No vacation travel is probably complete without some kind of souvenir shopping. What should you bring back from the Himalayan vacation? Pinpointing a single object is difficult because tastes and preferences vary from traveler to traveler. But six (6) factors would help you in selecting the object that is best for you. Let’s have a look:
1. Evaluate Your Budget
Ask yourself, what can you afford? How much money can you spare for souvenir shopping?
2. Review a Local Craft as Souvenir: Encourage Community Tourism
What type of local handicrafts are available in the destination? Window-shop in local bazaar. Decide what do you like?
3. Understand Utility
How would you use the selected craft in your life? For example, a shawl from Kullu would give you warmth in many winters, keeping memories of the trip alive whenever you wrap it around you.
4. Check Weight
After picking a useful product of your liking and within your budget, peruse free luggage allowance rules for the preferred means of transportation. Subtract weight of the luggage you already have from the permitted free luggage allowance to find the balance.
Try to find whether the selected handicraft weight matches the balance or exceed? If it exceeds, you have to pay additional luggage fee.
Here are some luggage allowance rules from different types of transports in India:
How much luggage is allowed on a bus?
Luggage rules vary from one Himalayan state to another. For example, Himachal Road Transport Corporation (H.R.T.C.) allows 15kg of free luggage per passenger. Uttarakhand Transport Corporation permits up to 25kg per passenger. While buying the bus ticket check the latest luggage limit with booking clerk or bus conductor.
How much luggage can you take on train?
Indian Railways offers a free luggage allowance for passenger compartment. The allowance depends on type of class. The range varies from 35kg/passenger for Second Class to 70kg/passenger for First Class. Plus a marginal allowance that amounts to 10kg for all classes except First Class (15kg). If you surpass these limits, you have to pay extra.
How much luggage is allowed on flight?
Generally, maximum limit is 15kg for check-in baggage and 7kg for hand baggage on flights within India. Check with your airline.
How much does a porter charge in mountains?
In Indian Himalayas, porters expect a daily wage of ₹800 plus food and stay during multiday trips. This amount may vary from place to place. Sometimes you may also get good bargain.
I mentioned porter charge because some articles are very heavy. For instance, a large handwoven pure wool carpet from a remote village may require a service of porter.
5. Consider Souvenirs as Antiques
Many well-crafted local items double as antiques. So, a keepsake is an investment whose financial value may rise over a period of time. You may earn profit in future. Or some people decorate their personal spaces with antiques.
6. Handling, Packing
Assess whether the article selected requires special packaging service? For example, framed Kangra paintings need extra care during transportation for delicate glass frames. Extra packing may increase the weight of the article and cost.
If the handicraft or another item satisfies all your requirements, buy.