Shopping abroad can mean making some huge savings. Granted shopping is not usually high on the agenda for any backpacker, but if like me you’re travelling sans backpack, and you’re partial to a bargain, you may want to read on.
Below are a few tips for successful shopping on your travels, and a few pitfalls to avoid:
- Use a pre-paid currency card – I’ve mentioned many, many times that pre-paid currency cards are the bees knees in my opinion, and a total essential while travelling. I’m thrilled to be working with Caxton Card on this blog post which is so ideal as I use the card most days. It makes withdrawing cash abroad a doddle, and also paying for things by card whenever you can, super easy. Caxton are very kindly offering my readers £20 cash back when you sign up for you pre-paid currency card! Head to this link here to sign up and claim.
2. Take parcel bags. Technically not vital as you can pick them up at the post office, but they take up no space at all, and it’s one less thing to think about/buy whilst you’re out there. Plus you can gather any bits you plan to send home in them until you have time to visit the post office. Keep a few kilos spare in your luggage for anything you buy and send home a parcel of anything you’re not wearing/too heavy if you need extra weight and suspect you may be over the airline allowance.
3. Make sure you have friends and family addresses in your phone. This is a really obvious tip, but I forgot to get anyone’s addresses apart from my mum’s, and so she is the only person I’m sending things to and I’m putting it on her to distribute it all (thanks mum!).
4. Know what you want beforehand. As anyone who’s ever been to a bustling market on their travels will be aware, it’s very easy to get distracted. It’s a good idea to be clear about what you want, and to tell your travel buddy too so that they can help you look for it/usher you away from distractions.
5. Shop around. Unless the thing you want is definitely unique/has been handmade by the person that owns the shop, don’t buy it at the first place as you’re very likely to see the same thing in lots of places. Equally, don’t leave it too late if you really want it. Ask each for the price, work out how much you’re happy to spend, and get bartering.
6. Speaking of bartering… Don’t show eagerness, pick up other things you’re not actually interested in, and have an idea in mind of what you want to pay for whatever it is, and what that is in your own currency, before you ask how much. If it’s wildly out of your budget, say ok and walk away. If they’re trying it on, they will usually lower it then, so be clear on what they’re asking for in your own currency, and then it’s time for you to start bartering. My main advice would be to get a few figures from a few places (if it’s something you’ve seen a few times) to get an idea of the actual price you should be paying versus when they’re literally making it up on the spot. Keep bartering light and with a sense of humour. Bartering is just the done thing and the way of life in many places around the world. Don’t fight to the death over the equivalent of 50p, but equally, feel free to say no thank you, and walk away at any time if you’re not comfortable with the price.
7. Pre-load your Caxton Card (or other pre-paid currency card), a few hundred pounds at a time, so that if your card goes missing, that’s not all of your money gone.
A bonus tip for anyone travelling to Asia – the elephant print clothing may look tempting when you first arrive, but you’ll see it everywhere you go!
Do you like to shop abroad? I’d love to hear of any other tips you have that i’ve missed!
This post is sponsored by Caxton. Thank you for supporting the carefully selected sponsored content you see here on the blog.