This is Traci’s first installment of a new series, Escape at Will Trip Tips Bakelite. Basaltes. Biedermier. If these words are part of your everyday vernacular, you may be addicted to shopping for antiques and scouring flea markets. Never fear; there are plenty of destinations throughout the northeast where you can indulge your inner shopper, while enjoying a change of scenery. If you’re ready to set out, consider these tips to making your next expedition fun and fruitful. Show off your flea market finesse! 1. Dress comfortably from head to toe. Consider sun protection, bottled water, and snacks. 2. Get there EARLY. Everyone else will, and they will get dibs on the best buys! Conversely, if you’re just looking for great bargains, arrive late in the day when vendors are discounting items to avoid leaving with them. 3. Bring plenty of cash, the preferred method of payment, and carry it close to your body (e.g. a “fanny pack”). $5.00 bills are generally the most versatile. Use it to your advantage when negotiating, and ask “What’s your best price for cash?” 4. If you’re hunting for a specific piece for a certain room, bring the room’s measurements with you, as well as a tape measure. Similarly, bring swatches of fabric, carpet, paint chips, etc. if you’re looking to integrate your finds into your interior. 5. When negotiating with a vendor for a vintage or antique piece, know its value beforehand. In all the excitement of finding it, you may overpay. Kovel’s guides are a good resource. 6. Bring your own bags to carry your purchases home, and consider a wagon or cart. If you’re likely to buy fragile items, bring your own packaging materials to prevent breakage.