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Top 5 tips for shopping overseas


We asked the shopping experts at Travelscene American Express to give us their top 5 tips for shopping overseas…

Bangkok's floating markets (Photo: Deborah Dickson-Smith)

For most people, shopping and travelling go together like bees and honey - whether it’s for a memento to remind you of your holiday or a bargain you’ll never find at home.

Making your way through bustling markets, weird and wonderful shops, bazaars and boutiques is all part of the experience.

We asked the shopping experts at Travelscene American Express to give us their top 5 tips for shopping overseas…

1. Why not spoil yourself a little?

With such a strong Aussie dollar at the moment, you could pick up some real bargains. You might even stumble across that ‘one off’ gem that can’t be found back home and you’ll probably not be back at this destination for some time.

2. Pack light.

Or take a collapsible bag inside your suitcase, or do both, to ensure you have plenty of space for your newfound treasures. Be sure to check your luggage allowance with your travel agent before you leave so that you’re not caught out.

Some hotels will provide a shipping service so if you’re really planning on spending big, it may be worth looking into this.

3. Do your research.

Got friends who have been there before? Ask them where they loved to shop. Put the word out on Facebook, check online and ask your travel agent. Better yet, when you get to your destination, ask a few locals who could help you find some great shopping spots ‘off the beaten track’.

4. Check customs restrictions.

Every country has its own laws, customs restrictions and duty-free allowances which often change, so before you fly, visit www.customs.gov.au for up to date information to avoid disappointment. There’s nothing worse than arriving home with that precious bottle of pickles or preserves, or unique artifact, only to have it confiscated.

5. Ask your travel agent.

Chances are, your travel agent has been there too and can give you some valuable insights on where to shop, what specialties to look out for and what or where to avoid.


Written by: Deborah Dickson-Smith
Published: 20 March 2013


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