Why It’s Important To Buy Local When Traveling #traveldeep AD

Why It's Important To Buy Local When Traveling #travel #traveldeep AD

As you guys know we travel pretty often. One of the areas that we visit most is the Caribbean. While visiting this part of the world, I always make it a point to try to buy a decent amount of souvenirs. I try to buy these at the little flea market and yard sale type areas so that, hopefully, locals get a lot of the money. I also buy from Dufry but I try to make sure that what I buy there is also produced in that country. Here is why.

Why It's Important To Buy Local When Traveling #travel #traveldeep AD

Why You Should Buy Local When Traveling

Many of the places that we visit in the Caribbean are locations that are not as economically developed as the US. Many of these places also have poor infrastructure, which is definitely part of the problem. And they often times have to get a ton of stuff imported, which can be quite costly. These are just a few of the ways in which the actual residents can be economically challenged.

Many places also don’t have much to offer in the way of jobs or education. Tourism helps with that. Many people that did not have jobs before cruise ships started visiting {i.e. Dominican Republic} now are learning English so that they can get better paying jobs in the tourism industry.

Why It's Important To Buy Local When Traveling #travel #traveldeep AD

Why It's Important To Buy Local When Traveling #travel #traveldeep AD

Aside from working in the tourism industry itself, many locals now sell their products directly to tourists. While in the Dominican Republic, Amber and Mackenzie volunteered their time in Chocal, a chocolate factory. The owners then got to sell their chocolate to tourists at the port. Amber and Mackenzie bought some chocolate at the factory and I then bought some at their place at the port. This money goes directly to help local women entrepreneurs in the Dominican Republic. And let me tell you, if you have not tried chocolate in the Caribbean, you are missing out. It is way different than most that we have here.

Why It's Important To Buy Local When Traveling #travel #traveldeep AD

We also made sure to frequent a local coffee shop at the port. They had great, frozen coffee drinks which were so refreshing on those scorching hot days in the Caribbean. They also let use their wifi while there, so that was really great.Amber and I each bought a bag of their coffee to bring home with us.

Why It's Important To Buy Local When Traveling #travel #traveldeep AD

I also like to buy homemade crafts whenever possible. I bought this really cool light cover {I have since put one of those tealights that take batteries} in it. It’s hand carved from what I am pretty sure is a coconut shell. I bought it in a booth that was part of the Impact Travel Activities for the Fathom cruise we recently went on. So, the money went to the locals.

What Are Your Favorite Things To Buy While On Vacation?

Do you collect things from your favorite travel spots? Do you buy local? Be sure to share in the comments below.

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About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for EatPlayRock.com, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. I couldn’t agree more! I think buying local is a must when traveling. I don’t think we could be Toronto if we didn’t depend on tourists and their business, so I try to shop local every time we go anywhere!

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      I visited Toronto as a teen when I didn’t appreciate buying locally. I have no cool souvenirs because of that. I guess I will just have to head up there again one day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. We always like to look for local treats when we are traveling. Sometimes you can find a favorite food you didn’t even know about! And the you have a reason to return!

  3. I love to buy locally when I travel. I figure I am supporting the people who need it more than big companies do. And often the quality is better all around. And you can often find unique things in local stores or new flavors that may wind up being a favorite!

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      You are right. I bought some great spices in Grenada that were so much better than I have bought in my neighborhood.

  4. We always try to buy locally as it helps the community as well. It also gives us the opportunity to learn things andf experience new things from local businesses. Especially when we go on a road trip, we always shop at a local market before heading home.

  5. I always try to buy local when I’m on vacation! It’s so much fun to find products and goods that I can’t find near me. Then, whenever I use or try those products back home, it always reminds me of the great time I had on vacation.

  6. We always try to shop local whenever possible. Especially when traveling. I like to know that the money is going into the community.

  7. What a great conversation to have, I can see buying local when traveling a great way to support local vendors while also getting a real taste of the local foods and drinks. What a great post and looks like a lot to enjoy locally where you travel!

  8. I buy local and shop small all the time since I like to see my money staying in the community. And when traveling, there is no better way to remember your travels than with a beautiful token on your mantle.

  9. I do like to buy things local to the areas I’m visiting. I love that people were able to sell their chocolates to tourists!

  10. I always try to buy locally when we travel. I love to collect special items that the country or region is known for. While in Italy, the pottery in Orvietto was so special-they bake perfume into the pieces. I still have several and they are 6 years old and still have a scent! pretty cool

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      That is amazing. If I ever make it to Italy, I till definitely look for them.

  11. We love to buy local when ever we travel!! it is amazing to see the different hand made items you can buy all over the world when you travel.

  12. I love that people were able to sell their chocolates to tourists!. I like it

  13. I love the idea of supporting local goods especially when you’re in place that relies heavily on tourism. It’s nice that you’re promoting this message as well, so that other tourists would do the same thing!

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      Sadly, it’s something that not everyone thinks about. I know that when I was younger I didn’t.

  14. I enjoy hitting the local stores. When I visit a place, I want something truly authentic and from that area, not shipped in from China ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Natalie z says:

    I am all about local buying. We just returned from a Southwest Family Road trip. It was so fun shopping the local markets for fresh spices, etc… that arent available in the midwest.

  16. Rebecca Swenor says:

    These are indeed awesome items from Dominican Republic and I love how the sells of the chocolate go to the women of the Dominican Republic. The lamp cover is really gorgeous and I too love buy homemade items but have not traveled in many years. Thanks for sharing these goods.

  17. Christina says:

    I want to try that chocolate from DR! I agree, it’s important to shop local when traveling. I love little handmade souvenirs the best.

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      I saw so much homemade stuff on this trip. It’s amazing the talent that some people have. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. It makes such a difference when you buy local. The products are a true representation of the place you are visiting and you don’t get the ‘watered down” version for the tourists. Agreeing with you on this post!

  19. Great post, I never actually thought about it until now. I shop local all the time when I travel. I like to get and eat things I can’t get at home. Local shops provide that experience for me. I also like to soak up the culture.

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      That’s another thing. Unless you buy local, you can’t really be sure that what you are buying now won’t be something you see for sale when you get back home.

  20. I rarely ever travel but the few times that I did, I made sure to visit local shops. I love buying things that are handmade.