They say to travel is to live because traveling lets us explore the beauty of the world. Traveling is not only about sightseeing, but it’s also a way of life, exploring, finding the missing pieces of your soul and replacing what you thought was a void in there, with the crash course of learning new customs, cultures, people, and places.
Some backpackers find museums, monuments, art, scenic landscapes, and traditional cuisine the best and surest way to experience the true essence of a country, but people who love to shop, find that shopping, especially buying something that’s particular to the local area, a souvenir, is the paramount way of exploring and taking in the core of the place. Whether it be a designer bag from France, a carpet or rug from Turkey, a kimono from Japan, or an oud from Dubai, what is better than bargaining at vendors and stalls in a local bazaar, or browsing and handpicking the famous handicrafts of the particular city of the country?
Shopping for a souvenir
Can you imagine going to Milan, Paris, Dubai, or Singapore and not putting thoughts into shopping for something spectacular that is special about that place, whether it be a keepsake you can hold onto a memory or just a new pair of glasses or shoes for yourself and your family back home? Thousands of people take Dream world Travel flights every year to travel for shopping alone, especially in time for Christmas, and New Year’s etc., shopping can be one of the best parts of a vacation.
These local things bought from famous bazaars or markets will not only remind you the most of your trip once you are back home but also are quite cheaper than going to a retail markup and local brands.
Shopping for a keepsake
More than any other souvenir, keepsakes are what will remind you the most about the trip once you’re back at home. Plus products made locally, especially if bought directly from the artisan, may be much cheaper because of the lack of the import taxes, and retail markups. Where shopping can be quite an exciting experience while traveling, being on a budget and having your heart set out on spending some time shopping can be quite daunting. However, you can make this experience quite exciting and rewarding. Just find cheaper places that aren’t a sea of knock-offs to haul around tourists. Listed down are some great tips on how to shop ethically, exploring and experiencing the essence of the place, while being on a budget.
Ask the locals
The best way of doing it like the locals is by asking the locals how they do it. Whether it be good local food or best shopping places, they know the best of it all.
Say no to chain stores
You have had your eyes on that Mikael Kors bag or a Versace shirt from your bucket list, and you think the best time to buy it is on your vacation in Italy because it is going to be different than in New York or London. However, the prices will be just as high, and, chances are, can be even higher because of the exchange rates. The prices of all the items of a brand are the same everywhere, whether it be in Spain or your hometown.
Do your research
Make sure what you are buying is original and genuine. Even if you have spared some money off your budget to buy those amazing china dinner set or beautiful Turkish handicrafts, how would you know if the market or the stall you are at, are selling the original and genuine items? By spending some time researching, even if that particular market is famous for that particular item. Again, go back to the first tip and ask a local Japanese where can you can get the best kimono and what are the places you should steer clear of?
Local markets and bazaars
Local markets and bazaars are probably the best way to experience the true essence of a particular place without breaking your bank. One of the best local markets are such as souvenirs, however, make sure they aren’t selling knockoffs, and handicrafts markets so you get to learn the culture and traditions of a place by exploring their arts and crafts. For example, some countries are famous for their textile production, some of their incredibly beautiful handwoven or embroidered crafts. In such markets, you will also get to meet people who will tell you historical stories about each item they will show or sell to you, making it one of the best way to immerse in the culture of that particular country.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
The best thing about these local markets and bazaars is how you can negotiate and bargain your way into no0t exceeding your budget. Learn by watching a local do it!