Shopping on the Road

We all like to pick up a little something special when we’re traveling, even when we’re on a tight budget.

And with that in mind, my comrades and I wandered into the nearby Playa Del Carmen today to see what baubles the area had to offer.

We soon discovered we were better off back at our fabulous resort, Royal Hideaway, gorging ourselves on margaritas and guacamole, but it was a super-fun experience nonetheless.

Was there something wrong with Playa Del Carmen? Not at all, but we are savvy shoppers – went with a purpose, and a need. (And wait till you see the pix…) I love market research, and whether it’s an authentic trinket of some kind, an amazing dress from that tiny boutique that you’d never be able to find at home, or souvenirs for family and friends, there’s always something special that you want to take home with you to remind you of your travel experience.

But we need to know what we want, what we’re doing – and how to make the most of the experience. The following are tips to help you make your perfect purchase without damaging your pockets in the process.

Stay away from places that usually attract tourists.

These areas are always likely to be more expensive when it comes to shopping. Beyond that, the items found in these locations are hardly ever unique. You want to find something that represents your travel experience.

Refrain from purchasing bulky, heavy, items.

Bigger items are usually more expensive, and they’ll take up packing space. If you’re traveling with a backpack you won’t want to lug around something that causes shoulder damage, and if you’re traveling with a suitcase you won’t want to pay for shipping or extra bag-checking costs.

Ask yourself a simple question. Do you like it or do you love it?

If you only like it, skip it. You like a lot of things but you don’t go around purchasing them all. If you love it, well then that’s a different story. If its love that you feel about this particular item, ask yourself if it’s something you’d be able to find at home. If it’s not and it doesn’t force you to dip into tomorrow’s piggy bank, go for it.

Remember that you’re traveling to see the world more intimately, not to collect more stuff. There will always be something that you have to have. Don’t deprive yourself, just think before you buy.


1 Response to “Shopping on the Road”

  1. April 20, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Great advice! Unfortunately, I have been known to ship items home that wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. I really need to learn some restraint!

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