With December just around the corner, Christmas shopping is definitely getting towards the top of everybody’s to-do list. But, if you don’t fancy that last minute panic of gift buying, why not combine your shopping with that ultimate relaxed shopping experience.
The obvious choice for Christmas is of course Christmas markets and we’ve seen many of them pop up in our local towns and cities, here in the UK. For that ultimate Christmas market experience, you’ve got to head to Europe.
Germany is the home of Christmas markets, the most traditional one being in Nuremberg, where you get the real deal experience.
For the big Christmas markets, head to Cologne, Berlin and Munich.
Many of which you can fly to, from your local airport, here in the UK. If traditional Christmas markets isn’t your thing, why not go to one of the really big iconic shopping destinations, such as New York?
From 5th Avenue’s fantastic boutiques all the way through to individual independent shops down in Soho, you name it, you can buy it in the big apple.
If New York, you’ve been there and done that, why not consider going to the malls in Florida? Somewhere like Boston? The Mall of America in Minneapolis – one of the largest shopping centres in the world? Or of course Toronto in Canada? All easily accessible from the UK.
Of course if you want something a bit more unusual, then I’d really recommend heading to somewhere like Dubai, Marrakech or Istanbul. All of which have fantastic souks and markets, where you can get individually crafted, well made goods and gifts that are going to be completely unique and do you know what? It’s winter time, it’s cold here and you may well get some winter sun to boot.
Of course another solution is to head to one of the other big European cities, somewhere like Paris, Milan or Barcelona. All fantastic for things like clothes shopping, perfumes and even food and drink and within under 2 hours of flying time, you can get there in no time at all.
Paris – 1hour 10mins.
Milan – 1hour 55mins
Barcelona- 2hour 10mins.
Of course if your budget doesn’t stretch to going overseas, why not make a weekend of it and do some Christmas shopping here in the UK?
The really big cities, like London, Manchester and Birmingham have got all the big names and stores that you could look for.
Of course if you want something a little bit more quirky, why not head to one of the market towns such as Harrogate, York, Chester and Bath. All of which have lots of independent shops with things that are a little bit more unusual and at the same time you get a little weekend away with a cheap hotel night. Now you’ve got some great ideas of places to go, it’s really important to remember those tips to make your shopping experience really worthwhile.
When travelling overseas, don’t forget your baggage allowances. You may well go and stock up on lots of gifts but if you’re travelling hand luggage only it’s going to take you over the limit, you’re going to end up paying excess fees. Of course if you’re thinking of buying any liquids, weather that be perfumes, drinks or other products; don’t forget, anything under 100mls must go into hold luggage, you won’t be able to take it in your hand luggage.
Another great thing to remember is the customs allowance for the destination that you’re flying home from.
If you’re outside of the EU for your shopping, such as New York, there’s a limit of £390 worth of goods that you can bring back, VAT free and of course you’ve got your duty free allowance on things like alcohol and tobacco that you need to be aware of.
If you’re travelling within the EU though, you can bring back as much as you like. As long as you can prove that it’s for personal use.
So, what better excuse than to hop over to France, stock up on festive wine, spirits and food and have that fantastic Christmas, with some really great delicacies.
Finally, do your sums on what you’re actually buying. Is it a great deal? You can use your smartphone while you’re away to check internet prices back here in the UK, so that you know that what you’re getting is really great value and of course, when paying for goods, be aware of any hidden charges when paying by credit or debit card overseas.
So, wherever you chose to do your Christmas shopping here in 2014, why not bag yourself a fantastic travel deal? With all your arrangements at TravelSuperMarket.com