Monday, February 2, 2015

How to Go Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping
It is always lovely to bring back a token of your visit from a destination you loved. Whether its a designer handbag or a keychain, souvenirs remind us of a time when we were free to do what we wanted, of sunny holidays or fun company. Over time a souvenir collection is also a bit like the world on your shelf –– the intricate ceramic doll from Spain, delicate glass figure from Murano, multi-coloured tiled plate from Turkey and the exquisite vase from China.

But there is an art to souvenir shopping. Go ahead and buy that lovely lace fan you see, but try to plan ahead and know how to go about it!

Research: Like any good plan it all starts with the research. Find out what your destination is famous for, addresses of local artisans as well as bigger boutiques. Make a small list of showrooms or craft places you must visit. However, try to always check with locals. You can ask a knowledgeable person at your hotel or enquire in your circle of friends.

Check the seal: You do not want to end up with something that was made in China! Always check the stamp to see where the item was actually made. A lot of artisans and showrooms around the world today keep mass produced goods for general sales and keep the best for discerning customers.

Order ahead: In some cases ordering ahead will save you a lot of time and effort. For instance, if you are looking for a vintage designer bag, call ahead and find out about its availability. Ordering for your merchandise, especially when it is rare, ensures that it will be available when you visit. You can also ask for deliveries at the same time. It saves you from the hassle of lugging around big expensive pieces! 

Arrange a visit: For some souvenirs, part of the charm lies in its making process. Arrange a visit to watch master craftsmen and women at work, find out how your exquisite piece was made. If you are looking for a wine, arrange a visit to the vineyard. Similarly, visit a dairy farm to see how your favourite cheese is made!

Keep our points in mind when shopping, but remember the cardinal rule when travelling –– have fun!


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