Haggle, haggle!

If you’ve ever been on holiday to any Middle Eastern country, or even holiday resorts in Egypt, Tunisia or Turkey, then you’ll have encountered the art of haggling. For some, including me at first, this is an uncomfortable experience, because we’re simply not used to arguing over what we want to pay! We see a price tag and we decide whether we’re paying it or not, then we either do, or we don’t. Simple. However, on a market in say Dubai, you’ll be expected to haggle, and if you don’t, then you’ll be thought to be very odd indeed!

dubai-soukYou will get bargains by haggling, that’s for sure, but make sure you have the money in the first place to be shopping by doing our version of haggling – bargain hunting. Grabbing that cheap flight, a last minute deal, a free child place, or booking airport services that save you money, are all ways to make sure extra cash stays in your pocket, and enables you to have a more enjoyable holiday as a result. I recently saved a on booking airport parking, and decided against booking a rather expensive train fare. I booked Stansted parking with BCP, and used the money I saved to do a little retail therapy on my two weeks’ break. You will find this service at most large UK airports, so I’d definitely recommend looking at what’s available from your terminal. I’ve booked Parking with BCP before, and found the same money saving, great value service so it’s a service I would recommend.

Of course, once you find yourself on that market, and you see something you want to buy, saved money in your pocket which you’re itching to spend, it will be an odd experience if it’s your first haggling attempt. The key here is to be confident! The seller will tell you his price, which is not the price you’re going to pay of course. Half it, and offer them that. They will probably laugh at you, tell you that you’re trying to rob them, blah blah, but it’s all usually in jest and you will find in a lot of tourist resorts, they do it to make you laugh! From that half offering, you’ll work between you and agree on somewhere in the middle. It’s quite easy once you start, and you’ll always come away with bargains.

The first time I visited a Turkish market, I was amazed at the size, the noise and the colour, but it was a real experience too, and despite a rather nervy start, I was soon away with the haggling and bargain hunting! It’s really just a case of appearing confident, even if you don’t feel it!

For me, markets are a great place to buy souvenirs for home, and something a little different, that you can’t get anywhere else. Haggling means you’ll get more for your money, and that is never a bad thing!

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