Summer’s Best Attraction

Adventure Wall

What did you choose for your summer vacation? And how will you remember it?

Too BigWe all love souvenirs, and I had grand aspirations to amass nifty collections from my travels. First, it was flags, but they were surprisingly difficult to come by. Then it was beach towels, but they take up too much space. Later, it was letter openers, but that was foiled by new rules post-9/11. So what’s a gal to do? There must be a better option, and we all know that scrapbook isn’t happening anytime soon.

Then, I found it. The perfect answer. 

Top 5 Reasons Magnets Are Perfect Souvenirs

5. They’re Cheap

  • Most magnets cost less than $5.Arches NP
  • At national parks, they’re usually only $2.99.Great Basin NP
  • Go ahead, pick one up in every park!Grand Teton NP

4. They’re Beautiful (Or Not)

  • Like postcards, they can portray a sight with perfect weather and better lighting without a crowd.Carlsbad Caverns NP
  • Or they can be completely kitschy and good for a laugh.Loveless Cafe
  • You can even create a one of a kind family masterpiece and super glue a magnet to the back!Homemade Magnet


3. They’re Indestructible

  • I don’t want to think about the effort required to get this home safely.Lucky Peruvian Tree
  • And magnets won’t destroy other items in your suitcase like this guy did.Hungarian Sword
  • Just be careful with them around your credit cards and hotel key cards!Sheriff Baker

2. They’re Useful

  • Because you always need one of these.Temple Bottle Opener
  • And I’m always hungry.Recipe
  • And we’d be lost without a map!Rafting Map

1. They’re Tiny

Happy travels this summer and down memory lane later! What are your favorite souvenirs? Post them in the comments below.

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Comments 17

  1. When I was young (well, old enough…) it was shot glasses and then it moved to coffee mugs. But how many coffee mugs do you need? And T-shirts… Now we try to get post cards and then attach some kind of picture we take – (but I love magnets too!)

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      Yes, yes, yes. And shot glasses and mugs sometimes break on the way home. Postcards are easy to pack, but mine ended up in stacks on a shelf. Do you display yours or send them to friends?

  2. I love the magnet wall! It’s fun to look at all the different places you two have been.

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  3. I had no idea that they made magnetic paint and primer! Love the idea of collecting magnets from travels. We collect rocks and, even though we don’t label them, I bet we could tell you where each and every one came from!

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      The primer is super-sticky, like painting with tar, but then you can paint over it with any color you want. The paint is easier but more expensive.

      I love the idea of collecting rocks! Different regions have so many different and beautiful colors. It’s nice that it’s all-natural too and every one is unique.

  4. Cool collection, Julie! I love magnets too! Especially the ones that can hold a note or a business card (or emergency numbers). And they’re a great reminder of all the fun you’ve had on your trip.

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  5. Magnets are definitely a compact way to buy something for someone else. I always like buying the snow globes for aesthetics. Plus I like giving it a little shake every now and then!

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      Ooh! I love snow globes too-they’re so pretty! Mine seem to lose some liquid after a few years, though, (maybe because we live where it’s super-dry?) and magnets last forever.

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  6. Nice, Julie. Magnets are the perfect souvenir. Compact and fun. I got another possibility for you–shot glasses. Not my cup of tea, but I had two coworkers who would always treat me to lunch if I brought them back shot glasses from wherever Mrs. Groovy and traveled. By the time our office was out of business, they each amassed a couple dozen shot glasses, all proudly displayed on their shelves above their desks.

    Thanks for reminding us about the beauty of magnets, and thanks for reminding us to get out this summer and explore this beautiful country.

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      Thanks, Mr. Groovy.
      Shot glasses are a great idea. They can be useful for so many things other than shots, too, like holding paper clips, toothpicks, q-tips, etc. We’ll keep this in mind!

  7. I’ve got a bottle cap collection that rivals this. A powerful magnet stuck to the back of the cap doesn’t quite touch the fridge, but holds them in place. No glue, no mess.

    Didn’t cost a thing but the cost of the magnets, which cost next to nothing on eBay.

    We used to collect shooters (tall shot glasses) from all the places we visited, but we outgrew that habit, and eventually donated about $500 worth of souvenirs. Now the only souvenirs we bring back are digital images.


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      Bottle caps are fun, especially if you’re artistic with their display. Digital photos are even better if they’re enjoyed frequently. Sometimes we’ll print ours out for a collage frame, but if we don’t they are rarely seen again. Do you have a digital frame? How do you make sure you remember to enjoy your memories?

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