5 Ways to Save on Vacation Souvenirs

There are many travel deals out there helping you save on hotel nights, flights, and even food, but what about the extra spending money some of us bring along.  Those tempting mementos for sale at the hotel gift shop can add up before your know it, making your budget friendly price tag not so cheap in the end.  Here are a few ways to avoid digging deeper into your pockets while traveling.

For me, a picture of the waves is a nice way to remember how calm I felt while on a beach vacation.
For me, a picture of the waves is a nice way to remember how calm I felt while on a beach vacation.

1. Take Pictures

I know many of you are probably thinking, "duh? I always take pictures." But taking pictures can save you money if you use them as your main source of remembering your trip. If you like to take many anyways, why not relive the relaxing or adventurous time you had by printing a few out and getting a frame on sale instead of buying an additional trinket that can collect dust. For a more artistic feel print out some pictures in black and white and use a solid black frame to display your travel memories. (Wal-Mart may even have some frames for under $5 to help out your budget!)

If you like a souvenir but know it would be another thing sitting on a shelf, take a picture and that way you can always remember it when you look through your photos.
If you like a souvenir but know it would be another thing sitting on a shelf, take a picture and that way you can always remember it when you look through your photos.

2. Make a List

Planning ahead of time will help you focus on what type of souvenir you most want or would be less likely to sell at a yard-sale someday.  Make a list of the type of items you might like to buy for yourself or others and stick to the list.  This will help when an unexpected mug appears and all you really wanted was a t-shirt.

3. Don't Buy Knickknacks for Everyone

Although it is a nice gesture to let people know you thought of them while on vacation, the majority of people I have met end up having no need for what you think was "so cute you had to buy for them." This may seem forward, but if your friend or relative does not have a collection you definitely know they would want you to add to, then don't buy them a gift just to give them something from your trip. I am not saying a t-shirt for your nephew is wrong, but buying pencils and magnets for everyone in the office might be a waste of money. (Please remember this is just a suggestion on how to save and I am not trying to offend anyone as I am also guilty of buying knickknack things for people.)

4. Look for Sale or Clearance Merchandise

Purposely go straight to the sale or clearance section of the stores you enter and look for items there first before browsing the rest of the shop.  It is not tacky, but a thrifty way of finding something you might like just as much as something else that is regular priced.

5. Have a Budget

Much like making a list (Way to Save # 2), having a predetermined budget for souvenirs will help as long as you know you can stick to it. Perhaps have a special section in your wallet with cash or traveler's checks only meant for buying mementos and once the money is gone, the shopping spree ends.

 Hope these tips can help you out on your next trip!

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