How to haggle on holiday

The most important thing is to do your homework before you set off, knowing what to expect and how to agree a price

It’s something most Brits would never dream of doing at home, but it seems when abroad they are much happier to try out their bartering skills. More than 60 per cent of holidaymakers have negotiated a discount when away and almost 40 per cent have saved between £11 and £30 by bartering, according to research by Travelex.

While a third of people said they felt nervous when trying to haggle, this didn’t stop many bagging a bargain - some even said they chose their holiday destination based on where they could get the best reductions.The most popular items to do a deal on were found to be leather goods, followed by handbags, sunglasses, jewellery and watches.

The survey found that men were much more likely to attempt to haggle; three times more men were able to shave over £250 off the price of an item. Those who didn’t attempt to barter cited their lack of understanding of the system and that they didn’t want to appear rude.

Some top tips to improve your skills include walking away if you’re not happy and never say a price that you’re not prepared to pay. However, it can be difficult to know what reduction to aim for. In China it’s often possible to secure up to 90 per cent off, while in Brazil the figure is a more modest 20 per cent. Experts say the most important thing is to do your homework before you set off.


David Swann of Travelex comments: “Brits are really savvy when it comes to hunting down a bargain abroad. With countries such as South Africa and Thailand providing Brits with an extra 847ZAR (£50) and 1,639THB (£33) more on every £500 exchanged compared to this time last year, Brits can be quids in.”

For those looking for the best bargains, the survey found that Turkey, Spain, Greece, Morocco and Thailand are the best countries in which to secure the biggest reductions.