Kin to the fun stuff, are the cute items that we assume we will use to decorate. Some we actually use. Often, these are not seen a souvenirs but decoration. I ended up with a cast iron train when I went to Charleston. I am a train lover so you can see why I got it. I now sits on my mantle along with grandmas mantle clock and an old pipe stand, less the pipes, that I have not smoked in more than 35 years. (Pipe stand was a Christmas gift). There are other items that I don't thing of as souvenirs, but decoration, purchased for that purpose.
There are many souvenirs that resulted from choosing items that have the flavor of the place. They might be the "made in Taiwan" but resembles a mountain craft. Or the She sold the sea shell lamp while at the sea shore. Some are actually what they say they are, like the shaker craft bought in the shaker village.
Many collect an item with the place name, like thimbles, shot glasses, etc. I started collecting postcards when I was around 10. I selected two per place we visited and one for each motel we visited. My brother took over the collection along with additions of grandma's. In time it was relegated to the basement in a box, I retrieved them and scanned them and now in special boxes marked collectibles.
For those not familar, postcards are im with pics sent snail mail, with the tag line "having a great time. Wish you were here."
To that I added park patches. Now, I collect mugs as souvenirs. Of course, I like that expression "take only pictures, leave only footprints." I take a lot of pictures. Pictures for static scenes like views from the mountain, trains that are not moving, and even others. Trains and things that move, I will take video