Shopping for Souvenirs on a Budget

Souvenirs from souvenir shops can be expensive. They are things to absolutely avoid if you are on holiday on a shoestring budget. If you’re taking road trips and stocking up on groceries in order to save money, it will be at cross-purposes if you spend $20 on a T-shirt that is only special because it carries the name of the city you’re visiting.

But you may still want to take back some keepsakes for yourself (and gifts for family and friends). You can do that on a budget. It’s always nice to have something that can remind you of the great time you had there. It’s also great for your family and friends to know that you’ve been thinking of them even while you were on holiday.

So, here are a few tips to help you tackle the problem of shopping for souvenirs on a budget.


Pictures Are The Best Keepsakes

Whether they are picture postcards of places that you visited, or photographs that you took yourself, photos have the greatest power to store your memories. You can bring them out whenever you want and be transported back to your holiday. You will flip through the pictures long after your holiday and be able to relive each and every adventure that you had. And if you gift a photo of yourself enjoying your holiday, your friends and family are bound to love it.

Of course it goes without saying that everyone takes photos on holiday. But turning them into souvenirs means framing them, and you can turn them into something more personal and meaningful than $10 gift shop items.

Buy Something Useful Or Practical

If you have to buy a souvenir, think of buying something that you are actually going to use. For instance, if you’re in Paris with its great fashions, think of spending on a bargain bag at seconds’ outlets or stylish shoes at seconds outlets on the ‘street of shoes’, Rue Meslay. You’re likely to get more use out it than a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Another reason why it’s great to buy something that you can actually use is that you can share the story of your holiday with other people who ask about that item.

Look For Flea Markets And Fairs

Almost every city in the world has some weekend flea markets where you can pick up great souvenirs for fractions of shop prices. It’s a good idea to leave your shopping for the final day at the flea market, so you don’t end up buying things the rest of the time. Of course, flea markets aren’t completely free of overpriced trash, but conversely, they are also great places to find bargain items at rock-bottom prices.

Some cities that have year-round open flea markets include Tokyo, Florida, New York’s famous Brooklyn flea market. You can pick up everything from antique jewelry, antique furniture and art to vintage clothing and fashion items, pottery and handicrafts.


Of course, where you’re going, there may not be a year-round flea market. In such cases, look for places where locals shop – these are going to be at fractions of the prices that touristy souvenir shops charge their customers. You will also be able to explore the city off the beaten path, and look at it from the perspective of the people that live there.

Bring Back Pieces Of The Landscape

One of the best things you can do if you’re going somewhere with great scenery, is to pick up pieces of it. Don’t spend money on a sand bottle in Bali! Sand is free, and you can fill an empty bottle with as much as you like. If you’re at the seaside, there’s nothing better than sea shells to take back. To make a lovely and quaint souvenir, you can put the sand and the seashells in a mason jar when you get back home, decorate the lids with your crafty cleverness, and you have a self-made, authentic souvenir that didn’t cost you a thing! You can also pick up flora and press it between newspapers in a book when you get back to your hotel room at the end of the day.

If you follow the tips above, there is no reason why you should not be able to take back wonderful souvenirs. That way, you can save enough so that if you see something that you really want such as a special pearl or a silk scarf, you can always indulge in it.

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