I recently returned from a trip in Europe, where I had the pleasure of visiting Barcelona, Spain, for three days. (You’ll be able to read about the finer aspects of Barcelona on our sister site Good Life Review soon.) Of course, what intrigues many people about Barcelona is the stunning architecture, but many others are attracted by the shopping. Streets like Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes and La Rambla, for which Barcelona is famous, attract shoppers by the thousands each day, including me during my trip. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself, but one always must be careful when shopping on vacation. It can be easy to forget normal boundaries, so I had to keep asking myself some simple questions before I made my purchases:
What does it actually cost? The Euro is currently worth 1.4 times more than the dollar, so a price in Euros can make something look cheaper than it really is. To estimate roughly how many dollars something was worth, I simply would think of it as adding a little bit less than half of the price to its price in Euros.
Can I find it somewhere else? On the grand streets, with splendid lights and tons of happy people, buying an item can be extremely tempting, but more often than not, the same item can be purchased for half the price two streets away. (This is very common with food.) Maybe you could buy the same item near your own home, for much cheaper. Does the fact that it’s coming from a different country really make it worth the extra cost?
What is it really worth? You should expect hand-woven hats or scarves to cost more than their mass-produced counterparts. It is wise to be wary of items that you see more than once in different shops; they probably are not worth it.
And perhaps the most important question:
Will it fit in my suitcase?