There are two types of travelers. Ones who travel to take in the scenic beauty of the world, rejuvenate while indulging in adventures, sleep under the stars, and relax; and the other type of traveler travels to shop. They splurge on clothes, cosmetics, and other local goodies as souvenirs no matter what country.
Shopping is therapeutic unless you’re damaging your bank balance to later cry over it. But what if we told you there are ways to save money while shopping on your holiday? Intriguing, right? Here are some tips you’d want to take note of.
1. Do Your Research:
Before you even start packing your bags, do some research on the internet about the place you’re visiting. Check out popular markets and stores where you can find good deals on clothes, cosmetics, and souvenirs. It will give you a general idea of the prices to know how much to budget for shopping.
Every destination has cheaper alternatives to the expensive markets. You can find the places that offer what you’re looking for without burning a hole in your pocket by doing your research.
For instance, although famous for the Smoky Mountains and being a quaint little town, Gatlinburg is also known for its unique, must-stop shops. The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community is an eight-mile loop of artists and crafters selling handmade quilts to ironwork. So, if you know your facts before heading out shopping in Gatlinburg, you’ll be able to make smarter choices.
2. Plan Your Shopping Trips:
You may be on vacation, but that doesn’t mean you should impulse buy everything you set your eyes on. Instead, make a list when you know what stores you want to hit and what you want to buy. It will help you stay focused on your goals and not get distracted by the other things in the store.
Suppose you’re shopping for bath and body products. In that case, you’ll want to include Lush, The Body Shop, and Bath & Body Works in your itinerary. Once you’re at the store, only buy what’s on your list; otherwise, you’ll spend much more than planned.
It’ll also save you time because you won’t have to go back and forth between different stores to find what you want.
3. Look for Discounts and Coupons:
It is a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how many people don’t bother looking for discounts and coupons before they start shopping. That’s plain foolishness!
Whether online or brick-and-mortar, most stores offer some discounts or coupons to lure customers. So, before you start loading your shopping cart, do a quick Google search for coupons. You might be able to find a promo code that’ll help you save a few bucks.
Another way to find discounts is by signing up for the store’s newsletter. You’ll be the first to know about the latest sales and deals.
And if you’re looking to save, wait for the big sale days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Boxing Day.
4. Check the Local Customs:
Every country has its customs regulations about what you can and cannot bring in from another country. For instance, did you know that it’s illegal to bring back Cuban cigars to the States?
Yup, you read that right.
If you’re not careful, you might get penalized or even arrested for breaking the law. So before you start shopping, make sure to check the local customs regulations. You’ll know what you can and cannot bring back home with you.
It’ll save you the trauma of giving up your prized possession at the airport.
Similarly, there are custom duties and taxes that you might have to pay depending on the country you’re visiting and the items you’re buying. For example, if you’re shopping in the EU, you don’t have to pay customs duty on most goods. But if you’re buying alcohol or tobacco, you’ll have to pay taxes.
So do your homework and save yourself the trouble of paying hefty fines later.
5. Up Your Bargain Game:
Bargaining is an art, and not everyone is good at it. But if you’re looking to save some money while shopping, you’ll have to learn how to bargain like a pro.
It might seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be surprised at how much fun it is. And who knows, you might even enjoy haggling with the shopkeepers!
The best way to bargain is to start low and gradually increase your offer. For instance, if something costs $100, you can start by offering $60. Then, when the shopkeeper counters your offer, you can offer $80. And so on until you reach an agreement.
Of course, you shouldn’t go too low, or the shopkeeper won’t take you seriously. And don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t get the price you want. The shopkeeper will call you back and agree to your terms.
However, please keep in mind that it only applies to local stores and markets. Don’t embarrass yourself if you’re shopping at big department stores or designer boutiques!
6. Give Yourself Some Time:
An evergreen and failproof saving tip on shopping are to delay your purchase. If you can wait a few days or even weeks, do it!
Most of the time, we make impulsive decisions when we’re shopping. We get caught up in the moment and buy things we don’t need. For instance, that cute top might look great on you, but do you need it?
If you give yourself some time to think about it, you’ll realize that you don’t need it. And even if you still want it, the urge to buy it right away will have dissipated, and you’ll be able to think more clearly.
As a result, you’ll either buy it at a lower price or not buy it at all.
7. Check Online Stores:
You’ll be surprised to know that you can sometimes find lower prices online than in brick-and-mortar stores.
Online stores don’t have to worry about the overhead costs of running a physical store. Instead, they can pass on these savings to their customers at lower prices.
It’s interesting to note that some brands like Ikea, Aldo Shoes, and H&M have different prices for their online and offline stores. You may be able to find the handbag you’ve been eyeing at the H&M website for cheaper than in-store.
So, before you buy anything, it’s always a good idea to check online first.
There you have it, folks! Shopping is fun, but it doesn’t have to leave you broke. With these tips, you can shop to your heart’s content without having your wallet frown at you later.
Although we believe shopping using cash is the best way to stick to your budget, we understand that not everyone is comfortable carrying large cash sums. If that’s the case with you, we suggest getting a prepaid card.
Prepaid cards are like debit cards, but they’re not connected to your bank account. It means you can only spend the money you have loaded onto the card. So, if you’ve loaded $500 onto the card, that’s all the money you can spend. It helps you stick to your budget!