Every time you tell your family you’re going home for Christmas vacation, you almost always hear the kids, or even the adults, cheerfully shout “pasalubong!” It’s always exciting for them when you come home with gifts from Qatar. They are happy enough to see you, but with pasalubong, that makes them doubly excited and your vacation becomes even more meaningful.
There is a smart way to buy souvenirs. You can’t just spend all your money and bring as many souvenirs as you can without planning it through. The following article shares some tips you can try the next time you buy pasalubong. After all, as the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Smart Tips Before Buying Souvenirs in Qatar
1. Have a budget and stick with it
Before you start buying things, you should know what your budget is. You can’t spend all your money without first recognizing what the essential expenses are. If you have extra money after you paid all your bills, set aside money for personal needs, and kept your savings, then you have more or less an idea of what your budget is. Once you have that budget, stick with it faithfully.
2. Know your family’s needs and wants
The next time you call your family before going home to the Philippines, ask them what they need and what they want. Each member of your family is unique and have different interests. Maybe you are tempted to just guess what they like. However, if you know exactly what to give, that eases the burden on you a little bit, and makes the recipient happier knowing that he or she got what she really wanted.
3. Create a shopping list
Now that you have a budget and an idea what your family wants, you should also have a shopping list. A check list on hand will help you keep track of the things you’ve bought. By organizing your shopping task, everything feels more manageable and you get to focus mentally. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re already in the mall or the souvenir shop, but having a list keeps you grounded, as well as thinking about your budget.
4. Buy meaningful souvenirs
If given the chance, suggest to your family members that you will buy them meaningful souvenirs; that is, souvenirs that are unique and reflect Qatar culture and inheritance. These gifts include spices, shawls, abaya, Arabic goods, wooden boxes, and even traditional delicacies like dates. Dates, in particular, are really popular treats among families of OFWs in the Middle East.
5. Don’t pressure yourself
Maybe you are pressured to buy every member of your family gifts and souvenirs. You may even think about giving gifts to your extended family or your friends back home. Before you know it, you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of people you intend to buy gifts to, and the actual number of gifts you need to purchase. If this happens, just remember that you are in Qatar to work and provide a better life for you and your family. Material things are good, but they aren’t everything.
Surely, giving pasalubong to your family in the Philippines is great and makes them happy. Just remember that you have to give by heart. Don’t make it a stressful endeavor.