I never saw the point to buyiung something while I'm traveling that I could just as easily buy at home...unless there was a HUGE price difference. But, I much prefer to support the local economy in the ports and get unique souvenirs in the process. My favorite is a feather duster. The woman running this little shop in Mexico was using it to dust the shelves and I convinced her to sell it to me. She thought I was muis loco (sp?) but it's one of my favorite souvenirs.
I also have a small piece of koa wood from Hawaii. It isn't carved, shaped or polished, but I thought that the natural wood grain was beautiful. It was a discarded piece from a wood carver.
Good thing hubby doesn't embarrass easily, since I go around buying the wierdest things.