The Christmas holidays are here again and with it come traditional activities that make this season unique. One twenty-first century holiday tradition that people don’t tire of is bargain hunting. Despite the popularity of online shopping, there is no substitute for browsing through the high street, with festive lights and seasonal window displays.
Whether we like it or not, it’s hard to avoid Christmas shopping, so you may as well make it as enjoyable as possible. Follow these 5 helpful tips to make those last minute shopping trips as painless as possible:
1. Make a list
Just like Santa, make a list of all the people that you want to buy gifts for. Ideally grouping recipients. For instance, family, work friends, best mates, and business associates. List your gift ideas and where to buy them it will save you time and help you give more thoughtful personal gifts. Ultra-organised pros also have a list of what they bought last year, to avoid the risk of repeat presents.
2. Combine shopping with a weekend / or day away
One way of making Christmas shopping fun is to plan a break around it. Chose one of the UK market towns, or European Christmas markets that are all fabulously festive and sell artisan made, one-of-a-kind handcrafted perfect gifts for friends and loved ones. Then treat yourself to mulled wine and mince pies as you browse. If you are shopping in one of those traditional European Christmas markets, be mindful of the crowds. Pickpockets love the opportunity of unsuspecting shoppers in crowded open-air places, so keep cash and other valuables in a money belt; or your front pocket where they are less accessible to light fingers.
If you are planning Christmas shopping weekend outside your home country, it is a wise move to get travel insurance so that you are sufficiently covered if something unexpected happens during the trip.
3. Do your research
It’s worth checking availability and prices in advance so you don’t later have the disappointment of discovering that you could have bought some of your items cheaper elsewhere. A lot of shops do price match these days but its worth doing some homework if you want particular items.
4. Stick to your budget
This is an age-old shopping tip, but it is easily ignored. Don’t be an impulse shopper. It could cost you an unnecessary fortune over Christmas. If it is not on your list, do not purchase it. Don’t succumb to social pressures, or buying more than you can afford. It is better to give a gift from the heart!
5. Schedule your shopping time
Scheduling your shopping time will help you save precious hours, especially if you have a short list of shops to visit. Create an efficient route to save the fatigue of zigzagging around the same shops over and over again. This will also ensure you don’t get distracted and miss, or forget things, which is easily done when you have a lot to get.
Shopping during the holidays has received a lot of flak through the years. Many people even say that it is an awful experience with horrendously long queues and big crowds and resort to online shopping. Christmas shopping can be a delightful and wonderful experience if you follow these 5 practical tips. There is something special about brick and mortar shopping that just doesn’t compare with shopping via the internet. Put the fun back into your holiday shopping and take the stress out of it. Going to shops may be a hectic experience, but it is a holiday tradition that should be upheld.