How to Op Shop like a pro whilst on vacation.
We all love a good holiday and break away from our routine wether it be a short road trip only a couple of hours from home, an interstate jaunt or even an international sware. Whatever your flavor it’s a time for some serious relaxing, taking in the sights and every women’s favorite; shopping.
Now if you are like me, holidays away are never truly that relaxing as there is so many new places to explore, things to do and way too many selfies to take. But what if I told you that you could do all of that, have time to relax and spend time with your loved ones and get your op-shopping fix too. Genius I hear you say, well listen up and get ready to take notes (smart phone at the ready).
On a recent family holiday with my husband and two young boys down the south coast of Victoria I discovered some very interesting home truths about how bad my op-shopping addiction has become and how I was able to maximize my shopping time without not to much interruption on my family and our activities. So whilst on this trip I picked up a few great tips that will turn any op-shopping beginner into a pro.
Do your prep work before you leave home:
Remember the 5 P’s (prior preparation prevents poor performance) this is key before you leave for your holiday. Make sure there is room in your car to bring things back. There is nothing worse than getting all excited about a great purchase that you paid a rock bottom price for and then having an amazing trip only to put a massive damper on the trip when you realize there is no room in the car for you new purchases and no way of bringing your goodies home. It’s always a massive bugger paying for postage to get your goodies home.
Another pre holiday must is making a list. If you are as forgetful as me than you will definitely need a list (mine is always under notes on my iPhone). Now before I leave I always like to have a quick scan through my wardrobe and around the house making mental notes on my wish list, and then jotting it into my iPhone in the car (not whilst driving of course).
Know where your Op Shops are:
This is vital in not only saving your time but also getting the local know how on where the good places to op shop are. Ask the barristas whilst you are getting your coffee hit or the lovely staff at the check out whilst paying for your groceries. The locals are very much used to tourists invading their beautiful sanctuary and more than happy to have a chat about their little piece of paradise. On our recent holiday I had just ducked out to the township whilst my boys were napping for groceries and was pulled over by the resident police officer for a random breathe test. Thankfully I had not been drinking and was okay but seized the opportunity and the ideal chitchat moment to ask him where some banging (pardon the pun and yes I did say those words to the police officer. ☺) second hand stores and op shops were. Win all round.
*Caption: No Op Shops here but oh it feels good to have the sand in-between my toes.
Take your time when looking:
Remember you are on vacation and there is no need to rush through the racks or be inpatient with other customers and staff. In small holidaying destinations they will always know you are a tourist so take advantage of that at ask if they have any items from your list, if there is any discounts offered etc. The staff is always super lovely and willing to have a chat with you about where you have come from and how you are enjoying their slice of paradise. However, if you are in a hurry or stumbled upon an op shop and you have made other arrangements say that to the staff.
You never know they might have something special out the back and be able to tell you the best times to come back.
The general gist about this point is that you are on holidays so what is the hurry and it takes only a second to smile and be nice to the locals. As a girl who grew up in a holidaying destination niceties always gets you a long way.
*Caption: Floor to wall in fabric.
Know your size and shape:
This is key when trolling the rack and can save you allot of time when trying on clothing. If you do not have the time or patience to try on a basket full of clothes then look for the brands that you already own and know will fit you. If you do not know your size or shape and do have time then try on as many clothes as you can muster and play around with different styles and sizes.
Knowing your size and shape is also key when shopping for vintage clothing as the sizing’s were very different back then to now and items that say are a 16 as a example are more like a 8 or 10.
*Caption: Discovered this treasure of rack upon rack of lovely worn jeans.
Always carry cash:
This one seems like a pretty logical point but in an age where tap and go is king we tend to forget sometimes to stock our wallets with cash these days. Also several Op shops are run by volunteers and often attached to churches or non-profit organizations so it isn’t really feasible to be paying for an Eftpos machine.
Holidays are not only a great time to create memories but great for adding some flare to your wardrobe. Op shopping is a great way to give back to that community as well as helping our environment at the same time.
*Caption: Such a gorgeous view whilst driving along the Great Ocean Road. Beautiful.
*Caption: My little treasure discovering the bright and bold world of street art.
*Caption: Our fashion finds from the trip.
So the next time you are on holidays why don’t you explore an op shop or two? If you have any great holiday op shopping experience or any thoughts please share them in the comments below.