Things to Consider When Shopping for Souvenirs

Posted by on December 20, 2014

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Souvenirs are tactile mementos that are always more sought-after than mere photographs. It’s cliché to shop for souvenirs when traveling, but it doesn’t have to be a casual activity. It has to be given serious and careful thought, after all, you’re going to spend money and time on it, and you’re going to hand them to someone special, including yourself.

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Get Acquainted with the Place

If you don’t do your homework of studying the place you’re going to visit, you’re likely to experience setbacks during your stay, especially when you start buying keepsakes. Get to know the local products and crafts that are worth buying and the best places to buy them. Ask a guide or knowledgeable person where you can get the best deals on souvenirs. Just a hint, avoid shopping at the airport because the goods there are limited and very expensive.

Learn to Haggle

14649722974_90b5e29c3d_zLocal markets anywhere in the world are subject to haggling. It pays to learn a few local words or phrases, and have some charm. Be persuasive in haggling for the best price but not to an extent of robbing off the vendor. If you know how to negotiate for a good price, you’ll go home a winner. Don’t worry, vendors always know the last price they can afford to give you. They’re much wiser than you are, really.

Understand What’s Duty-Free

Duty-free doesn’t really necessarily means lowered prices. While there are some tax duties excluded in the price, the base prices that most duty-free shops offer are often higher than those offered in street markets and small shops, so the items end up still expensive.

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Allocate Time for Souvenir Shopping

Whenever possible, set aside a day or a time for souvenir shopping. Although there can be many opportunities to buy mementos in between sightseeing and touring, make sure that you abide to a checklist and budget. If your accommodation happens to be near a market, stretch your legs and do some (window) shopping now and then, so you’ll know the current prices of certain items.

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Ensure Proper Handling of Souvenirs

Some souvenirs are delicate and perishable. Some expel distinct odors. Make sure that proper handling of these items is observed so that they’re still in great shape when you arrive home.

Photos by: time anchorKārlis Dambrānsshankar s.garycycles

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