Shopping in local markets is one of the best ways to explore a country. It’s a great way to interact with locals, try new foods and get unique souvenirs that will remind you of your trip for years to come. There are also amazing deals to be had! Souks, Marchés, Bazaars, Night Markets whatever their name, they are all similar in that they carry everything under the sun, you name it they’ve got it! Traditional clothing, spices, key chains, bowls, delicacies, scarves, paintings, jewelry, sculptures, rugs, bags, shoes, lamps, wallets, postcards, even animals are a just a few of some of the hidden gems that you can find! Most vendors in markets sell their goods for about half the price of items sold in store fronts or at the airport but there is a definitely an art to bargaining and getting the most bang for your buck. It is a challenge and can sometimes be overwhelming since there are no fixed prices. At times you may feel pressured to buy things you don’t even want and all of the sudden you are walking back to your hotel with not 1 but 5 throw pillows that you had no intention of buying and no room for in your luggage. Here are some tips for bargaining when shopping at international markets.
Normally I’m cool as a cucumber packing for a trip, but right now, that’s not the case. I’m headed to Costa Rica for a few days and because it’s so close to the US, I’ve been thinking about it like a domestic trip. Only as things get closer, like packing-right-now-plane-leaves-in-3-hours closer, I’m realizing how unprepared I am for this international trip.
Here are 10 differences between international and domestic travel to be aware of and think about before you go.
When I first arrived to New Zealand I met a girl from Finland whom I hit it off with immediately. After hanging out for a few hours, she apologized for acting a little weird. “What do you mean”, I asked. “Well I just finished this 10-day silent Vipassana meditation course yesterday and it feels strange to be back in the real world. “10 days of silence, that sounds horrible, I can’t even imagine, tell me more,” I urged. “It’s hard to explain and I can’t even begin to describe it although I will say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but the most rewarding experience of my life, everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime.” She left it at that so I made a mental note to look it up upon my return home.