One of my favourite souvenirs that I always pick up on my trips, is what I like to call my ‘travel bracelets’! They are often cheap, come in a whole range of different colours and you don’t need to worry about needing to have space in your luggage because you just chuck them on your arm. Problem solved! Once they make ‘the arm’, I rarely take them off, they have to withstand the sea, swimming pools, baths etc and to be honest, a lot of them don’t stand the test of time. They end up snapping or just look manky. Apart from two. My El Camino bracelet and my Pura Vida bracelets! At the bottom of the post I share my Pura Vida coupon code to receive 20% off their travel bracelets, so keep reading!
El Camino Bracelets
El Camino Bracelets definitely aren’t a cheap option, in fact I think my whole bracelet is currently worth £100/$140 which is EXPENSIVE, especially for me who doesn’t really ‘do’ jewellery! BUT it’s one tough cookie, I wear it through all my crazy sports and it’s solid, nothing is going to break it! On the El Camino website, is states that the cords they use have a breaking strain of 34kg. Putting this into perspective, most airlines will give you a checked suitcase allowance of 23kg…it can hold MORE than the weight of a full suitcase!!!
I have quite small wrists and I liked the way you can pick the size of the bracelet. They say not to measure too close to your wrist as you have to leave room for the size of the beads. Mine is 18cm and completely filled with beads. If you plan on wearing it a lot, I’d suggest getting a darker colour too. I first had the turquoise double loop one and it got a bit grubby after a while so I switched to a single loop black (I found the single loop more comfortable too).
(I actually use the little bag to store my MP3 player and earphones in…no tangled earphones!)
Then comes the fun part! You can choose Country Steps which are exactly what they say on the tin, they are stainless steel beads engraved with the country name. There are Small Steps, which are slightly smaller in size to the Country Steps and are engraved with cities, regions, major attractions. You can then make custom steps which are engraved with whatever you want!
To finish it off, there are a range of Region Steps which are coloured glass beads. They started as continents but now include areas such as the Caribbean (light green) and Scandinavia (plum). I separate every step with one of the Spacers. I have a mix of dark wood spacers and coconut spacers but you can also get light wood ones.
I don’t have every country I’ve visited, my wrist isn’t big enough so I picked ones that mean something. Including all the Steps and Spacers, my 18cm bracelet holds 31 beads. Here’s a look at what I have on my travel bracelet and a memory from each ‘Step’ as to why I picked it! (I filled up my bracelet at the end of 2015 so I have none of my travels represented from 2016 until present):
Portugal – A trip I took with my sis. We stayed in a music themed hotel in Lisbon and then took a day trip to Cascais which I fell in love with.
Gibraltar – MONKEYS and the main road in and out of Gibraltar actually cuts across the airport runway so every time a flight takes off or lands, all the traffic comes to a stand still!
Latvia – I LOVE the town of Sigulda! I also got to go down their bobsleigh track as a passenger!
Jamaica – Where I met my other half. Plus I went on some really fun excursions in Ocho Rios!
Slovenia – A trip I took with my parents and sis. One of my favourite Slovenia highlights was walking back to Lake Bled from the Vintgar Gorge!
Australia – The Dream. It was the first country that was on my bucket list and I got there when I was 19.
Costa Rica – My first solo trip! I lived on a beach (literally) for a week!
Maldives – I wanted to stay in an overwater bungalow and I did! We went there on our honeymoon.
Iceland – A really fun trip that I took with my parents.
Hawaii – Dare I say it…my favourite place in the world.
Cornwall – My favourite place in England and where I was bit by the travel bug.
“Route 66 – 2868 Miles” – An epic road trip I took with my parents and sis. Route 66 isn’t actually 2868 miles, we took side trips to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas so it’s actually the total we drove altogether. (In case you haven’t noticed, I love writing about Route 66!)
“Erg Chebbi – Sahara Desert” – One of my all time favourite travel experiences.
Europe (Dark Green) – My home.
North America (Red) – Where I live.
