It’s why flea markets have lengthy been a part of my journey plans: I coordinate Sunday flights with flea advertising and marketing hours, reserving to fly both late sufficient to hunt for finds the following morning or super-early to reach earlier than an excellent one closes. In cities the place a flea market isn’t held weekly—like Miami, the place Lincoln Highway’s model is held totally on alternate Sundays, and solely within the cooler months—I intentionally schedule journey dates round attending.
Over years of long-distance flea advertising and marketing, I’ve developed some strategies alongside the best way. I journey with a flea advertising and marketing outfit: comfy sneakers in fact, but in addition equipment that don’t look flashy, as a lot to maintain costs down when haggling as to ward potential pickpockets away. I at all times carry a pair canvas tote luggage for purchases, one loaded with necessities like water, hand sanitizer, and, relying on the climate forecast, an umbrella or sunscreen. On a smartphone, pre-downloaded navigation, translation, and forex calculating apps turn out to be useful. Money is king at flea markets, so it’s greatest to return with loads of small payments for cheap finds.
Low costs could make purchases tempting, nevertheless it’s essential to not get too wrapped up within the second. “Don’t purchase one thing simply because it’s low-cost,” says Virginia Chamlee, creator of the guide Big Thrift Energy: The Art and Thrill of Finding Vintage Treasures. “The primary factor to do is to verify for high quality. That’s a mistake I see folks making on a regular basis: they’ll purchase one thing that’s perhaps a bit of dinged or a bit of broken, and it’s actually, actually cheap. They assume, ‘I’m going to get it residence and I’ll repair it.’ You already know what? You’ll by no means repair it: you’ll find yourself with a storage filled with damaged issues.”
To get treasured purchases residence, I pack a foldable carry-on tote and wrap breakables in clothes for cushioning. (I’ve discovered that underwear and socks—even when they’re soiled!— are significantly efficient to guard china cups and dishes.) Generally, delivery issues again—which many distributors might help with—is one of the simplest ways to go, particularly when issues are cumbersome.
Additionally important? Include a spirit of discovery, in addition to flexibility.
“You may’t at all times make a procuring listing whenever you go to a flea market,” Chamlee says. “You may say, ‘I’m on the lookout for a espresso desk,’ however you may not discover the precise espresso desk you’re on the lookout for, so I do assume it’s essential to maintain your thoughts and eyes open for surprises.”