If you think about it, the need to shop was what brought expeditions around the world. Think of the Portuguese or the English setting sail out in the world because they were looking for spices and silk from across the globe. So it is not surprising to realize that even today, shopping and traveling seem to go together.
In fact, for globetrotting shopaholics, they find that it is probably one of the best ways to get to know a place. Haggling with the local merchants and purchasing their products can be thought of as immersing yourself in the culture. However, as exciting as shopping sounds, it is not without its problems. Apart from negotiating prices, the most significant challenge is making sure we get to stick to our travel budget.
After spending for flight tickets, hotel accommodation, and travel insurance, striking a balance between rewarding yourself and following a budget might seem daunting. There is a way to save money and still come home with arms full of goodies — just follow these tips!
Avoid the big brand names
When traveling, try not to buy from big brands for one simple reason: they are available at home, too. Yeah, there is something unique about being able to experience buying Givenchy or Zara in France, but that limits your buying options. Pretty soon, you might not have enough money left to purchase local artisan or handicraft wares exclusively available in small local boutiques.
Do your research first
While it is tempting to buy from every little shop you encounter, looking up where you can find genuine local products will help you get a good deal. For instance, in Japan, there are lots of shops that sell the kimono. However, not being local would mean you would not know what to look for when shopping for a kimono other than its design and size. So the best way to make sure you end up buying good quality items is to do your homework at home first and look it up.
Additionally, the estimated price should be part of your research. Knowing the cost range will help you decide how much you can allocate for shopping, and how much will be left for food and other expenses.
Get familiar with the range of products and prices available
It is a good idea to allot time to browse around shops before actually shopping. This will give you an idea of the price range available for every merchandise. And honestly, if you think a particular deal is too good to be true (and it probably is), just familiarising yourself with the prices will help you decide where and which items to buy.
Learn the different ways to haggle
Some merchants allow their customers to haggle for the price, make sure you take advantage of that opportunity. Haggling methods vary from place to place, and if you are uncomfortable to negotiate on prices, you need to learn the different strategies for haggling. Some areas would prefer it if their customers are assertive, while others would be more amenable to your negotiations if you say it in a softer tone. So make sure that while you are browsing items, you observe how people around you are haggling, then adapt.
Follow these tips, and you will surely have no problems buying to heart’s desire without hurting your travel shopping budget. Good luck!