The Guide to Buying Vintage Abroad

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If you know me, you know that I love travel + vintage. So putting the two together is a dream come true. That said, it's difficult to buy vintage abroad - especially furniture (because who knows if it will make it back home, and if it does, it'll be expensive)! So, here are my top tips for buying abroad! 

1. Ask locals about their favorite Flea Markets. After you visit the local fleas, wonder around the surrounding neighborhood looking for off-the-beaten path art galleries and vintage stores. 

2. Negotiate everywhere, even at boutiques. I always ask for a discount and, if they say no, who cares?!  This is especially important at flea markets.  Always bargain and bring cash (but don’t show it)! Side note: Most of the good European flea markets are known for pickpocketing so don’t flash yo' cash.

3. Pack an empty duffle in your suitcase in case you find things when you travel. I’m notorious for carrying back items to Austin from far-flung places. One time I brought back a super heavy mirror from Morocco through Europe and back to Texas.  Once it safely arrived in my apartment, I accidentally dropped and broke it.  Oops!

4. Pack lightly.  When you’re traveling, nobody is going to notice if you repeat outfits.  I only pack items that all go together and stick to one color palate.  By color palate, I mean black, white and grey.  Ha.  My most recent trip to Europe, I packed a small duffle for a 10 day trip and it was fantastic to not worry about checking luggage at the airport.  We went to multiple cities and it was a breeze going through security. Since I was traveling with the Swiss Mister and he doesn’t love flea markets as much as I do, I only bought antique jewelry which doesn’t take up as much space as art and textiles.

5. If you want to ship stuff back to the US, use DHL.  It’s more expensive than other carriers but worth the expense!!  When I shipped rugs from Morocco, the rugs made it home before I did!