Part of the fun of travelling can often be the joy of picking up an unbeatable bargain. It always makes us happy and a bit of canny shopping can even offset the cost of your holiday, particularly around Christmas time.
Just be mindful of customs limits in the UK when buying lots of goods abroad. The amount varies depending on how much you’ve spent and what you’ve bought (like perfume, clothing or alcohol) so you’ll need to check the specifics relating to your shopping spree and declare anything over the limit.
One ‘standard’ and popular item that’s often bought abroad is the classic pair of Levi 501 jeans. The average UK price is currently a shade over £57, although that’ll vary depending on which shop you buy from.
The cheapest pair of 501’s in Western Europe is likely to come from Latvia – at £48 you’ll be saving about £9 on the UK price. Latvia’s lovely capital city Riga is also ideal for a weekend break with return ticket prices from £70 in June with Ryanair from Stansted. If you’re off skiing in Bulgaria this winter, or topping up your tan at Sunny Beach – the Black Sea’s new Aya Napa – buy jeans there. At £34 a pair, they are the cheapest in Europe.
The US is the ‘home’ of Levi’s Jeans –and they’re around half the UK price at £29 a pair from Macy’s – the large department store found in most malls. Canada’s not far behind on £32. But remember, there could be local versions of VAT added to your purchase at the till. It varies – some towns add a local rate in addition to the state tax. In New York there’s a maximum 8% sales tax. If you’re on a road trip, drive north to New Hampshire or south to Delaware to stock up because there’s no sales tax. There’s 10% sales tax in California so go north to Oregon where it’s 0%. In Canada, Alberta has the lowest sales tax, at 5%, while Quebec and Nova Scotia are highest at 15%.
Elsewhere in the world – you’ll pay around £24 in India for 501’s and just £12 in Cambodia. But the cheapest place on the planet to get your denim possibly won’t be on your bucket list. It’s Uganda – at just £9.36. The most expensive? Well that’s a bit closer to home – Iceland tops the charts at £102 a pair.