People don’t quite seem to get that travelling isn’t all that expensive or rather that it doesn’t necessarily mean that if someone travels regularly they have money coming out of their ears. When the travel bug has got a proper hold of you when it bites, you simply live for the next trip and make the means to travel in whatever way you can.

Travelling gets even cheaper when you travel with one or more other people, which is what we do. However, the association with money and wealth doesn’t seem to go away, no matter how many times we explains such things to those people who always put us under pressure to bring them back a gift from our travels.

As if the conventional gift-giving pressures aren’t enough, as a traveller you’re somehow expected to bring everyone whom you supposedly love some sort of exotic gift from abroad.

Primarily this is a disadvantage, but I’ve managed to turn it into an advantage. What was the traveller’s conundrum in an attempt to maintain gift-giving traditions, particularly for special occasions, turns out to be the traveller’s mega advantage if you take the time to think about it strategically.

I really wish I could say that I fell squarely within the bracket of the 52% of women who ‘always’ or ‘occasionally’ save money for gifts, but I don’t. Men are worse with 63% of them replying in a survey that they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ save for a gift, which puts me right in the thick of the conundrum since my other half whom I travel with is indeed a man.

What to do…what to do?

It’s somewhat of a crazy system, but hey, it works for us and as long as it shall keep working we will perhaps have a hard time changing it. There’s still an element of pre-planning to it so it’s not all bad.

So what we do is take full advantage of some of the advantages international travellers enjoy in terms of shopping, like buying some gifts in those duty free shopping malls you find at just about every international airport. I’ll tell you what – being able to shop duty free works out really well if you’re looking for gifts for special occasions, more so if you’re shopping in a source country for the goods you’re buying as this works out much, much cheaper.

We tend to hit the jackpot when shopping for seasonal gifts because prices are often slashed even further with father’s day specials and the likes. On one occasion all our friends caught wind of a specific special on some imported cigars so they promised to pay us back if we stocked some for them so that they could give their dads this great gift as well. We had to get a quick loan from Swift Money so that we could afford to buy all the “stock,” but unfortunately we were hit with imports customs duties because we’d exceeded the limit of what you can buy duty free – albeit a very small fee.