Part of the fun of going on vacation is all the different kinds of shopping you get to do. Since you’ll spend a lot of time doing other activities, you want to make sure your shopping purchases are well-thought-out. Buying something while abroad is difficult to return, so be sure to spend your money carefully. To avoid making a costly mistake while you’re away, here are five shopping rules to live by when you’re away on vacation.
1. Research Your Destination
Whether you’re planning a trip to the big city or are looking at tropical weekend cruises, it’s crucial to always research your destination before you leave. Start by looking online and search for blogs and videos that give you an in-depth look at where you’re going. You’ll want to learn about its history, famous landmarks and what it’s known for exporting. This will give you an idea of things you might want to shop for. For example, if you’re cruising to Key West, you’ll find they’re famous for anything key lime flavored, so that might be something you’d be in the market for.
2. Stay Away From Tourist Traps
The best thing you can do for your pocketbook is to steer clear of tourist traps like souvenir shops. These stores have a way of popping up all over the place, but the last thing anyone needs is another keychain or shot glass that’s going to end up in the back of their cupboard. Once you get lured into a touristy type of store like this, you feel pressured and end up overspending on trinkets for people you didn’t intend on shopping for. Most of the items sold in souvenir shops aren’t even manufactured locally, so unless someone specifically asks for a T-shirt, spend your hard-earned money elsewhere.
3. Buy From Local Artisans
Buying from local artisans is smart for several reasons. First, you’re getting the real deal when it comes to authentic arts and crafts. Many times crafters put on a show and create their masterpieces right in front of you. Second, buying from locals helps to support the artist’s family and community. You’ll also be more likely to find items you could never buy anywhere else. To locate places where local artisans sell their wares, be sure to investigate blogs that discuss your destination. You can also do an online search for any open-air markets in the area.
4. Avoid Mainstream Stores
You might be surprised to learn that you can find many of your favorite department stores in other countries. However, one of the worst sins you can commit when traveling is shopping at mainstream or chain stores. If you’re going to be traveling abroad, why would you want to spend time in the mall or a shopping center that features the same stores you could find at home? If you’re in the market for clothing and shoes, you’ll have much more luck finding something unique at a local boutique. Plus, when you bring it home, you know no one will have anything like it.
5. Buy Something With Meaning
Shopping on vacation can be full of temptations, so if you’re considering an expensive purchase, make sure it’s a quality item that will hold important meaning. Good examples of a purchase like this would be a pair of beautiful leather boots or a bag. If they’re well-made, they’ll last you for years and will always remind you of that special trip. The same is true for an expensive piece of jewelry. It will more than likely last forever and would be irreplaceable. Before seriously investing in an item of this caliber, make sure it’s something you’re going to cherish.
Shopping on vacation can be one of the high points of any trip. As long as you research your destination and avoid tourist traps and chain stores, you’ll end up with marvelous gifts and treasures for yourself.
Featured Image by Topi Pigula from Pixabay