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Bargains, schmargains! It is tough to find a good bargain, either at home or abroad.  When you are traveling  internationally, you will be tempted to buy all sorts of stuff that you don't need.  Set a budget and stick to it. 


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Travel Advice -   Bargains abroad and your budget

Most people who shop internationally are looking for bargains. The thought that you can get things cheaper at the source is less true than it once was and shopping at international destinations can be fraught with difficulty.

Before you depart for your trip, set your shopping budget and do not exceed it during your vacation.

  • During most trips, you will be tempted to buy something at every turn.
  • If you give in, your vacation may turn into a financial disaster.
  • Our advice is “stick with your budget”.

When preparing for your  trip, do the research to determine the best buys in each country you plan to visit. If the item you seek is individually produced (e.g. a hand woven rug) learn about differences in quality and how to evaluate and price the goods that you want to acquire.


When shopping, be sure to consider

  • The cost of the item
  • Any taxes on the item (VAT, and potential Customs fees)
  • The added cost of bringing the object home
    • Shipping (if applicable), associated handling fees, and luggage weight penalties if the item is heavy.
    • (See our articles Too big to carry and the section on luggage restrictions and penalties in our article on Packing).
  • Be prepared to walk away from any item that you feel is overpriced.
    • Overpaying is overpaying regardless of whether it happens at home or abroad.

Finally, if the goods require shipment due to size or weight, ensure that the shipping process is reliable and that your goods will be insured and returnable if not received in good condition. Reputable merchants will be pleased to assist you with shipping.

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