Travel Tip #1: Get a Travel Mascot! ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Travel Tip #1: Get a Travel Mascot!

I am loaded with tons of useful travel tips: how to pack for 4 weeks in a carry-on suitcase, traveling through security the fastest and easiest way, and how to save money on food.

This is not one of those tips!

I am all about planning and budgeting my trips beforehand, but once I'm on vacation, it's time to have fun.

Meet my travel mascot: Little Miss!

Leaning Tower of Pisa!

I think having a little travel buddy is fun for everyone, and I'm sure kids would love it!  My particular mascot is a Little Miss Late figurine I had when I was a kid from the Mr. Men / Little Miss series by Roger Hargreaves.  Honestly, I have no reason why I picked her, except that she was the smallest toy I had (no space in the suitcase), and she was a great selection!

Friends and family have brought her to several places as well in the last two years.  Here is a sampling of my photos with Little Miss and a few tips for picking your own travel mascot!

*Scroll down for a bonus picture of Little Miss and a couple of rock stars!*


Coliseum in Rome
Obelisk in Paris
The Louvre in Paris

1. Pick a figurine that stands up on its own.  Otherwise you'll have to hold it or drape it over items in the environment.

Place de la Concorde in Paris
Versailles Gardens
Ruins in Greece

2. Pick something colorful!  It'll stand out against brown or gray buildings easily.

Beach in Greece 
Dubrovnik, Croatia

3. Pick something small.  That way you can sneak it out easily (such as during serious music concerts in Vienna).  Also, a bulky or heavy item would make it much less convenient during your travels.

Music Hall in Vienna
Prague Castle
Astronomical Clock in Prague

Miscellaneous Countries

4. If you plan on loaning out your travel mascot, make sure you can wash easily (not a stuffed animal) because people will invariably put it on something a little fishy...

At the fish market in the Philippines!
Buying ice cream in the Philippines

5. Also, make sure you have your travel buddy do the things that you do when you travel, like sleep on the plane!

Overlooking Bogota, Colombia


6. Take pictures around events near home too!  They can be just as exciting.

At a Lakers game!
Long Beach Grand Prix

7. If necessary, bring something sturdy for the figurine to stand on if you can't find anything in the environment (my Kindle case works perfectly).

L.A. Farmer's Market!

8. Pictures next to signs are a cute way to keep track of everything!

Sampling Food Trucks
Poolside in Palm Springs

9. Since food can often be the most memorable part of a trip, make sure to take pictures!

Sausages & fries at Wurstkuche

10. Try different poses as well!  Maybe she had a bit too much to drink...

Lots of beer at Wurstkuche
Driving down Route 66

11. Take a good mix of outside and inside pictures.

Vegas, baby!

12. The pictures you take should be ones that you would want to be in yourself.  The one below was taken against the sun, and probably should have been retaken...

Downtown Nashville
About to eat the best biscuits ever in Nashville...

13. Play "find the mascot" if it's small.  It can be a fun game as well.  :)

At the MoMA in New York.
Overlooking Central Park in NY.
In the streets of New York.

14. Lastly, always keep your travel mascot handy.  You never know who she's going to meet!

Little Miss & The Black Keys!

I hope this is a fun tip for you with handy guidelines for picking your own mascot.

Anyone out there do something similar?


  1. um what Little Miss and the Black Keys..Envy!

    1. I know! I'd like to think that she gave them a bit of luck at this weekend's Grammys, but they're amazing! I knew I wouldn't be able to cross the first class curtain, but Little Miss did!

      I thanked one of them at baggage claim, but I didn't want to bother them too much for autographs & another picture. My favorite picture yet because it was unexpected. :)

  2. Best most creative tip ever!!!!

  3. I have a traveling teddy bear and had so much fun sending him around the world to friends. I was JUST talking about this idea with my mother-in-law (who wants something for her motorcycle trips) and I think a Little Miss would fit perfectly in her bike jacket.

  4. how fun. I've been to many of the places in your wonderful album here, but don't have any photos as fun as yours. I love your little mascot...and never realized how small he was until the last photo. Great idea. I'm going to start looking for a mascot myself. : )

  5. This is such a cute idea! Thanks!

  6. This a great idea for vacations around here. We did the Flat Stanley project with the library this year for Mr. 4 which is sort of similar. My problem that I probably would forget the darn thing somewhere and be out of luck for more pictures! And I would never have thought to loan the object out! :D

  7. That's hysterical! I love it. Now I'm going to have to find a mascot :)

  8. Any action type figure would work too!

  9. Thanks! My travel buddies thankfully don't mind taking pictures with her. In fact, I think we find more places to take pictures with her than for us real people!

  10. True! I stored her with the camera, so we'd always have her around. I loaned Lil Miss out whenever someone was going to a place that I've been in the past, but before I had my mascot. Who knows, maybe she'll end up being more well-traveled than me eventually!

  11. We did something similar on our road trip to Disneyland last summer. However ours was a small, stuffed beaver with a maple leaf on it's foot (We're Canadians). I like the idea of it being washable & something that can stand up on it's own though. It certainly added another little element of fun to the trip!

    Great photos! Makes me want to start planning a trip!

  12. I love this idea and now I am mad that I didn't do this on my trip to Paris last year. My students would have loved this! You could really have fun and almost hide the mascot in some pictures and make people look for it. I must remember that for next trip!

  13. Love this idea! I plan to have a travel buddy for my next trip.

  14. So fun and cute! I am loving your travel mascot. I don't have a travel mascot...but having grown up in western Pennsylvania, I am a Steelers fan. So I have a huge collection of Terrible Towel photos from all of my travels. Now I am brainstorming a little towel waving mascot that can stand in for me when waving a towel isn't so appropriate. :)

  15. How fun is that! Great pics. My daughter and her husband did that a few years ago when they made a cross country trip by car. They actually "borrowed" his sister's pink flamingo and took pics with it, then made the sister a little photo album of their trip! She never realized her flamingo was even missing!! So much fun!

  16. I love this idea - must get our girls to choose one next time we go on a trip! Great selection of photos there - thanks for sharing!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!

    Hope you have a fabulous week!

    Jill @ Creating my way
    to Success

  17. Love this!

    Found you through Frugal Fooddie Mama Marvelous Monday. =)

    I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday!

    I would be honored if you join us and follow to stay connected Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  18. What a fun idea!! I like that! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Thursday's Temptation! Your link got the most views this past week so I will be featuring it at tonights link party!

  19. Thank you! Looking forward to the party. :)

  20. I have a travel mascot, Sheepy(a little stuffed sheep, a little bigger than little miss)! I went by myself to Ireland last year, and my niece let me take her so I would have a travel companion. That was the best idea! I took pics of her everywhere, and it was a great conversation starter! I got to know most of the people in my travel group because they thought she was hilarious! By the second day, everyone was giving me pic ideas w/Sheepy. Now, she goes on all of my family's vacations! It's a fun thing to see Sheepy's adventures, and I know it will last a long time!

  21. I'm a photographer and have never thought of this! Wow, I'm going to figure out a mascot to use really fast!! What a GREAT idea!!

  22. Thanks! It's tiring doing all that traveling! :)

  23. Then your photos would extra beautiful with a little mascot, since your a professional! :)


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