Next year, my husband and I are planning to travel to the UK for the first time. We’re still in the planning stages. We know we want to visit England, Ireland and Scotland in one trip, but we’ve not even determined if our grown kids will accompany us. Other than reading a lot of blogs and websites and starting to pin some amazing looking photos to my bucket list board, I’ve not done a whole lot to move us forward for this trip. I do know that we won’t have a ton of money to make this trip happen so it needs to be budget-focused.
There are several ways we can really blow our budget when traveling overseas. I certainly won’t pack my portable kitchen for the flight so food and lodging are a necessity. And while normally, I’m not one to purchase many souvenirs, I’m a tad bit worried that I’ll want to immerse myself in souvenir shopping when traveling abroad. I may not need another porcelain tea set (though I do have a small collection), but I may be tempted to buy it because it’ll look so pretty in my china cabinet.
Shopping can really be a big part of travelling and its fine to buy a few small trinkets or splurge on that item you fall in love with. The problem starts when you can’t control your impulse to buy things. Not only will it push your budget to its breaking point, but it’ll also bring more clutter to your home. Something I certainly don’t need. In this post, you’ll learn several useful tricks on removing clutter from your budget-friendly vacations.
Here are some tips to help you ditch the souvenir clutter- not only abroad, but in the states as well.
- Set a limit on the number of items that you will buy
Usually, souvenirs are affordable to entice tourists to buy them. So even if you only spend around $25 – $50, you can still buy a lot. Instead, set your purchase limit based on the number of items. For starters, challenge yourself to buy less than three useful souvenirs on your next trip.
- Invest on experiences and not on material things
There are other cost-effective ways to enjoy your trip abroad without buying too much. If you are a big fan of tea, you can learn participate in tea ceremonies. You can also take a short cooking class, ride a canoe, or fly on a hot air balloon. If you are going to spend money on a trip, spend it on experiences rather than material objects. Take lots of photos- they make great souvenirs.
- Think about where you will display the item in your home
A poncho from Peru or a big paper fan from Japan is some of the many souvenirs that are tempting to take home after every trip. Would you buy these items or something similar at home? Will you use these items? How will you display them? I don’t live by this rule, but I try to consider where I will place the item in my home before I buy it. If I can’t think of some way to display it, I feel better about walking away without making the purchase.
- Bargain smartly
Some people really enjoy bargaining. I’m not one of them. I’d rather pay the sticker price or price quoted and not deal with the hassle. I need to remember that items are often marked up considerably because bargaining is expected in certain parts of the world. When you bargain with a vendor, make sure that you keep you budget in mind.
5. Remember, whatever you buy, you need to take home.
This isn’t a big deal when you’re road tripping, but when you’re flying you need to consider how much room you have in your suitcase, additional airfare fees or shipping costs to get the items you’ve purchased home.
Got any tips to share? Post them now in the comments section.