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Travel decorating on the CHEAP
by Rachel Vine
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Snacks | God bless the good people at Cadbury. Though we in the States commonly experience their delights only once a year (oh, how I love those Crème Eggs), hoards of treasures abound in the UK, where I once spent 20 Pound Sterling on sweeties alone (I dream fortnightly of the Double Decker bar). When traveling on the cheap, candy and other various forms of junkfood make great treats for friends and family. They also look cute in your pantry and make great hors-d’oeuvres for your next soiree. Head to a local grocery store for the best bargains – avoid gift shops and pseudo-cheap duty-free stores. Other things to look out for include tea (especially in China and England), crackers (try shrimp and fish-flavored ones from Pacific Asia), and regional toffees, cookies, and confections (think baklava, Mozart balls, and scones). The packaging alone is often reason enough to buy the treats, with their crazy pictures and fun colors. Cluster assorted sweets together in a big bowl on your coffee table for a cornucopia that pleases the eye and the palate. Unfortunately, fresh fruits and veggies are a big no-no with US Customs, no matter how tempting that rambutan looks.

Booze | Most countries have a "crazy" liquor, one you can’t pick up at the Rite Aid down the street. Greece has ouzo, Thailand has rice whiskey, Peru has pisco. A friend recently hosted a dinner party where she served wine from her trip to Italy. We all felt special, knowing she’d lugged that bottle all over Europe for us to enjoy. Depending on where you are and how heavily it’s taxed, alcohol can be a steal or break the bank. Try to find a cocktail recipe or ask a local how the liquor is best enjoyed.

Household Products | Make a trip to that pharmacy near your hostel as you travel abroad. Drugstores can hook you up with your favorite commercialized US brands for the bathroom and kitchen, at times cheaper than what they cost back home, from Colgate toothpaste in Spanish to Herbal Essences shampoo in French.

keep walking this way!


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