Save money while shopping overseas

Shopping is something many people get excited about when travelling overseas, and it can be all too easy to find yourself overspending in the heat of the moment.

Buy duty free
Most airports have duty free shops. They may not seem to offer the best deals but just remember to consider taxes. The items are tax-free so they may actually turn out to be the least expensive option.

Investigate possible tax refunds
In some countries you are able to get back all or part of the retail sales tax. There may be forms to fill out and you may need to show proof of your purchase, but if you have made some large purchases while overseas, claiming tax refunds can save you a bundle.

Buy a locally made souvenir
This is will be a reminder of your trip once you’re back home. Souvenirs made locally and bought directly from the artisan may be prove cheaper without the added costs from middlemen, taxes and retail mark-ups.

Research the sales
Before you book your flights it may help to find out when the major sales occur, for example in Paris the sales take place at the start of January and the end of June. Once you arrive at your destination, check out the local papers for notices of sales, closing down or end of season sales, vintage stores, factory outlets and markets.

Check your size
Keep in mind that sizes differ from country to country. If you are a size 14 in Australia, this transfers to a size 10 in the US. And an Australian size eight shoe translates to a size six in the UK.

There are a number of free apps you can load onto your Android phone such as Whatsize Lite which not only allows you to convert clothing and shoe sizes, but also enables you to store clothing and shoe sizes for yourself, friends and family. A great help if you are taking back gifts from your holiday.

Avoid the tourist shopping areas
You will find that you will pay up to four times more for goods when you buy in the main tourist areas. Try to steer away from these areas. Ask the advice of locals about the best places they have discovered to shop.

If all else fails and you don’t have time to get away from the touristy areas – make sure you haggle for the best price!

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