Save Money on Souvenirs during Travel on your Road Trip – Mall of America & Mount Rushmore

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save money on souvenirs

It’s the BIG week for me and the boys! (and my in-laws!) We are headed on our big RV trip from Indiana, to Minnesota, then to South Dakota and Mount Rushmore, to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming and ultimately end in Salt Lake City before flying back to Chicago and driving home to Iowa. ALL in 7 days in an RV! PHEW it’s going to be a whirlwind of a trip! But I’ve been planning for this trip for months now and I couldn’t be more excited! My kids know anytime we travel not to expect a lot of souvenirs – simply because we can’t afford it and to be honest items are usually overpriced at each attraction anyway. But this trip is a really special one and our entire family’s first time traveling in an RV so I REALLY wanted to put an effort in to keeping the boys busy as well as of course save money! HOWEVER, my kids DO know that they can ALWAYS get pressed pennies! Not only is it relatively inexpensive but they will have a reminder from everywhere they have visited in one place! I purchased these Penny Books for the kids before our trip so they had somewhere to store their treasures. (I know there is a bad review but we like them just fine!) We’ve been collecting pressed pennies ever since hubby and I went on our honeymoon 10 years ago! You can also use our Travel Stamp Road Trip Game printables for kids to earn souvenirs on your trip!


For our stop at the Mall of America – there are SO many ideas you can do for souvenirs here and pre-buy! There is of course Nickelodeon Universe (indoor roller coaster theme park) so pretty much anything Nickelodeon will do. And there are other fun places like the LEGO store, American Doll store, an aquarium, the Disney store, etc. Since I have two boys I focused on finding small “souvenirs” that were LEGO based and Nickelodeon based, especially since we will need to fly back with them. You can also look for t-shirts which makes a fun and practical gift as well! Now it IS a mall so prices may be similar to what you would buy online as opposed to an overpriced theme park. Don’t forget that garage sale season is a great way to find themed items for a discount! Here are a few ideas of course depending on age/gender for Mall of America souvenirs:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Action Figures
Nickelodeon Bath Toys
Plush Stingray or Fish
Safari Ltd. Sharks TOOB
 American Girl Crafts & toys

Mount Rushmore and Devil’s Tower Souvenir IDEAS
Mount Rushmore is kind of a hard place to pre-buy souvenirs for so in addition to our Penny Book I had to get a little creative here. I went with more “nature” oriented items. Here are some ideas that I came up with:

Mount Rushmore Books – ALL types/ages/varieties to choose from – we picked Flat Stanley
Mount Rushmore Casting Kit (great for RV trip!)
Mount Rushmore Sand Key Chain
National Geographic Ultimate US Road Trip Atlas
Mount Rushmore / South Dakota Scrapbook set
Rock Kits
Nature Kaleidoscope Kit

I will be photo bombing instagram and Twitter @theteacherswife this week so make sure to follow me for pictures during our travels this week!! We have some really exciting things planned for the week that I’ll also be sharing later in May on my blog!

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  1. I love this blog. I can’t believe you posted this. I was just telling my husband the great idea you had about buying souvenirs early and how we will have to do it for our trip. Then you posted about the exact same place we are going! I am so excited for the rest you will share. My family is headed to South Dakota in June. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. I just did this trip with my children this past summer and I think the memorable item I they have is a scrapbook of all the places we went. I made a scrapbook on line through snapfish with over 3,000 pictures. I left the album in the online cart and in time the book went on sale (buy one get one free) That is when I purchased a book for each of my children (I wrapped them up and gave them as a Christmas gift.

    Instead of buying the souvenirs at the actual parks in SD, stop at Wall Drug (Home of the 5cent coffee…You can’t miss this place as there are signs ever mile!!) I was able to get puzzles of Mt. Rushmore and Devil’s Tower, which also made great Christmas gifts! My favorite souvenirs are pens and pencils!

    On a side note, check out roadsideamerica.com Every night I would go on this website and look at places to stop along the way to break up the trip…If it was within 10 miles from the highway, we would stop for a bathroom break and to stretch our legs! We stopped at a clown museum, an 80 ft replica of Van Gogh’s painting, smallest rest stop church, rock paper scissor statue, and so many other crazy stops that we still laugh about!

    Have a GREAT time!! Take lots of pictures!!

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