As a somewhat frequent traveler, the answer is unfortunately yes.
A couple of reasons are convenience and laziness. I know I can get those little travel size bottles and fill them up with my own toiletries, but I am just too lazy. I know this sounds silly, but I find it fun buying stuff in travel sizes. However, I end up buying a lot of things that I never thought about buying, but since they happened to be in the travel section of the store, they get added to the cart.
I have this mindset of trying to be as prepared as possible for the trip and the travel products seem to reinforce that mindset. For instance, I bought hand sanitizer, travel wipes AND tissues. Why? Honestly, you never know when you would need them. Depending on which country you are going to, they most likely would have similar products on hand, but if you are going to a developing country, then they may not have what you need. On my trip to Peru, my friend had forgotten to bring protein bars from home that we were planning on eating during our strenuous hike. When we were given the opportunity to shop in the local village, much to my dismay they didn’t have anything close to protein bars. We ended up buying several chocolate bars instead.
What I really should do before I go shopping for my vacation, is have a specific bin or box of travel gear, so I can readily access it and grab all the things needed for the particular trip. I will grudgingly admit that my travel gear is in several places all over the house. The travel backpacks are in the basement. My travel pillow and travel towels are in one of the drawers of my night stand. My travel adapters in one of my desk drawers and I just realized a few weeks ago, that I have several duplicates of plugs that will not work in the country I am going to. Argh.
So a set of travel plugs is another thing I have to buy!
(Note to self: Now that I’ve mentioned my travel bin idea, I think I’ll make one sometime this weekend).
I always seem to buy clothes before I go on vacation.
I use the same old excuses: “I have nothing to wear.”
“So I have something nice to wear for pictures.”
And the best one of all: “BECAUSE I’M GOING ON VACATION.”
So whenever I go somewhere new, I seem to need some new clothes for the trip. Mind you, after having recently done a clothing purge, I actually do need some new clothes. And a new pair of ballet flats. Honest. A consignment store is opening up next week near my house and I plan to do a bit of shopping over there to save some money. I also plan to make a list, just like I do with grocery shopping, so that I don’t (hopefully) end up buying more than I should. It’s funny how you always see people grocery shopping with a list, but never when it comes to clothes shopping. 🙂
And finally, I seem to spend more on food. Ready made food that is. As the departure date gets closer, I tend to spend less time on cooking because I don’t want to end up with leftovers. Yes, I know I could portion the food out and freezer, but unfortunately I’m a very picky eater. However, I literally just thought of freezing the leftovers just now.
Wow, I just seem to have a lot of frugal a-ha(!) moments today. 🙂
I don’t buy a lot of fresh produce either because I feel I wouldn’t be able to finish it and I’d end up throwing them out beforehand so they won’t become rotten in my fridge. I guess I could probably look into buying frozen produce just for that week.
I used to buy a lot of magazines and puzzle books for the plane ride. Puzzle books aren’t too expensive, but magazines sure are. I may just end up bringing a library book or two. Hopefully I’ll remember to bring it back with me. I do want to buy a Lonely Planet book on Greece though so I could read up on the country. I haven’t purchased an actual novel in YEARS, but I like to buy travel guidebooks from time to time.
Do you find yourself buying a lot of miscellaneous and sometimes unnecessary items before you go on vacation? What are some things you do to save on vacation supplies?