Shop ‘til you drop?
Shopping for souvenirs on holiday can either be a fun experience, or totally stressful; it all depends on where you’re heading, and whether you find yourself in a haggling situation or not.
Having the money to shop is often the first barrier, because you usually have to budget for food and drinks whilst you’re away. Try and save as much as possible before you head off on holiday and this will be easier to manage. A good way to try and keep cash in your pocket is to look at your travel plans and see if you can streamline them in any way. I always drive myself to the airport for this very reason, but also because it saves me stress too. Airparks offer some fantastic rates on nationwide parking, including great value Leeds Bradford Airport parking, proving you don’t have to be flying from a huge major airport to take advance of this service. See what’s on offer at your terminal.
If you manage to save yourself a bit of extra cash by the end of your holiday to head off and spend, then I always find the markets are the best place to go for unusual souvenirs. Just make sure that what you’re buying isn’t made of any animal product, which is more common in places like Sri Lanka or African countries, and only stick to buying things you’re sure are environmentally sustainable. We all have a responsibility to the planet, after all.
Haggling is often the thing that puts people off about markets, but once you’re in the swing of things, you’ll find it much less daunting. In the tourist resorts that have this kind of market, such as those in Turkey for example, you’ll find the experience loud, frenetic and colourful, but it’s actually a really good laugh too. You can’t upset anyone too much provided you’re polite and you don’t suggest a price that is wildly low. The best rule to go by is to ask how much an item is, offer something at half, and then work your way up to meet in the middle somewhere. You will more often than not come away with several bargains to take back home for your loved ones.
Try and buy something that is specific to the local area too, so if you’re talking about Turkey again, then take home some Turkish delight; if you’re heading to Greece, grab a bottle of ouzo; or if you’re lucky enough to be visiting Cuba, take home some cigars and a bottle of rum. It’s always fun to be a tourist when shopping! Don’t forget to apply for Turkey visa application form before you book your tickets for turkey.