Shopping overseas can be one of the greatest activities to do while traveling. In fact, some travelers get to explore the culture of a country through shopping, especially in open markets. Not to mention all your loved ones that are waiting for your thoughtful gifts when you get back home. Here are some tips that will help you shop, until you drop without any worries.
Set a Budget
The same way you set a budget for your whole trip. You also need to set a specific budget for the shopping you will do. Keep in mind that it’s vital to consider the essential expenses first, such as: the hotel expenses, transportation, food and emergency money. Then set a budget for your shopping.
Travel in Sales Season
If you are a serious shopper, book your trip during sales season. Each country may have its own sales season period. In France, by law, sales are held only twice a year, once in January and again in July. In Italy there are two official six-week-long sales periods every year. Although the dates vary each year, there is a winter sale that starts in early January and a summer sale that starts in July. Dubai usually runs its shopping festival from January to February. So try to consider sales seasons and festivals before deciding on your traveling date.
Avoid Shopping From Tourist Shops
I strongly recommend you to stay away from tourist trap souvenir shops. At least try to look for the same items somewhere else. Let’s take Egypt as an example. Souvenir shops there charge around EGP 200 and even more for books about ancient Egypt. Yet tourists still go ahead and buy them. Not knowing that the same book can be found in many bookstores around Egypt for half the price and even less.
Tax-free shopping territories may be available in some countries such as Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey. Langkawi’s duty-free shopping zones are one of the main reasons of their tourist attraction. So before you travel, do a quick research to find out whether the country your traveling to has any tax free shopping zones and where.
Bringing All Your Shopping Back
How many times did you panic after realizing that all you’re shopping will not fit in your luggage? Don’t worry, your not alone. A lot of people fall into this trap. Here are some tips that will help you bring all your shopping back.
- Pack a foldable extra travel bag while packing for your trip, to bring in your entire purchases home.
- Put the suitcase that you packed your cloth in inside a larger suitcase, you can then use this large suitcase to put your extra shopping in on your way back.
- When considering the purchase of a large item, ask the vendor if they could ship it for your home.
- If your shopping exceeds the permitted weight, you can ship your extra material back home using FedEx or DHL.