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Vacation Souvenir Buying Tips

If you are planning a vacation on a budget, you are always looking for ways to cut expenses. Luckily, it is easy to find good deals for airline tickets and hotels. For some, especially those with children, the problem comes with souvenirs. They are nice, but often quite costly. Let’s not forget that they take up additional space in suitcases! With many airlines charging additional fees for checked baggage, this just increases their costs more.

The best way to save money on vacation souvenirs is to not buy them at all. But that is easier said than done. You want to have a memento from your trip and give a few small gifts to close friends and family members. If you want to buy vacation souvenirs, go right ahead and do so. The key is to be careful and spend your money wisely. How?

Don’t buy souvenirs on impulse. If at a popular vacation destination, the streets are filled with souvenir shops and gift shops. Many sell the exact same products, but the prices vary greatly. The store you are in may charge $10, but did you know the store just a few steps away may charge $5 for the exact same pair? Price differences like these are common in popular vacation destinations and resort towns. To save the most money, browse first. Spend a few afternoons browsing through local shops. Make note of the prices. Another afternoon, return to the stores with the best prices to make your purchases. Don’t pay more money than you need to. Be a smart shopper.

Keep use in mind. There are all types of souvenirs available for sale. You can usually pick between logo shirts, magnets, shot glasses, and everything in between. Don’t buy a souvenir just for the sake of buying one. You may just toss it aside when you get home or your gift recipient will do the same. This is a huge waste of money. A great and cheap souvenir is a magnet. We all use them on refrigerators. T-shirts are best for children, as adults are less likely to wear tourist shirts. As for shot glasses, they too are cheap, but basically a worthless purchase for someone you know doesn’t drink alcohol. Save money. If you are going to buy souvenirs, buy nice or useful ones. Otherwise, you might as well throw your money in the garbage.

Give yourself a budget for souvenirs. If you head into your trip knowing you want to bring home a few mementos, decide on a budget. For example, give yourself $30 to buy a gift for yourself, one for your mother, etc. When you have a strict budget, you are more likely to pay attention to prices and avoid costly impulse purchases.

Leave room for souvenirs in your luggage. If you head into your summer vacation knowing you want to buy souvenirs, not only set a budget, but also make sure you have room in your suitcase. Nothing is worse than needing to pay extra airline handling or luggage fees. A good approach is to use space saving travel bags. They condense clothes and leave more room in your luggage for souvenirs. Also, consider size. Try to avoid souvenirs that you know cannot fit into your suitcase.

Souvenirs are an easy way to increase the cost of a vacation and exceed your budget. You shouldn’t let that stop you from buying vacation mementos and gifts for loved ones. Just use your best judgment, price compare, think small, and you will be fine.

Members to ListPlanIt will find the lists they need to plan their next family road trip, vacation, or holiday break in Travel Planning.  Not yet a member?  Join today and get organized to make your travel less stressful and more enjoyable.

Stephanie Glover:

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