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Best bargains abroad

Paris, France
6 posts
Best bargains abroad

Hey fguys,

So, I might be a bit off-topic here (sorry if that's the case!), but I couldn’t really find anywhere else to ask. I'm kind of a globetrotter – and I mean, a LOT of traveling. My girlfriend's a pro athlete, which means we're pretty much touring the world. Just since the start of 2024, we've hit Australia, Romania, Austria, Mexico, the USA, and Colombia. She's training and competing, and I'm the supportive partner, but also a guy with quite a bit of free time on his hands. During our stay in Australia, something hit me.

Figuring out what’s worth buying in one country versus another can be tricky, especially with all the exchange rates and price differences. I'm really curious if you guys have any tips, advice, or stories about:

- Types of stuff that's usually cheaper or just better quality outside of wherever you're from.

- Your own tales of snagging awesome deals in certain countries.

- Any general pointers for spotting great buys no matter where you are.

- Cool tools or apps you use to check out prices or help decide what to buy when you're abroad.

It feels like we’re always just missing out on buying something we need for cheaper, and it's starting to drive me a bit nuts! 😅

Cheers for any help you can throw my way!

Edited: 31 March 2024, 06:42
6 replies to this topic
Mac
San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
Level Contributor
19,958 posts
62 reviews
102 helpful votes
1. Re: Best bargains abroad

As a seasoned frequent business traveler for decades around the world, I don’t buy stuff. No souvenir, no decoration, nothing I can’t carry easily, no household things. I don’t need anything, I don’t want anything,

I used to buy an artwork, painting on every European business trip, I ran out of walls. I used to buy one or more suits on each foreign trip, Europe or Asia, but nobody wear suits anymore in California, I still have 60 suits.

Everytime I am tempted to buy something, I think of my big basement full of stuff, I paid for all of them, so I don’t buy anything anymore. At some point in life, one wants to get rid of everything. I lost desire for “things”.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
6,573 posts
724 reviews
403 helpful votes
2. Re: Best bargains abroad

I don't buy much either, particularly now my children are grown up. I might do so however in Asia when I like an incense for instance. And I usually bring back booze on my last leg as it is cheaper than at home. But that's pretty it.

Paris, France
6 posts
3. Re: Best bargains abroad

@Mac and @Swissdiver

You're right, but I'm not talking about "souvenirs", but stuff that we would eventually have to buy anyway. Remember, we're not in holydays and we're not tourists ahahaha

For instance, my GF's needs a new camera because her last one has been stolen (we believe) at the airport. From now to august we will go to: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Croatia, UK, Sweden, Hungary, Czech Rep, then Colombia, Mexico and USA again. We just looking for the best price possible :)

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
6,573 posts
724 reviews
403 helpful votes
4. Re: Best bargains abroad

When it comes to electronics, warranties can be problematic. Otherwise opportunities exist. My camera for scuba diving for instance was bought at home, while I purchased the (expensive) waterproof case in Singapore...

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
Level Contributor
29,575 posts
335 reviews
187 helpful votes
5. Re: Best bargains abroad

Don’t forget to factor in tax and duty due on your return home.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka, Tokyo
Level Contributor
80,743 posts
183 reviews
192 helpful votes
6. Re: Best bargains abroad

I don't think there are ever great buys for sure unless you 1) are buying something you truly want; 2) have done research on price/quality vs items available back home.

I don't ever buy cheap souvenirs. I don't buy luxury brands either though such items are considerably cheaper in Europe after tax refund. I mostly buy normal clothing that I indeed want and kitchen related items (particularly certain ingredients). My wife also buys a frangrance from Italy that sells for much more back home. I love wine but I hardly ever buy it because it's just not worth the weight and hassle.

Overall, there is just no general rule. You just need to do research yourself. Avoid impulse buying if possible.

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