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If you think you are going to shop till you drop when on your vacation, do the research before you leave home so you have, at least, a chance of buying something worth its price.  Buying at the source does not provide as significant savings as it did  in the past, so know what you are buying and its value.


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Looking for a bargain abroad?  Do the research before you go.

Souvenirs of trips are a pleasant, visual reminder of the fun that we had during a vacation. Buy affordable items that are personally meaningful and reflect something unique about the destination.

  • If you are planning to take a trip to a destination that is well known for something you yearn to own (ceramics, art, jewelry, rugs, tapestries, etc.) there is a simple rule of thumb that you should consider before you depart: do your homework.
    • If you can take the time to do some research, you will usually return with a bargain that is a stunning addition to your collection.

It will be easier to value specific treasures, if you spend some time researching your destinations to discover the places known for specific items.

  • In essence, you should prepare for your purchase by researching the signature products of specific areas to determine what constitutes a value.
    • Guidebooks are a good source of information on unique items to purchase by country.
  • For many travelers, value is defined as something they cannot easily find in their hometown, is authentically unique, and related to the destination they will visit
    • For example: ceramic, decorative tiles from Portugal that were manufactured and painted by Portuguese artisans
  • Once you have done the research, create a list that includes, by location, the treasures that you would like to pursue on your trip. Use this as a  guide when shopping during your travels.



While in Australia, we encountered large displays of a wide variety of types of Opals. The differences between the stones were mind boggling, complicated by wide ranges in quality, color, clarity, and size. However, we had done our research before leaving the US by visiting several jewelry stores and examining what could be bought for specific prices. When we began shopping in Australia, we were able to determine the opal jewelry that was a bargain (yes, yes, we bought).

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