Are you planning for a big, exciting vacation? Whether you’re going to hike the Inca trail in Peru, lounge on the beach in the Bahamas, or eat your way through Italy, you’ll want the perfect way to remember your trip when it comes to an end.
That’s why souvenirs are so popular. They’re a great way to bring something unique back home, so you can look back on your wonderful vacation for years to come.
Travel souvenirs can quickly become an expensive part of your trip. But, by following a few easy tips, you can get a great deal on all your souvenirs.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to learn how you can get your favorite souvenirs without breaking the bank.
1. Know What You Want
We’ve all been there–you bought one souvenir and thought it was a good purchase. Then you found something you liked better. Then, you realized you should have purchased something completely different to really encapsulate your trip.
Aimlessly shopping for souvenirs can result in you spending a lot of money on souvenirs you later regret or don’t feel a strong connection to. In order to save money, start by researching the best souvenirs to buy where ever you’re going.
Deciding what you’ll get ahead of time gives you a goal to focus on, so you’re less likely to impulse buy souvenirs you later regret. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can only buy what’s on your list. Saving money on impulse souvenirs also means you’ll have more money to splurge on items you didn’t expect to find but fell in love with.
2. Get Something Practical
Trinkets are a popular souvenir, but they aren’t always the best option. If you’re anything like the majority, you probably put it on a shelf and end up forgetting about it in no time.
Instead, buying practical souvenirs ensures you’ll actually use what you bought. Even if it’s more expensive than a small trinket, you’ll get more value for your money, making it a better purchase.
3. Shop Around
Most tourist spots are jam-packed with shops and stands that are selling the same or similar products. That means when you find something you like, it’s likely also sold at a number of other shops. Make sure you check the price at each stand and buy from the cheapest vendor to get the best deal.
4. Learn How to Bargain
You’d probably never think to haggle for products in your home country. But in many other countries, paying the listed price means you’ll be overpaying.
When purchasing products in stands and family-owned shops, bargaining is expected. This means the first price they tell you will be much higher than they are expecting to get.
Offer a number lower than you’d like to pay. This allows you and the owner to bargain until you meet in the middle. Just make sure to keep things friendly–it’s not an argument, but a normal way of shopping.
5. Buy Multiple Pieces from the Same Person
At some point, you probably bought items in bulk. It’s a great way to save money since stores will give you a cheaper price than it would be to buy them in smaller quantities.
The same goes for buying your souvenirs. If you are planning on getting small gifts for multiple people, consider asking the shop owner if they’d give you a bulk discount for buying multiple of the same item.
Of course, you don’t always have to buy the same item to benefit from this. You can usually negotiate a better deal if you’re buying multiple pieces from the same person. So, look for a stand that sells all or most of what you want to buy, and you’ll likely save a nice chunk of change.
6. Go Small
Did you ever find an amazing souvenir but were worried how you’d get it home because it was so big? While other countries can sell great sculptures, lawn ornaments, or furniture, it is probably better to just get these at home.
You’ll end up paying a ton in internal shipping fees, and there’s no guarantee it won’t arrive broken. Instead, buy big pieces like furniture or a balance stool, in person or from a domestic website. Focus your souvenir search on small items that can easily fit in your bags.
7. Check for Quality
Getting the right price is important when shopping for souvenirs. But you don’t want to focus only on finding the cheapest goods.
You also want to take quality into consideration. You’ll be better off splurging for a high-quality item that will last for years rather than buying something cheap that breaks quickly.
8. Buy Handcrafted Goods
You’ll likely come across plenty of stores that sell the same, mass-produced goods. But if you really want to get a great deal and leave with a souvenir you love, consider buying handcrafted goods.
Some stores won’t be open to haggling and many of those mass-produced goods aren’t of the highest quality. However, handmade items will likely be well-made and open to negotiations on price. So, not only will you get a better deal overall, but you’ll leave with a more unique and special souvenir.
9. Shop Outside the Tourist Center
It’s no secret that souvenirs are geared towards tourists. But that doesn’t mean you can only find souvenirs in touristy areas.
Go outside the tourist center, even if it’s only a few blocks away. You’ll likely still find tons of options, but you’ll encounter less of the mass-produced goods and more authentic products. Plus, since these areas get fewer tourists, the prices will likely be lower.
10. Make Sure You Can Bring It Home
It doesn’t matter how good a deal you got if your souvenir gets confiscated at the airport. Before your trip, look over your country’s rules and make sure you know what you can and can’t bring home.
You may be surprised what you find on that list. For example, Kinder Eggs were banned in the United States for a long time (although that ban was recently lifted), and US customs had confiscated over 60,000 Kinder Eggs in just one year.
Know that many countries limit the size of liquids that can be brought in your carry-on, but don’t have limits for your checked bag. So that bottle of wine from France or infused olive oil from Italy should go in your checked bag.
Getting the Best Deals on Travel Souvenirs
Don’t let yourself overspend on travel souvenirs. Instead, following a few simple tips, like buying handcrafted goods and learning to bargain, can save you a ton and leave you with a truly special souvenir.
Are you traveling Europe this winter? Then check out this packing list to keep you warm and stylish.