August is probably the month where most of you will be going on holiday so it's not too late to share some of my travel tips. However I didn't feel like showing you how to pack your suitcase or how to dress for the plane because these are articles that every blog or magazine has already written before. Therefor I would like to share with you my tips for shopping cute local souvenirs that you will still love once you're back home. I must admit that souvenir shopping is always one of my favourite activities on holiday, but only if it allows me to connect with the culture of the region.
Don't buy at the first booth
In tourist regions you often have many different shops and booths that all sell the same souvenirs but at different prices. If you really want any of their goods, make sure to wait until the last day of your stay when you'll have figured out where to get it for the best price. And don't worry, even if it looks like it's almost sold out, they surely have more!
Buy outside tourist regions
The best thing is to not shop around your hotel or around the beach at all because that's where most tourists are and where the prices are highest. Maybe you can arrange a day-trip to an outlying town that is know for producing local goods.
Buy at regional markets
Even better: Shopping at regional markets where even the locals buy their stuff. Most of the time you will find the prettiest things on street markets, at least that was the case for me in Portugal and Italy. Of course it's always good to get there early so 1. it isn't too hot yet and 2. the good products are still available.
Don't be afraid to negotiate
In most countries and on most markets the sellers are open to negotiating or even expect you to ask for a different price. I know it's nothing for shy people but it's a lot of fun once you're into it and you can of course save lots of money. However there are some regions or places where negotiating isn't appropriate so make sure to check your guidebook first.
Have a look at what locals are wearing/using
If you want something that is typical for the region and doesn't scream "cheap souvenir" you should keep your eyes open and have a look at what locals are wearing. Are you seeing the same bracelet or top over and over again? A good sign that it's trendy in the country where you're staying and thus something that might please you as well.
Always ask for the material of jewellery and shoes
There's nothing more annoying than buying a pretty necklace or a cute pair of shoes just to see them broken even before you fly back home. Don't be afraid to ask what they're made of - you can never go wrong with real leather (unless you're vegan of course!) or sterling silver.
Buy things the region you stay at is known for
It's always nice to bring back home a part of the regional culture and I guess the most typical souvenirs are also the ones that will always remind you of the holiday - which after all is the main purpose of a souvenir, right? Regional products can be really diverse and don't always need to be food or pottery. Maybe you can even check which brands originate from the country you're travelling to. I mean I'm not telling you to buy a H&M dress in Sweden but how about Havaianas from Brazil or a Kate Spade bag from New York? The good thing is surely that the products are way cheaper in the country where they are produced than elsewhere.
Only buy things you're sure you will also wear/use back home
I guess it has happened to all of us. On holiday it's hot, you're in a good mood and you can be sure you won't meet any of your work colleagues. This state of mind makes people buy things, especially clothes and accessories, they are right away ashamed to wear at home. So even when shopping local trends, make sure to always keep your own style in mind.
Feel free to add your own souvenir shopping hacks and tell me where are you going on holiday this year? Maybe you already have your eyes on a good from that region and can't wait to go hunting for it?