Fridge-Magnet: The Holiday Gifts That Scream ‘Airport Panic Buy’


LOOKING to give your family a beautiful present from your latest holiday? Well you should’ve thought of that before arriving at the airport!

200 fags

Even a decade ago, this would’ve been a cracking gift – even for non-smokers. If you didn’t light them up yourself, you could turn a tidy profit selling them to your cousin and his mates. Now though, since they covered the packets in warnings, you’ve just bought somebody a collection of gruesome, close-up pictures of people with tracheotomies.


Gifting someone a shit, novelty fridge magnet that bears the name of a city or country they haven’t even been to is woeful form. You’ve, at best, given them a conversational cul-de-sac. Imagine it, they’ll have someone over to their house who’ll see it and ask: “Oh, have you been to Budapest?” and your friend will simply have to answer: “No, but I know someone who has,” and then try pick up the dregs of the conversation. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and money.

Giant Toblerone

Come on, they’re only available at airports. This is basically like handing your aunt a letter that says: “Geraldine, I didn’t think about you once throughout the two weeks I was in Malaga. I then got to duty free, shit myself with panic, and bought you this giant shaft of Swiss chocolate that’s going to play havoc with your diabetes.”

A travel adapter

An Ireland-to-US travel adapter. Truly, as far as gifts go, this is salt in the wound for your cousin – particularly as she’s legally prohibited from ever entering the US after being arrested carrying that ounce of hash in sixth year.

Token for an airport massage chair

Try as you might, there’s no way you can spin this as anything other than clearly forgetting that you had one more nephew than you’d accounted for. Watch little Tadhg’s face desperately try come to terms with the idea that his – now former – favourite uncle gave him something that looks like money, but can only be used to make a filthy pleather chair in Warsaw airport vibrate for three minutes.