I have the Region Steps on either end, with all the Country Steps squished in the middle, so it’s the travel bracelet version of ‘Between England and Iowa’!!
You can purchase El Camino Bracelets here.
Pura Vida Bracelets
(You’re almost at the Pura Vida coupon code!)
As you can see from above, Costa Rica made the cut of one of my stand out travel memories. Pura Vida is a Spanish saying which translated means ‘Pure Life’. It’s a lifestyle choice that makes up a big chunk of Costa Rican culture. They are laid back and enjoy and appreciate the little things in life. I stayed on a beach, in a shelter that had no walls, let alone electricity and was definitely living the Pura Vida lifestyle!
Pura Vida Bracelets started when two Americans, that were travelling in Costa Rica, met two local bracelet makers/artists and started a partnership to bulk sell their bracelets. They now have bracelet makers/artists from all around the world.
As well as their ‘original’ bracelets and jewellery that come in a whole range of colours and styles, they now have ‘Charity Bracelets‘. These are in the same style as the original bracelets but there are certain colour combinations that represent over 174 different charities. The bracelets cost the same as the originals but 10% from each bracelet then goes to that particular charity. There are a huge representation of different causes from various cancer charities to saving dolphins to anxiety awareness to ‘random acts of kindness’ (which looks very much like the whole ‘Orange Frog‘ thing)!
I have 3 individual bracelets, that just like my El Camino travel bracelet, I have been wearing for years. Each bracelet has around 8 ‘strings’ so it looks like a lot more than 3! I chose bracelets that were all kinda similar in colour, lots of blues, purples and pinks. There are ready made ‘packs’ that you can buy that pairs 3 to 7 bracelets of different styles and colours that work really well together.
They now have several different travel themed charms, such as: anchors (I’m looking at you, cruise fans!), arrows, waves, yoga symbols, suns, pineapples, caravans etc!
They work great as travel bracelets because they are wax coated and waterproof so are tough and can stand up to salt water and chlorine abuse! If the colour has faded at all, I can’t tell. I’ve had maybe 2 of the individual strings break, I just cut them off and they still look exactly the same. And they really aren’t that expensive!
Pura Vida Coupon Code
So over 4 years of wearing Pura Vida bracelets, I’ve signed up to be a Pura Vida rep because they are a product I can truly vouch for! I can give my readers 20% off ALL Pura Vida products, with the Pura Vida coupon code:
Simply visit the Pura Vida Bracelets website and enter it in at the check out!
(Disclosure: the above is not an affiliate link, however if you buy anything using my code, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you!)
Other Travel Related Products on my Wrist!
(Disclosure: Some of the following links are Amazon affiliate links)
One thing I always wished I had on my travels, was a way of knowing how far I’d walked. Some trips it’d feel like all I’d done was walk and walk and walk and walk. So when I bought my Fitbit Flex I was in love! The one I have unfortunately isn’t waterproof (unlike the Fitbit Flex 2) but it is the cheaper option that just displays the dots of how far you’ve walked. I first used it during my weekend trip to Krakow Poland, and I had racked up over 25,000 steps!! I currently have a turquoise band for it, previously I had a black one, I like the way that you can customise it with all different colours!
Baby G Watch
I’d be lost without my watch, so much so I wrote a whole post on why they are such great watches for travel! The biggest reasons being that the Baby G watches are waterproof and have a dual time zone function which is really handy for flicking between timezones quickly!
St Christopher – Patron Saint of Travel
Ok so this is more of a necklace that a bracelet (although you can get bracelet versions too)! My parents bought me a St Christopher necklace when I passed my truck driving test. The idea being that the St Christopher protects you during your travels! Mine had a boat, car, a truck and a plane on the reverse but unfortunately after wearing it for years the chain snapped and I never got round to replacing it!
What travel jewellery do you wear?
Disclosure: Please note some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking and it comes at no extra cost to you! I am also part of the Pura Vida Rep programme where I receive a small commission for every sale that uses my Pura Vida coupon code. As always, opinions are my own.