Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Traveling with Children, Part 4: Souvenirs and Impulse Buying

When you walk into a gift shop at a national park or any other attraction, you find all kinds of wonderful things that would be lovely to own.  At least, that's what my initial impression is.  If we are not careful, however, we can spend way too much for things we realize later that we don't really want.  Here are two suggestions I came up with to help curb impulse buying.
  1. Have a budget.  It is easy to spend too much especially when you are visiting multiple gift shops.  
  2. Add to collections you already have.  As I mentioned above, there are all kinds of neat trinkets and doodads that might be nice to own.  I recommend buying things that will add to something you already own.  Daniel enjoys collecting pocket knives, so when we found one at the Grand Canyon that was really "cool," I encouraged him to buy it -- instead of something else that he wouldn't appreciate as much later.  
In case you're wondering, here are my favorite souvenir purchases:
  • Books.  Mr. Potter gave us this suggestion on our tour to DC, and what great advice it is!  Sometimes you can find amazing books at gift shops, ones you won't find anywhere else.  When we buy them, we write in the front where we purchased it.  Since books are something that everyone can use, we are all reminded of our wonderful trip when we look at the inside flap.
  • Coffee cups.  While I don't actually drink coffee, I do appreciate a cup of tea every morning.  I enjoy the visual reminder of our fun times together.  Hmmm.  I think I'm starting a collection.  :)
  • T-shirts.  John and I do like occasionally to buy ourselves t-shirts if we can find some that we really like and are not too expensive.  But we don't buy them for our children.  They're too expensive, and our children don't wear them long enough.  Although we could probably make an argument for buying one for Sarah Beth so we could pass it down to each child.  ;)
How do you handle impulse buying in gift shops?  What kinds of things do you enjoy as souvenirs?

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