With Black Friday just around the corner, and the Holiday Season fresh on its tail, out of town travel becomes an extra-long trip to the mall for a lot of folks. A different city gives you the opportunity to find stores, restaurants, and gifts that you don’t have access to back home. And while online shopping can definitely alleviate some of the stress, sometimes a trip away is a great way to kick start your Holiday Season. To help you make things easier, we’ve gathered some of our favourite ideas for when you’re planning your shopping trips.
Load Your Phone. In a connected world, take advantage of your smartphone. Currency converters, and maps for starters. Also, a lot of cities have tourism apps, so take advantage of those to find things to do when you’re not shopping.
Pro Tip. The city tourism apps usually have a “Where To Eat” section. Look to see if there are stores around because usually, restaurants aren’t far from shopping.
Where Are You Shopping? Using local tourism sites and apps, get a list of shopping destinations. Skim through and find the stores you normally like to shop at. While their layout may be similar to back home, they may have different stock. Also, take a look for local makers and farmer’s markets. This will give you an opportunity to support small businesses, and find something out of the ordinary for someone on your list!
Shopping On Black Friday? Flyers are your friends. Check them in advance and make a list of the deals you want to take advantage of and sort them by priority. If you’re shopping with a friend, one of you can wait in line at the bix box stores and hold your place while the other visits another store to get some retail therapy in.
Pro Tip: People are usually very friendly in the lineups, and are often locals. Pick their brains for local recommendations like restaurants and attractions.
Keep Things In Order. Bring some empty envelopes for receipts. If you’re crossing a border on your way back home, the border guards love seeing receipts. The envelope system will also help you keep track of spending, and of your gift list, making sure that everyone on that list gets something!
Travel Smart. Check out public transit. Most cities have bus systems, and they can help you get around easily, especially if you’re not comfortable driving in cities you’re not familiar with.
Pro Tip: Get up early, some stores only offer specials until Noon or 1 pm, so you want to take advantage.