souvenirsFor shoppers like me, souvenir and vacation shopping is one of the most fun activities.  But, to make sure you watch your travel budget, as well as your personal budget, there are a few souvenir types to be aware of.

The “I Forgot This At Home” purchase
Did you forget comfy shoes, a swimsuit, or some other essential item for your vacation?  Buying it on vacation may set you back a bit, AND you’ll end up with something you won’t need once you get home.  So, make sure you plan in advance – make a packing list, and review it multiple times.  Think about the activities you’ll be doing, so that you ensure you’ll have everything you need.  In addition, check the weather before you leave – do you know how many San Francisco sweatshirts are purchased by tourists who can’t imagine needing one in California?  If you do need to make a purchase, try to steer clear of tourist traps.

The “I Could Have Gotten This Cheaper at Home” purchase
You are on vacation, spending “vacation money” and hit up a mall.  Suddenly, you want some new clothes, or new jewelry, or other stuff.  After all, it’s only vacation money.  But, keep in mind you may find some stuff cheaper at home, especially if your sales tax rate is lower that that of your vacation destination.

The “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” purchase

You’ve seen them.  The Goofy Ears hat.  The French Beret.  The Russian hat.  It seemed like a good idea at a time.  But it’s not.  It never is.