One of our favorite inexpensive souvenirs is smashed pennies (or elongated coins to the true collector). The machines that flatten these coins are ubiquitous at tourist destinations and a lot of fun to use.
Kids can usually choose their design from a small selection, insert their coins, and turn the crank themselves. Mine are amazed at how they have the strength to turn a solid piece of metal into a flattened keepsake.
To add to the fun of collecting smashed pennies, we found the Penny Passport. This handy holder keeps your collection together in one place. These can be found in souvenir shops or online at Penny Collector. The books themselves come in all different styles and generally cost less than $10.
The website also gives locations of penny smashing machines throughout the country and even the world. The best thing about this souvenir is that it typically costs 51 cents (although, I have seen some machines that charge $1.01). Either way, it’s a pretty good deal for a tangible memory of your trip.
This is one of Luke’s favorite souvenirs. Even though he’s not great at saving his money for keepsakes from our travels, he can usually scrape together enough change to add to this collection.