A big thanks to Flytographer for gifting us a 60-minute photo shoot so we could share this account of our experience with you.

Shot by Roberta for Flytographer

My family and I just landed in Toronto from a whirlwind trip to Europe. We started in Barcelona and took a Princess Cruise to Rome, with stops in Gibraltar, Marseille, Genoa and Livorno. We spent two nights in Rome, then made our way to Naples, where we hopped on a ferry to Ischia, the island my husband’s family hails from.

After Ischia, we spent one night in Naples and one day in Munich as we made our way to Toronto to spend time with my Canadian family, which is where we currently are. Then it’s New York before heading home to Los Angeles.

All of this to say, we’re traveling for a long time — and it’s not easy to travel light when you’re gone for an extended period, especially not with two little kids. We had two large suitcases, backpacks, a stroller … a lot of stuff to carry.

When I travel, I rarely, if ever, shop. It’s just not important to me. And before kids, I always traveled with carry-on only so I never had room to bring much home. Now, I have so much stuff to carry, I just don’t want to add to the chaos.

Fortunately, the absolute best souvenirs I’ve ever brought home from my travels take up no space and add no weight to my luggage: Photos from a Flytographer shoot.

Shot by Roberta for Flytographer

I’ve been using Flytographer since 2014 when my husband and I did our first shoot in Honolulu. We loved it so much, we’ve done many more shoots around the world, documenting not just our travels but the growth of our children. We did our most recent shoot on the trip we just took to Rome.

Flytographer is a Canadian company that has professional photographers in 380 cities around the world. Travelers can book a photographer in their vacation destination and get the kind of photos you just can’t get on your own. Selfies and photos that are missing mom or dad, or your husband or wife, as they step behind the lens aren’t the best way to capture your special family vacation … and that’s where Flytographer comes in.

Shot by Roberta for Flytographer

Flytographer photographers do more than just capture great pictures. They act as local guides and can photograph you at some of the best sites in any given city. We have had so many incredible photographers around the world (you can see some photos from previous shoots here) and it’s one of my favorite things to do when I travel. Our Flytographer in Rome was Roberta and she was fun, friendly, a great tour guide and takes incredible photos. Before you book a shoot, you can view each photographer’s portfolio to see whose style you like best. Roberta came highly recommended and did not disappoint.

When, at the end of our shoot, our three-year-old daughter realized she’d lost her doll somewhere along our route, Roberta went the extra mile (literally), by retracing our steps with my husband until they found the doll, abandoned at one of our shoot locations. She truly saved the day because that doll is the fifth member of our family and I’m not sure my husband would have known exactly where to go. Grazie mille, Roberta!

You can view the pricing plans here and use the code JOHNNYJET50 for $50 off your next Flytographer shoot or gift card (it makes a great gift, too!)

We have incredible family photos hung around our house, all from Flytographer, and they are truly my most special and prized souvenirs from my travels. We also use the photos for our Christmas cards, which lets us share a special family highlight from the past year.

Instead of bringing home more knickknacks and tchotchkes from your travels, consider doing a Flytographer photo shoot. You won’t be disappointed and like us, it may become a family tradition.

12 Things to Know Before You Travel to Europe
12 Things You Never Knew About Italy
7 Things to Do in Naples, Italy
12 Things to Know Before Going to Paris
19 of the Best Off-the-Beaten Path Things to See and Do in Paris

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3 Comments On "The 30 Best Souvenirs I Brought Home From Europe — and They Took Up Absolutely No Room in My Bag"
  1. LY|

    While I can absolutely understand the idea of having a professional photo shoot on my travels and using those as my souvenirs, I don’t want to take that time away from the actual trip and all the exploring. And also, for me, part of the fun of a trip is exploring the shops and merchants to see the local wares and traditions. I don’t have to buy much, if anything, but you see more of the culture in this spaces. You also get to speak with the locals and interact.

  2. Bette Munley|

    When I recently saw your article “The 30 Best Souvenirs I Brought Home From Europe…”I was so excited to read your idea- only to be extremely disappointed. My husband and I have traveled throughout 80+ countries and I always pack an extra carry on bag for our souvenirs. We have bought and brought a variety of souvenirs from miniature metal Eiffel Towers to Nesting Dolls from St. Petersburg. Obviously your definition or interpretation of souvenirs is quite different from ours. We do take many pictures for our “memory bank” but they are not labeled under the souvenir category.


    Hi Natalie,

    I loved your article – a great idea to have a pro take the memory photo on those special trips. I think most people save for special trips and do not travel constantly – especially with children SO those special photos are priceless. I have stopped filling up my suitcase with junky souvenirs and concentrate more on learning about where I am rather than being a consumer. Your family is beautiful and thank you for the information!

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