Fridge magnets can give you a holiday boost by reminding you of happy times abroad, research finds

  • Britons said they preferred buying collecting magnets than than photos

They might be seen as ‘tat’ picked up on holiday.

But catching a glimpse of a fridge magnet in the kitchen can boost a traveller’s mood long after the trip has ended.

Research has found the souvenirs can help to protect memories and trigger positive emotional responses.

Britons surveyed said picking one up was a priority while away – with some finding greater joy in magnet collections than photo albums.

One participant said: ‘I don’t tend to take a picture of anything… I’ll just get a fridge magnet at the end, and I can remember it all from that.’

Research has found the souvenirs like fridge magnets can help to protect memories and trigger positive emotional responses, reminding people of happy times

The purchases were found to be a repeated behaviour, with one woman recalling a ‘massive panic’ after realising she hadn’t bought one on her way home.

Many said they were reminded of their holidays every time they opened the fridge door – particularly when a magnet fell off. Some magnets had become attached to more poignant memories over the years, serving as a reminder of trips taken with friends or family members who had since died.

Writing in the journal Annals of Tourism Research, study leaders from the University of Liverpool said: ‘While souvenirs have generated considerable interest within tourism research, less attention has been paid to their post-holiday ‘afterlife’.

‘Fridge magnets are unusual among souvenirs in being intended for a single and specific destination within the home – the fridge.

‘Because of their embeddedness within everyday domestic rhythms, magnets are active agents in the stimulation of post-holiday memory work… [they] have a complex capacity to affect everyday life long after a holiday ends.’