May 19, 2011

Tip of the day—Vacation Planning Tips, Part 6

Souvenirs can be another expensive part of the vacation budget.  If you aren’t careful, you can turn around and realize that you spent hundreds of dollars on a bunch of junk that will be sold for less than a dollar at your next yard sale.  Below are some tips to help you avoid that mistake:

  • Let go of the guilt.  Your friends really don’t care if you buy them a t-shirt or send them a postcard.  If you have a friend or relative who watched your home while away, do pick them up something.  It doesn’t have to be “touristy” to be appreciated, though.  A nice box of chocolates or good tin of tea will suffice.
  • Children are going to want something.  If traveling without your kids, pick up something for them to open when you get home.  If they are traveling with you, give them a budget.  A friend said that she loaded a gift card for her son to use while on vacation.  When the money ran out, it was gone.  Because it was a gift card, he was less likely to nag for more money than if it had been cash. 
  • Buy off site.  If you are going to a big attraction, consider buying your souvenirs off site.  I grew up near the Memphis area, and I know that the Elvis knickknacks across the street from Graceland are much less than those in the souvenir shop.
  • Buy ahead of time.  As you all know, we’re going to Disney.  One site recommended buying Disney gifts ahead of time and wrapping them.  This helps to curb some of the “I wants” when on site.  Since Disney character gear can be found just about anyplace, I watched for sales and bought when the price was right.

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