The psychology of why we buy souvenirs to remember our favorite places

The psychology of why we buy souvenirs to remember our favorite places
September 12, 2023 17 view(s)
The psychology of why we buy souvenirs to remember our favorite places

Each time we return home from our travels, we typically bring something special back with us to help recall the memories we made there.

What is a souvenir? Regardless of what the physical product takes the form of, it is simply a tangible reminder of an experience that you have had, like a vacation or a daytrip or a special occasion. These souvenirs can help you relive the positive emotions that are tied to that memory.

In addition, a souvenir can also be a way of showing pride that you have visited a place. Products like t-shirts or stickers can outwardly show that a location or experience was meaningful to you, and it can help you make connections with other people who share those similar values.

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Sometimes travelers even bring souvenirs back for others who were not able to travel with them, showing those loved ones that they were thinking of them while they were on the road. For example, a traveler might promise to bring back a unique candy or perfume from the place that they visited, allowing their loved ones to experience the taste or scent of a distinct locale.

So… does it work? Do these small products really mean that much?

Psychology studies say yes! In fact, “Conspicuous souvenirs: Analysing touristic self-presentation through souvenir display,” a study by Friedericke Kuhn, says that souvenirs can serve as a sort of vehicle for story-telling. These objects help us have a physical way of representing our values and how we define ourselves, and also showing those values and personality traits to others who we care about.

Another similar thought comes from John Sutton, a cognitive philosopher at Macquarie University in Australia. Sutton says that physical objects can help trigger our memories and help carry parts of our past into our present lives, helping us relive moments that are important to us.

The more often you are able to use or see the souvenir, the more often you will be able to fondly recall those memories. For some travelers, a practical item such as a mug or a tote bag or a t-shirt can trigger positive emotions each time that they use it.

A souvenir that was purchased at the location where you traveled can be a handy reminder of how much fun you had during a trip!

However, sometimes these objects can even be purchased after the experience… and still be just as meaningful. For example, someone who moved away from home can relive their childhood memories with a simple gift of a traditional food or a piece of artwork that represents their region. These gifts can also sometimes serve as inspiration for the next trip and give a taste of what to look forward to.

Whatever kind of souvenir you enjoy, you’re bound to find something on the PA Wilds Marketplace that will bring you cherished memories of this special region!