What to buy? My criteria are that it is small, simple and easy to get in any place and really easy to bring home. Sometimes I fail with some of my purchases but my absolute must are magnets!

I try to make sure the magnet has some kind of reference to the trip if possible. And I will make sure to get one from each place. So an eleven-day trip to Argentina resulted in a total of nine magnets and a ten-day trip to Croatia raised me seven magnets.

I hate getting magnets as gifts because according to my ‘rules’ I must have been there! The magnets I get as gifts are for the fridge. The magnets I acquire on my travels are on these big magnetic boards reserved solely for magnets collected on my travels. Weird maybe, but it’s my ‘thing!’

For example:

  • Atlanta, Georgia, it was hot, so my magnet has a thermometer on it
  • Cancun, I was there for spring break, so it was a bottle opener (serving two purposes – souvenir and opening those bottles!
  • Scotland, magnet with bagpipes that play when you push the button
  • Breckenridge, a snowboard (though this is ironic because my friend and I did anything but participate in snow sports on that trip!)
  • Boston, a leaf, it was a fall trip
  • Dewey Beach, Delaware, a crab that was a bottle opener
  • Niagara Falls, Canada, the boat that goes under the falls
  • San Juan Islands, Washington state, whales
  • Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, bats
  • San Gimignano, Italy, a magnet in the shape of the skyline. they call it the Medieval Manhattan because of its medieval architecture, which look like tall buildings, but I must clarify, they are tall for Tuscany 😉
  • Brussels, a magnet in the shape of the Mannekin Pis
  • Ushuaia, Argentina, a penguin since we walked with them!
  • Hvar, Croatia, a ship, not exactly the boats we took to and from and around the island, but we did spend a lot of time on the water
  • Texas, a magnet in the shape of the state. Now, I have covered a lot of ground in the great state of Texas, with two road trips and various business trips, but for my first trip through and within Texas, I thought a map would be best suited for road trip number one.
  • Austin, Texas, a magnet shaped like a guitar, since on that first road trip we spent a lot of time listening to live music, as one does in Austin, Texas.
  • El Calafate, Argentina (where we hiked a glacier), the magnet is shaped like hiking boots with crampons
  • Vegas, a casino chip magnet
  • Keuka Lake, Finger Lakes, New York state and Nantucket, QKA, FLX and ACK, respectively (those stickers on the backs of cars – these are magnets like that)
  • Seville, Spain, a magnet in the shape of a typical Andalusian home
  • Grand Canyon, Arizona, a magnet with typical native sketching

Some places get more than one magnet.

  • Argentina, we visited three towns, and did lots of activities in those towns, so where there’s a gift shop there I am (see above for some of the magnets collected on the trip!). I also got a magnet showing off a main street – Av. Corrientes – in Buenos Aires, which is where my great-grandma was born. Since we traveled within the country, I couldn’t leave without a magnet of the physical shape of the country. Argentina’s flag is blue and white, and the flag was proudly displayed everywhere we went, I found a magnet with the country in blue and white, how apropos!
  • Costa Rica, several, including a photo magnet of the boyfriend and I ziplining in the rainforest, but also one of this flower native to the region that I fell in love with
  • Paris, France, two: one of the Eiffel Tower and one of the Notre Dame – which was our view in our second round of accommodation
  • Annapolis, Maryland, a sailboat AND the goat with the Navy flag
  • Croatia and Bosnia, again visited several places within the two countries – Dubrovnik, Split (where this big statue was a main draw – so of course that’s my chosen magnet) and Plitvicka Jereza, the national park, so I collected accordingly!

And sometimes an event gets its own magnet, with another for the state it happened in…

  • Kentucky, a magnet from the 133rd running of the Derby I went to and another of a horse, after all, a friend and I did spend time driving through Kentucky and the lush green fields to get there…
  • Which is why my magnet of Ohio, is also a shape of the state

One magnet I regretfully did not get was in Korcula, Croatia. They say it’s the birthplace of Marco Polo and I could not find the ‘perfect’ magnet. And now I don’t have one. The island was so small that other islands did not carry any magnets from that island. In my heart I will know I was there.

Is there something specific that you collect on your travels?


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