plenty of room!) with more art from our future travels.

Tips for Traveling with Art

So you bought a couple pieces you love…but how do you get them home?

  • If you know before leaving home that you’re likely to come home with some watercolors or art prints, consider packing a cardboard mailing tube in your suitcase. You can find these and most office supply stores and, while they’ll take up a bit of room in your luggage, the $2 investment is well worth the peace of mind when you won’t have to worry how the airline attendants are treating your bags down on the tarmac.
  • Didn’t plan ahead? Hope is not lost. We were able to scavenge a cardboard box from one of our ship’s adventure guides the night before we flew home from Munich, and sandwiched the art between two pieces of cardboard. I fastened the two pieces together with a few bobby pins (just call me Lady MacGyver) and placed it at the bottom of my hardside suitcase. They arrived back in North Carolina unharmed, along with the bottle of wine and jars of apricot jam I rolled in Kevin’s jeans.

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