Since Hawaii is one of the top tourist and vacation spots all year round, you can’t really blame shops there for marking up the prices of the various Hawaiian souvenirs sold. Well, technically, souvenirs are not the only things that are highly priced there. However, it may be hard to save money on the other things as you vacation there such as food, hotel stay, and airfare. So, your savings should come somewhere else namely souvenirs, the tokens you will be buying to give to your friends back home or to save as a memento of your trip. Here is a guide on how to find souvenirs in Hawaii that won’t really cost as much as you would expect.
- Say no to the gift shops. The hotel where you are staying will normally have souvenir or gift shops. Technically, you can purchase your fill of souvenirs from these establishments but be prepared to spend around 3 to 5 times the normal market value of each item available. Hotels tend to jack up the prices of these items. That said if you are looking for cheap souvenirs, stay as far away as you can from these shops since you can find the same items at significantly reduced prices somewhere else.
- Check out the swap meet. Swap meets are always great places to shop at since the prices are pretty much marked down and real. You can rarely find overpricing here. The swap meet to check out in Hawaii is in Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. You can find everything here decently priced, some even dirt cheap. For instance, T-shirts that are sold in hotel gift shops priced at $30 to $100 a pop will only be priced around $5 to $20. In some cases, some vendors may even drop it down further through a buy one take two or three promo. The only drawback in shopping in swap meets is that you will have to be meticulous about the quality of the item you are purchasing, as some items are cheap because the craftsmanship is poor.
- Check Wal-Mart. Yes, that is how commercial Hawaii has become. You can find Wal-Mart stores everywhere in the island. Like the stores on the mainland, Wal-Mart stores in Hawaii offers great deals and low prices on selected items including possible souvenirs. Hence, make sure to check the Wal-Mart outlets before purchasing souvenirs and gifts anywhere else.
- Check the sidewalks. Along the beach strip of Waikiki, you are likely to find a lot of vendors selling a variety of souvenirs and mementos on the sidewalk. Normally, the sell anything and everything Hawaii here from beaded and shelled jewelry to sarongs and printed T-shirts. The prices are decent but you would do well to compare the prices from vendor to vendor before deciding on where to buy a particular item. Furthermore, haggling is something that's acceptable here, so make sure to negotiate for the lowest possible price on any item you plan to purchase.
Now you know the intricacies of souvenir shopping in Hawaii.
With this guide, you should be able to get the souvenirs you want
without having to pay an arm, a leg, and maybe even your kidney.