Saving up to go on vacation can feel a little wince-worthy when you peek at your bank balance, but it helps to remember that each trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience something special. But what about spending money when you actually arrive at your destination?
For the frugally-minded, even being surrounded by exciting shops and markets in an interesting locale can inspire second thoughts about spending money. Especially for those who aren’t able to work while travelling, going on vacation can be a cutback on income. That means regret can sneak into your suitcase instead of a great souvenir, and might even spoil the memory of your trip. Don’t let it!
Curious about what’s worth spending your travel dollars on? Here are a few travel-related expenditures you can make without worry:
The word “souvenir” comes from the French for “to remember or bring to mind.” It’s an object that’s intended to make the viewer remember the great times they had in a special location—to remember their trip and the special people they may have shared the experience with.
With that in mind, you may want to choose an object that you’re likely to look at frequently. There’s a reason that items like magnets, spoons, and small statues make such popular souvenirs: they’re easy to display! Don’t hesitate to snag something you find beautiful that can fit on a favorite shelf or other area you frequent in the home or in the office.
Fashion from Afar
If you’re considering an item of clothing for sale, don’t get caught up in the “t-shirt craze” unless you regularly wear souvenir t-shirts. Yard sales, Goodwill, and thrift stores are filled with souvenir t-shirts because they’re often relegated to the bottom of closets when their buyers return home.
Instead, pick a high-quality piece of clothing or a fashion accessory you’re likely to wear often and that you wouldn’t be able to find at home. This will ensure that you have a souvenir you can interact with and love, instead of one you outgrow or throw in a donation bag years from now.
A Thoughtful Present
If you’re purchasing something for a friend or loved one back home, don’t hesitate to dip into your travel budget. Giving something thoughtful and unique to that special someone can be as much of a cherished item for them as your trip itself was for you. A one-of-a-kind souvenir tells the recipient that they were in your thoughts even as you were surrounded by exciting new sights. A word to the wise: make sure that whatever you’re bringing home will survive shipping or the trip in your suitcase!
A Unique Experience
You’re already out seeing the world, but sometimes spending a little more on an experience can help you see that world more fully. Is there a snorkeling excursion to the reefs you love but have only seen in pictures? Maybe you’ve always wanted to zipline through the jungle and now you’re at the place to do it? Or maybe you’re just tired of eating cheap meals and want to indulge in local cuisine at a nice restaurant. Sometimes spending a little extra can improve your experience in ways that you won’t forget. Just measure the money against the benefits, and ask yourself: is this worth it? If yes, go for it!
No matter what catches your eye—and your wallet—while you’re away from home, be sure to set a budget to prevent buyer’s remorse. Research average prices at your destination to prevent “sticker shock,” and if you’re visiting another country, be sure to stay aware of the currency exchange rate to snag the best deals.
Remember: travel is about experiencing new things, so don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone a bit. The perfect experience is waiting out there, just for you!