The Travelling Consumer

travellingTo many travellers, the act of shopping plays a big part in holidaying abroad. Items that are expensive at home are sometimes cheaper overseas. Some items that you cannot find at home are available in abundance within other territories. It is little wonder that we spend so much time whilst vacationing trying to obtain that rare and beautiful item for ourselves or a loved one back home. However, as simple and as unproblematic as the idea of doing so might sound, the actual deed could get you into trouble. It is important to gain a full knowledge of what you are able to bring into a country and what you are able to leave with. As tedious as all this might sound, a wrongful action could land you with a hefty fine or even worse. To be an internationally savvy traveller in today’s world, you must be aware of your import and export guidelines.

The Reason behind the Constraints

On finding the perfect gift for that special someone back home, it can come as a let-down when you realize that you’re not allowed to cross borders with the piece in tow. You may even find it unreasonable, but a clear and fair rationale does exist as to why these laws are in place. Most items that are either prohibited or restricted from passing between borders are those that would:

infringe on public safety,
infringe on domestic plant and animal life,
compromise community health,
endanger children,
Or are items that would simply defeat national interests in one way or another.

Some of the items that can cause the most injury may seem harmless but are actually extremely dangerous. Other items that are a cause for concern are those cited as being Natural Artefacts to their country of origin. Any such pieces that have historic or cultural value must be accompanied by relevant documentation or receipts. Once the handler is in possession of such a document, the prospect of a problem arising is limited.

Items to make A Note Of

Whilst the restrictions that apply to certain articles in one country may not apply to that same article in another, there are generally certain types of bits and pieces that on a whole raise red flags. They include:

Defence Articles
Fish and Wildlife
And Gold.

Whilst this list is limited, it gives an indication of the kind of product that warrants investigation and sometimes refusal of exit and entry. But do not despair, with a wide range of arcades, malls, market places and shopping centres available in most countries, it would not prove difficult to find that special something that does not provoke suspicion.


When we discuss the movement of pharmaceuticals between countries, we tend to refer to the illegal kind. Whilst all of those types of drugs are prohibited from free movement, there are some medications that unknown to many, warrant suspicion when carried between borders. It is a given that if your doctor has prescribed medication for you to take whilst you are on vacation, you should do so, but there still remains a handful of legal drugs which are not allowed to be brought into some countries. It is also advised that when travelling with medications, the carrier should walk with the prescription or a formal letter from their GP. As already stated, every country has their own laws governing what can be brought across their borders, so do your research and be prepared. Once you have the right documentation all will go well.

Gaining the Relevant Information

Gaining the relevant information about what you are able to bring in and take out of certain countries is not a hard thing to do. By simply going on to a site which details the import and export laws of the country you will be visiting, your work is practically done. It is also a good idea to visit your native country’s Customs and Borders website, and read through the list of items prohibited or that have restrictions placed on them when entering. If you still feel a little sceptical about any of your purchases, whilst on holiday why not check with the concierge at the hotel where you are staying. They should be able to offer some visitor friendly advice. You could also visit the local embassy where they are bound to have the right information on hand.

All of us are entitled to a little international shopping spree when vacationing. There’s nothing quite like it. Just be sure to make inquiries. All the information that you could want in regards to the matter is available to you. Take your time, digest the facts, and then when you are done, go out and buy. Make your next vacation a shopping holiday to remember.

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