27 November 2018 by Anna Staford
It’s a most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is almost here, and one twenty-first century holiday tradition that we don’t tire of is bargain hunting. Whether it’s scouring the internet, or browsing on the high street and taking in the festive lights and seasonal window displays.
It’s hard to avoid shopping during Christmas, so you may as well make it as enjoyable and successful as possible. Follow these 5 top tips to help make those inevitable Christmas shopping expeditions go with a seasonal sparkle:
Just like Santa, make a list of who you are buying for and wherever possible categorise. For instance, family, friends, work colleagues and business associates. List your gift ideas for each and where you plan to get them. It will help you to plan more thoughtful, personal gifts and save time when you are purchasing. It will save you the frustration and embarrassment of forgetting something, or worse still, someone! Ultra-organised pros keep a list of what they bought last year, to avoid the risk of repeat presents!
One way of making Christmas shopping unique each year is to plan a break to somewhere new around it. Chose one of the UK market towns, or European Christmas markets for a fabulously festive start to your shopping. All sell unique, artisan made, handcrafted gifts for friends and loved ones. You can treat yourself to mulled wine and mince pies as you browse and do some site seeing during your trip.
If you are shopping in a popular market town, 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.
When planning a Christmas shopping weekend outside your home country, get travel insurance so that you are properly protected if something unexpected happens during the trip.
One of the great advantages of the internet is checking availability and prices in advance so you don’t later discovering that you could have bought something cheaper or more suitable elsewhere. Many retailers do price match, but it’s worth doing your homework while you have time.
This is an age-old tip, whatever you are buying, but it’s all too easy to ignore. Don’t be an impulse shopper. It could cost you an unnecessary fortune over Christmas and worse still you might end up with plenty of gifts that no one really wants. If it is not on your list, do not buy it.
Planning your route will help you save precious hours, especially if time is short. Create an efficient schedule and route to save the fatigue of zigzagging around the same streets and shops, or websites 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 buy!
Shopping during the holidays can be stressful with the extra long queues and big crowds. Put the fun back into your holiday shopping and take the stress out of it by planning well ahead before you venture out, chose your location carefully and give yourself the time to buy what you are looking for. If you stay calm and organised you can take in the sites and get your friends and family some unique and personal gifts and enjoy a Christmas spiced latte and mince pie along the way.
Read also: Where Do You Shop for Christmas Gifts?