How to Control Yourself When Shopping Abroad

I have to be honest, I really love my clothes. Particularly the items I purchased abroad. They make me happy because they are all associated with a fun memory and they serve as great conversation starters. College Jewels used to spend the majority of her work study checks on clothes. Adult Jewels now spends the majority of her money on bills (#adulting), and travel experiences. However, I would be lying if I said I put my shopping to a complete halt. Over the years I’ve definitely gotten much better about my compulsive spending.

Here are 4 strategies to control your spending while abroad:

1. Make Your List Exclusive.

Before you travel make a list of items that you want to buy that are exclusive to the place you are visiting. Upon my second trip to South Africa, I knew I wanted custom made clothing. Not only can it be cheaper to have clothes made abroad but the local designs are a plus. I got pants and shorts made at Mali South in Cape Town. I highly recommend going there! The tailors completed them in a week, but they can make clothing quicker if needed. Prices were negotiable.

2. Know What You Have.

Before you make a purchase abroad think about what you already have. I was on a long search for a varsity jacket when I came across a beautiful one at Pimkie in Vienna. It was a bit more than what I would usually pay for this kind of item, but this jacket was unique because there aren’t Pimkie stores in the U.S. Prices were not negotiable.

3. Bring Cash. Ditch the Card.

If you know you are going to an area that will have a lot of retail temptation, bring a limited amount of cash and leave your debit/credit cards behind. This is a great way to curb unnecessary spending, as you will be forced to stick to your list! I got the most comfortable pants I own from vendors at the Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap. Just a little warning, the vendors there can be a little aggressive. Once they see you buying from other vendors, the whole squad tries to get you to purchase from them. Prices were negotiable.

4. Use Peer Support.

Enlisting the support of my friends was so necessary at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. This weekend market has more than 8,000 market stalls! A simple “Girl you don’t need that!” can go along way when you are surrounded by so many options. I got my favorite high-waisted jeans, 3 tops, and a beach wrap from here. The prices were negotiable.

How do you control yourself when shopping abroad? Leave your jewels in the comments.


Jewels Rhode

Frequent Flyer. Chief Enjoyment Officer. Helping you make your travel dreams a reality!