One of the secrets to having fun on a road trip is that you need to have a mission. My road trip mission is to always get a refrigerator magnet from every state or province that I visit.
Refrigerator magnets are the perfect souvenir because they are:
3) Available in most states, provinces, and countries.
If you visit a gift shop when you are traveling, it is always helpful to have an answer to "Can I help you?" or "Are you looking for something special?". When you ask if they have state (or city or country) refrigerator magnets, they either have them, or they don't. If they have magnets which don't appeal to you, you can always look at them for a while, and then say that you had something else in mind. You can also say "Oh, I already have that one".
When you find a magnet which matches your collection you will feel an exhilaration which will get you through your next four hours of driving.
Some places (Wall Drug in Wall South Dakota, for instance), may sell you a complete set of USA State magnets for a discounted set price. However, purists like myself would never try to cheat the system by buying a magnet for someplace they have not yet visited. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with buying a magnet from a different state if the Stuckey's was out of stock of their native magnets when you visited them.
I keep my magnets on my back-up refrigerator in the garage. This is because they are just a bit tacky for my kitchen decor (and my primary refrigerator does not have a magnetic front). Magnetic collector's maps are available so that you can put your magnets on your bedroom wall if you prefer.
I have found that some people really embrace my hobby of collecting refrigerator magnets, and other people seem to change the topic of conversation quite quickly.
State refrigerator magnets are very useful for teaching children about the geography of the United States. After they practice with the magnets, they can further hone their skills on this USA Map website.
Prior to collecting state magnets, I collected Bale Hooks. They were a lot more expensive, would not fit in your pocket, and could potentially rip, scratch, or damage your other property. Over the last several years, I have given away or sold all of my bale hooks.
I am very happy with my USA state refrigerator magnet collection!