Obviously, IT loves a good shopping spree for authentic crafts when we're traveling. But there's also something to be said for scoping out the local thrift stores for some fabulous finds. Our friends over at Gadling and Gridskipper reminded us of the satisfaction that comes from scoring a great item for next to nothing while you're wandering, and we asked the Traveler staffers to tell us their favorite thrifty souvenirs.
Assistant Editor Janelle Nanos: I found my all-time favorite sweater in a thrift store near Covent Garden in London—a white cardigan with tiny blue flowers that I wear year round. It's girly and cozy and generally perfect in every way.
"Wandering around Maui, my brother and I tired of the endless rows of Hawaiian shirts that cluttered the shops, so we ducked into the Salvation Army store to find some more authentic duds (35 Halekuai St., Kihei, Maui). He found a vintage terry-cloth polo with Maui stitched on the pocket, and I snagged a super-soft "Hang Loose" T-shirt that's perfect for sleeping in. Thankfully, this year I went to Kauai, so the shirt actually makes sense now."
Assistant Photo Editor Krista Rossow: I found a great
vintage cuff bracelet and a restyled used sweater that had its arms
chopped off and a frilly bit of lace added to one shoulder at Deluxe in
Eugene, Oregon (1331 Willamette St, Eugene, Oregon). They sell used
clothes and some of them are retooled by local designers to make them
new and fun again!
There are great second-hand shops in the Chueca neighborhood of Madrid. I bought one button-up shirt in 1999 that I just retired a year ago when even I couldn't deny that it had been worn just a little too long. Also, at second-hand stores in Edinburgh you can find some great deals on used cashmere sweaters (with argyle patterns too!).
Assistant Online Editor Mary Beth LaRue: I snagged a long hippie tunic from the Haight in San Francisco in an upscale thrift store called the Wasteland (1660 Haight Street, San Francisco), and an old Iowa Hawkeyes jersey from a consignment store on the Lower East Side in New York City (U of I is where I went to school). And I picked up some beaten-up paperbacks for a backpacking trip in Europe from thrift stores near the Old Market in Omaha, Nebraska (they're easy to leave behind).
Got great items that you've found on your trips? Let us know in the comments below.