We all like to pick up a little something special when we’re traveling, even when we’re on a tight budget. Whether it’s an authentic trinket of some kind, an amazing dress from that tiny boutique that you’d never be able to find at home, or souvenirs for family and friends, there’s always something special that you want to take home with you to remind you of your travel experience. The following are tips to help you make your perfect purchase without damaging your pockets in the process.
1) Stay away from places that usually attract tourists. These areas are always likely to be more expensive when it comes to shopping. Beyond that simple fact, the items found in these locations are hardly ever unique. You want to find something that represents your travel experience.
2) Keep your budget in mind. If you have 50 dollars to spend for the entire day (including lodging, food, transportation, etc.), don’t dip into tomorrow’s finances for an impulse buy.
3) Wait until the end of the day to make your special purchase. By the end of the day everything important (food, lodging, etc.) should already have been paid for and you’ll be able to use the money that is left over to splurge.
4) Refrain from purchasing bulky, heavy, items. Bigger items are usually more expensive, and they’ll take up packing space. If you’re traveling with a backpack you won’t want to lug around something that causes shoulder damage, and if you’re traveling with a suitcase you won’t want to pay for shipping or extra bag-checking costs.
5) Ask yourself a simple question. Do you like it or do you love it? If you only like it, skip it. You like a lot of things but you don’t go around purchasing them all. If you love it, well then that’s a different story. If its love that you feel about this particular item, ask yourself if it’s something you’d be able to find at home. If it’s not and it doesn’t force you to dip into tomorrow’s piggy bank, go for it.
Remember that you’re traveling to see the world more intimately, not to collect more stuff. There will always be something that you have to have. Don’t deprive yourself, just think before you buy.
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Flickr: Ed Yourdon