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Guru Travel Tips of Handy Hints on Shopping in Cruise

At provides most accurate and complete Tips and Tricks for your Health and Safety during your Trip.

  • In many countries negotiating or "haggling" on price is appropriate and expected.  Paying full price may be looked at as weakness or in experience.

  • Don't expect to have "satisfaction guaranteed" when buying an item.  That's a U.S. policy not found in most foreign countries.  Be sure that you are familiar with the return and exchange policies of the shop, vendor and/or country before buying..

  • Most other countries do not recognize copyright laws.  A logo may have nothing to do with the company it supposedly represents.  "Knockoffs" are common.  Look carefully to see if the item is a fake.

  • Be careful.  Many items need a special license for export.  This is particularly true with antiques, works of art and any items of cultural importance.

  • Often taxes are a bigger part of the total purchase price than the item itself !  

  • In some cases, duty free may indicate that the items are free from duty only where they are being sold.  Be aware that U.S. Customs may have their own guidelines for taxation when you return.


  • At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Travelers’ Tips web page.  It contains the procedures and restrictions for bringing food, plant and animal products into the United States.  There is also a general list of approved products and links to other relevant government web pages. 


  • Visit the U.S. Customs Service Traveler Information Pets/Animals web page.  It contains the procedures and restrictions for bringing pets and other animals into the United States.  There are also other relevant government web pages. 

  • It literally means "let the buyer beware".  It also means that you are out of luck if something goes wrong !   Merchants know that a duty free sign means a bargain to most Ameicans.  While there are great deals to be had, be sure that your purchases are also good values.  Try to stay with well known brand names and make sure that those brand names are spelled correctly on the product.  Make sure it’s not a "knockoff" or a fake.  Also, remember that duty free may just mean it is duty free where you are buying it.  U.S. Customs have their own guidelines for taxation when you return.

  • Visit Visa’s ATM locator web page.  It provides a searchable database that locates ATM’s belonging to the Visa, Visa Electron and Plus ATM network worldwide.    


  • Also, visit MasterCard’s ATM locator web page.  It also provides a searchable database that locates ATM’s belonging to the MasterCard and Cirrus ATM network worldwide.

  • Try the U.S. Treasury Department Customs Service’s Traveler Information, Know Before You Go web page.  It contains information on U.S. Custom’s declarations, duty free exemptions, prohibited and restricted articles and the procedures for shipping items back to the U.S.  

  • Also visit the U.S. Customs Service Traveler Information web page.  It contains links to the services the U.S. Customs Service provides for travelers.  Some are individually linked to this web page for your convenience.

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