While many purists will claim that a vacation should be about relaxation and memories, many travelers know that some of the best trips involve finding incredible deals, fabulous clothes, or unusual treasures. Whether you are interested in traveling to a global city to take advantage of designer stores, vacationing in a faraway place with unique gifts, or just enjoying the thrill of the hunt, a shopping-focused trip can be a wonderful experience. However, focusing on shopping means planning for a different kind of vacation.
Start with how you pack. While many travelers completely fill their luggage, you will want to leave some room if you plan to do much shopping. Include a few collapsible bags, especially if you’ll be shopping in a locale that doesn’t offer a bag with purchase. You should also bring sensible and comfortable clothing. A good pair of shoes is crucial. A fun shopping spree can quickly turn into a nightmare if you develop sore feet or a stiff lower back.
You should also consider making a budget. Be sure to account for opportunities like Value-Added Tax refund programs, duty-free shops, tax-free credits, or other advantages of shopping abroad. Likewise, find out what kind of shops you’ll find at your destination. This will help you plan your route more accurately.
Once on the ground, however, leave yourself open to inspiration. If you arrive at a shopping district and find everything is outside of your budget, don’t despair. There will always be at least one affordable up-and-coming place nearby. Ask shopkeepers about shipping if you purchase something that won’t fit in your luggage, especially in situations where shipping allows you to skip the sales tax. Finally, remember to pace yourself, because shopping can be draining work. Relax in cafes between shops, consider making a spa appointment, or just soak in the beauty of the destination before you rush off to find the next deal.