Use your travel budget to buy gifts on your travels

Use your travel budget to buy gifts on your travels

This is a good tip to help you save money on gifts for Christmas or birthdays AND get something that’s extra special.

If you’re going on holiday between now and Christmas, and the place you’ve visiting is known for something in particular, use your holiday budget to pick up a gift for someone you know who will appreciate it.

How does that save money? Well, it’s usually quite easy to make little alterations to save money on holiday so that you can pick up a gift or two. Those little alterations mean you’ll have picked up a gift that was within your holiday budget, and not your budget for gifts. You will also probably find more authentic and better quality gifts that are cheaper than mass produced versions exported to the UK. It’s a win-win.

Here are just a few examples:


Kopke port and Ginja Licor

If you want to ruin a port lover’s taste for port, bring them a bottle home! They keep the good stuff to themselves, which makes it very difficult and expensive to buy in the UK. This will certainly be a well appreciated gift… partly for how well it suits the recipient, and partly because it means a lot that their gift was on your mind when you were on holiday. If you would have bought port for them for Christmas anyway, you’ll find your money goes further. So you can save yourself some money, or go for a much nicer bottle for the price of a bottle you would have bought at home!

Another speciality is a cherry liqueur called Ginja, this makes for a delicious cherry coke cocktail and a lovely gift!


With so many differenct chocolates and beer, you’ll have a hard time staying within your luggage allowance. Whilst these gifts may suit any number of people who you’d normally buy gifts for, try and pick out the one or two people that would particularly appreciate luxurious chocolates or craft beers. If you’re opting for a couple of beers, you can normally get a glass designed specifically for the beer you’re buying too.


12 year aged balsamic vinegar

An obvious choice might be wine (and not a bad choice at all), but if you want to go for something a bit different (or smaller, depending on your luggage allowance), how about a bottle of balsamic vinegar aged for 8 years? Most foodies are gonna be pretty impressed with that on Christmas day.

The longer balsamic vinegar ages for, the sweeter it becomes. 8 year aged balsamic vinegar is perfect with bread and oils, or savoury dishes. For someone with a sweet tooth, opt for 12 or 15 year aged balsamic, which is perfect drizzled over vanilla ice crea and strawberries… If you can bear to part with it yourself!


If you’re sunning yourself in cuba, be sure to pick up a bottle of rum! Choosing something like 7 year old Havana Club rum will set you back around $11, or if you wait until you get home, it will cost more like £20!



The thing to remember is to buy a gift for the person who will love it. It can be tempting to buy something that an area is famous for. Beautiful though placemats hand crocheted by a grandmother in Greece might be, its unlikely your brother will thank you for them!

This isn’t just about choosing a perfect, thoughtful gift, it’s also about helping you to save money. Don’t forget to deduct any costs you spend on gifts using your holiday budget from the Christmas budget, and use that money to pay off debt, add to your emergency fund or top up your investments.

What do you recommend to buy as a gift and from which countries? Do you have other ways of protecting your Christmas budget by making alterations elsewhere?

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