Traveling to a foreign destination presents fun and excitement as you know not what you are going to exactly see and experience since it is “foreign” to you. When you visit such places, of course, you definitely want to take as many photos as possible and experience all the unique and fun things you can in it because everything is fresh and rare to you.
Considering that travel is an extraordinary or a once-in-a-lifetime event, you may need some things that you can take home with you as remembrances and “evidences” that you have been there, tried this and that wonderful experience! That’s when souvenir buying comes to the picture! This one always comes after visiting the place. Most often, it’s the last thing tourists do before they finally leave the place.
Souvenir buying is really enjoyable. At the same time, it can give you a lot of purchasing dilemmas. Especially if you love everything you see, it can be a hard time too.
To lend you a helping hand with that, below are 8 essential tips when buying your travel souvenirs!
Believe it or not, even souvenir buying needs to be budgeted. It may seem easy if you’re not yet there inside the travel souvenir stores, but when you reach the place, your eyes might enjoy a lot that your wallet might get hurt. It’s hard to resist cute, colorful and lovely keepsakes, and you might spend more than you expected.
That’s why before you head to the souvenir shop, allot a certain limit to how much you will be spending for the dear and alluring items you want to buy. In that way, you will be able to get and pay for what you just really want. You can be more practical while getting stuff you first thought well of before bringing to the counter.
There are souvenir shops and stalls in hotels, airports and even in restaurants. Know that their products would most likely be more expensive than those in mere stores and boutiques out of it. Of course, what they sell included branded items, the country’s leading products and even their own official merchandise. Set your budget wisely if you are going to buy in those in-stores.
#2: TAGGED TOURIST SPOTS
Since you are buying souvenirs for you to remember your travel, choose those that represent or feature certain locales. Usually, aside from the country or the city itself written on shirts, bags, mugs and refrigerator magnets, the famous tourist spots in that place are also highlighted. In that way, they are also promoted.
You can choose to get souvenirs for all the tourist spots you went to. With those, you will perfectly remember and share that you were once there. If you are a hoarder, not only of travel souvenirs but of memories and remarkable experiences, buy those tagged with tourist spots’ names or images; they would be awesome picks and additions to your collections.
#3: FIGURINES AND DISPLAYS
Mostly, souvenir shops contain figurines, hanging displays, magnets, wall decors and keychains! There are many others, but surely, you know that these are some of the most common things you will see there.
Very likely, you will get one or more souvenirs from these categories. When you do, it’s nice if you’d select those you can really use and not just put in stock. If you are going to buy a ceiling decor, make sure that your ceiling and your house itself would be fine with that one. If you are going to buy a medium-sized miniature of the famous landmark you visited, see to it that you can definitely place it on top of the table you’re thinking of.
It’s best if you buy souvenirs which you won’t just throw around and forget about. All the figurines and other displays being sold have a use, but be certain that you can use them properly and that their uses are possible for you.
#4: STUFF TO WEAR
Nobody is too young or too old for souvenir t-shirts. These are among the sought-after and most-bought travel products. A souvenir t-shirt is a quietly loud statement that say you went to a certain country, unless it was just given to you. Don’t miss the chance to purchase at least one shirt from that country. You can use it the same day as well when you go to tourist spots. Take photos as you wear it. It would be delightful if you go matchy-matchy with your family too. You will absolutely be a certified tourist-looking traveler!
Besides shirts, buy other souvenirs you can wear such as caps, hats, bonnets, hoodies, vests, scarves, slippers and accessories! Unlike figurines, you can bring and wear them anywhere even when you already went home. They are very useful as they make you recall your amazing travel experience too.
#5: WALK AND LOOK AROUND
When you are inside a souvenir store, do not hesitate to look around, search the place and carefully think of what to buy. Do not just decide to grab the one near the entrance door and head to the cashier without checking out other areas of the shop. You will most likely regret if you do so and see more stuff which you like better.
On the other hand, if you do not like anything in one section, do not stop there, but roam around. You might just find something you’d be pleased with if you roam around and look a little more.
Stores with so many stuff can be enticing or demotivating. Enticing because there are tons of options you’d love to scan and select from. Demotivating because you might be too lazy to do the scanning part.
Look at items closely. If you can touch and hold them, do so because you will discover incredible and one-of-a-kind things in doing that!
#6: COMPARE NEARBY STORES
Most especially if the area where you are is a travel souvenir street or center, do not just stop and stay in the first one. You can see shops after shops, so you have a number of good choices. Comparing items and prices will help you save a lot of money as you get high quality.
Typical scenarios of regret go like this: You see shop number 1 where you don’t really like most of the stuff. You buy. You go out and randomly check the store little hops away from it. You see that it has better and more beautiful souvenir items. You regret getting the item you don’t really like. Surprisingly, you see the same item in the second store. Sadly, you see that it’s priced much lower now. In the end, you regret.
Certainly, you have understood the point made above. That’s the reason why if you are not in a hurry, you should not be afraid to get out of a store and into another one near it, so you can compare rates. It’s just being practical and strategic.
#7: WHOLESALE DEALS
As part of your love for your family and friends, or as a tradition, you buy souvenirs for them as a present. There is a huge dilemma here, especially when you have a lot of names on your list, as if you are Santa Claus coming to town.
Check out wholesale deals. Some stores offer something like you can get a discount if you buy 5 of selected items, you can purchase the 4th item for a lower price, or you can get the 3rd souvenir for free. You can really save a lot with such offers, so pay attention to store price tags and posters. Asking also does a lot.
#8: RARE PLACES, RARE CHANCES
If it’s your first time to visit your travel destination, buy a souvenir from it. If it’s a rare experience for you, buy a souvenir from it. If it’s a once-in-a-lifetime or a will-happen-again-in-10-years kind of travel, buy a souvenir from it. If it’s a rare opportunity for you, buy a souvenir from it.
Do not hesitate if traveling is not a common thing you do and if the place is not an easy-to-reach destination. Do not say you can buy again the next time you visit because no one knows when that will be or if there will be another shot. Also, for sure, the next time would be really different, so do not miss the chance at the moment. Rare places and rare chances are for you to get rare remembrances.
Buying travel souvenirs could be a piece of cake for some, but that’s not always the case. Most especially if it’s your first time or if it’s an infrequent thing for you, you might not know much about practically doing so. That’s why it’s important to know these particular travel tips wherein you can save money and get the mementos you want!
It’s a special thing to take home something that will make you remember and throw yourself back to your travel experience memories, so it would be very pleasurable and convenient if you know what to do, where to go and what to buy in travel souvenir stores.
By Nicole Ann Pore
who writes about travel – world destinations, tourist sites, accommodation, vacation spots and everything else related to it! For her, the beauty of this world is amazing and worth-sharing, and traveling is one of the purest ways to acknowledge it. She is a daytime writer for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a five-star hotel in Parramatta, New South Wales which provides a rewarding stay and a close reach of Australia’s noteworthy features. Nicole is graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.