What to Buy at a Thrift Store Before Heading off on travels:
- Jeans, pants, shorts, and skirts. You’d be surprised how quickly even denim gets worn out when you wear the same pair of pants all the time. So don’t bring your favorite pair of pants or buy brand new ones unless you’re okay with having holes in them when you return home. And for women – in some countries you’ll fit in better, or be more comfortable (think Kenya in the summer), if you wear a long travel skirt. You can easily pick one up at a thrift store so you’ll be prepared when you land.
- Sweaters, sweatshirts, and fleeces. If you’re going to Sweden in the winter, you’ll want layers. You’ll also want to ditch those layers without a second thought when you head to Australia afterwards. So find a comfy sweater or fleece at a thrift store and throw it in your suitcase. I live in California and travel to the midwest during the winter months so I always stop by the local thrift stores for a jacket and extra sweater or two.
- Coats and jackets. When you can score a cute jacket for $5 or a warm coat for $15, it’s hard to say no. Last winter I found a super cute sweater for $4 in my hometown in Iowa.
- T-shirts. Swing by your neighborhood thrift store and you’ll have your choice of t-shirts.
- Camping gear. If you want cooking gear for your camping trip, but don’t want to take your $200 AllClad skillet, head to the thrift store. You’ll find tons of coffee mugs, pots, pans, silverware, and other camping-style cooking gear. If you’re looking for a high-tech, lightweight tent, you might want to consider going to a sports store or scoping out Craigslist.
- Jewelry. Find some cool vintage costume jewelry – it’ll look cool, and you won’t be mad if you lose it on the trip.
- Winter accessories. Odds are your local thrift stores are full of scarves, hats, gloves, and even earmuffs. Even in California I have found some amazing scarves in the thrift stores.
- Trendy shoes you’ll only wear for short period of time. Buy a lightly used pair of shoes before you leave. I wear a Size 7 (common size) so I only randomly have good luck finding decent shoes in thrift stores– mostly I find Size 8’s.