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Budgeting for Gift Purchases When Travelling

  • August 21, 2019
  • By 50 Shades
  • 4 Comments
Budgeting for Gift Purchases When Travelling
So you’ve saved up for that once in a lifetime holiday and headed off to your dream destination. You’ve budgeted for visas, internal transfers, meals, accommodation and tours, but what about shopping for gifts and souvenirs? Most travellers like nothing more than purchasing a memento of their travels and bringing gifts back home to their loved ones. However sometimes this can get out of hand. So budgeting for gift purchases when travelling is something that you should seriously consider.
Budgeting for Gift Purchasing When Travelling

Shopping at the famous Orchard Road, Singapore

Why Have a Gifting Budget?

National research from the Financial Planning Association shows we’re generous with gifts. We spend almost $20bn per year, about $100 a month each! The same research also shows that most of us aren’t planning that spending at all.

It’s important to have a gifting budget when travelling because there’s nothing worse than overspending and returning home to a huge credit card bill. If you overspend it could take you the best part of the next year to pay off your debt and that could definitely spoil your precious memories of your dream holiday.

The other advantage of having a gifting budget is that it will curb your spending and free up precious time to be in the moment, enjoying experiences rather than trolling the shops or markets. Personally, although I love to shop, I would much prefer to ride a camel on Cable Beach at sunset or cycle through the vineyards in Tuscany rather than spend it shopping for gifts.

Budgeting for Gift Purchasing When Travelling

Shopping in Bali at one of the many markets

There is also the tendency by some travellers thinking they need to buy every man and his dog a gift! I remember when I first started travelling overseas I tended to buy heaps of cheap knick knacks to give to family members, friends, neighbours, house sitters and even my dog. Resist the urge to buy everyone a gift. I’m sure that they will still talk to you if you don’t buy them a gift!

The other thing to consider when travelling and purchasing gifts is how much space you have in your suitcase and do you have a weight restriction. Otherwise you may be up for excess luggage fees that can be very costly.

The Best Gifts to Purchase When Travelling

Have you heard the saying “Don’t try selling ice to the Eskimos”? So when considering the best types of gifts to purchase when you’re travelling, particularly in foreign countries, look for what they’re renowned for. Don’t try to buy a designer brand handbag in South East Asia, because it will be a fake. Same thing applies in the reverse if you’re shopping in Paris, you are not going to find cheap knick knacks that you’ll find in South East Asia.

Budgeting for Gift Purchasing When Travelling

Some of the colourful ceramics at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey

It’s a good idea to do your research prior to travelling to a foreign country to see what they’re renowned for. Here’s some ideas for gift purchasing in some of the countries that I have visited:

Italy – Leather handbags, leather shoes, leather jackets and beautiful linen. Designer brands including Valentino, Versace, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Missoni.
France – Designer brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hermès, Lanvin and Chloé. French perfume or Champagne.
Turkey – Leatherwear including leather jackets, handbags and wallets. Also amazing Turkish rugs, Turkish towels, colourful ceramics and quality linen.
USA – Tiffany & Co jewellery, designer brands including Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Coach, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Emporio Armani, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, DKNY and Kate Spade New York and Tommy Hilfiger. Shoes, clothing, sports clothing (like Nike, Under Armour and Adidas), lingerie (Victoria’s Secret) and makeup are extremely cheap. Electronic goods and technology.
South East Asia – Fake knockoffs of most famous designer brands including handbags, wallets, clothing, watches and sunglasses. Surfwear, unique arts and crafts, silverware, woven grass handbags, tableware and some good quality fashion brands are popping up in some of the popular tourist destinations in South East Asia.

Budgeting for Gift Purchasing When Travelling

Shopping for bargains at the floating markets in Bangkok, Thailand

Discover Your Gift Giving Personality Type

By taking a quick survey you can soon discover your gift giving personality type. My results reflected that I’m a ‘heartfelt giver’ along with 26% of Australians. According to the quiz, I rarely show up to an occasion without a gift, take pride in how gifts look and try and make gifts truly special and memorable. All true! The quiz was also accurate in telling me I don’t go over the top with my gift giving budget, I generally don’t buy on impulse and that I don’t like buying gifts in bulk.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re travelling because you see so many beautiful unique things you’d like to buy as gifts. I have been known to return home from holidays with far too many gifts! However, experience has taught me that adhering to a gift-giving budget makes for a more enjoyable holiday experience.

Budgeting for Gift Purchasing When Travelling

A street lined with shops in the very upmarket Bellagio, Italy

What is particularly alarming from the Financial Planning Association research into Australian gift-giving is that “there’s literally billions of dollars of household spend that is simply not budgeted for by 3 in 4 Australians across genders, generations, and geographies”.

The same research findings goes on to say that “the discrepancy between a high unplanned household spend and a satisfaction with that spend indicates an opportunity to improve our financial literacy and awareness of the benefits of budgeting, planning, and giving in a way that brings joy without debt or regret”.

Budgeting for Gift Purchasing When Travelling

The local art & craft markets in Paihia, New Zealand

Discovering your gift-giving personality type and getting professional advice with budgeting will certainly guide you with your gift-giving habits and help you make some better choices. At the end of the day I would much prefer to use that budget for my next holiday rather than on gift purchases.

For more tips on gift giving there is a great new eBook titled “The Goodness of Giving” – full of tips and tricks to be better at gifting.

Thanks to Money & Life for the inspiration for this post.

 

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By 50 Shades, August 21, 2019 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 4

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

4 Comments
  • jan
    August 22, 2019

    Such a good and thought provoking post Kathy. Like you when I first started travelling again after the kids had left home I felt the need to buy everyone a gift back home. Worrying about gifts can overtake your enjoyment in the adventure. I think having a budget for gift buying is a good idea.

    • Kathy
      August 22, 2019

      When I think about how much time and money I spent on gift purchasing I wonder how I managed to bring it all back with me! I must have had a big suitcase. I remember the first time I went to New York I went absolutely crazy and had to carry bags on the plane with me! I’m a lot more subdued these days.

  • Jo
    August 22, 2019

    Yup :) When the kids left home I wanted always to buy them gifts, and often they were inappropriate because I was trying to think about what they needed rather than what was appropriate from the country we were visiting. So your guide has really got me thinking. You’re so right, it’s not about bringing home a memory of your trip for them, as it means very little to them if they’ve never personally travelled there. The thing is to bring home something that is ‘of’ the region, and possibly even exclusive to that country which they will treasure and which has longevity. Leather handbags and anything beautiful and designer from Italy, Chanel from France, Turkish rugs from Turkey, Tiffany & Co from America, and yes fake knockoffs from Asia because everyone knows they are fake – but they are still worth acquiring and they are fun.

    • Kathy
      August 24, 2019

      I love to bring home something that is unique to the country I’ve visited. I think that is part of the fun of travel. However it’s best if it doesn’t get too out of hand!

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