As a passionate bargain shopper, I truly enjoy the experience of heading to various outlets when traveling and challenging myself to find amazing deals that I can't leave behind. Shopping on the cheap doesn’t always come easily for everyone, so here are my top 10 tips to enjoy the experience while saving some money!
Sign-up for the mailing list
Most big outlet shopping malls have websites on which you are able to sign up for the newsletter. I highly recommend you do prior to your vacation, as you will be alerted of any deals or special events happening. Furthermore, some give "members" the option to log in and print coupons for additional savings on top of what's already offered in stores! (When you print these out, check if there's one to submit at Guest Services for a second coupon book, as this book typically offers different savings options than the online coupons so you will have the option so use whichever is best for you!) Just remember not to spend more money just to reach the amounts on the booklets, as that would be defeating the purpose!
Outlet vs Factory Stores
It's important to recognize the difference between the store types you will encounter. Factory stores offer products that were made specifically for sale in this type of store whereas outlet stores offer products that were made to be sold in the brand's regular stores.
Set a Budget
It's easy to get very excited about the amazing bargains available and in the process spend a lot more money than what you should! That's why you must set a budget before starting your shopping trip, and make sure to stick to it!
Make sure to check out our great guides to buying souvenirs for tips and tricks before going shopping while traveling!
Avoid the crowds
We recognize that searching for the best bargains while being pushed by other shoppers, finding yourself stuck, unable to move forward in crowded areas makes for a rather unpleasant experience. That's why we recommend you go shopping during off times. Typically speaking, we've had great success either going right at opening, or during the last few hours of the day.
Before heading into the stores, make sure to check a map and identify which stores you plan to be checking out. This way you won't miss out on any stores you were really wanting to see, and you can make sure to skip any stores that aren't outlets (as these are sometimes located in outlet malls).
Start at the back
Anyone who shops for deals knows this – the clearance section in the back corner of the store is where you'll find the best bargains! It's best to start there, see what is available and work your way around the store after if you still decide to.
Don't get lost in the numbers
Just because something is 90% off doesn't mean that it's a great deal! After all, if you typically only pay 10$ for a t-shirt and one's on sale at 90% off for 20$, it still doesn’t make it a deal since you'd never pay that much at home! Don't get caught up in the savings and numbers. Make sure to remember you're looking for a deal compared to prices at home, and keep in mind the exchange rate as this can really impact whether a purchase truly is a bargain or not.
Do you need it?
Once you've established that it's a fantastic deal, you must take into consideration whether or not you actually need the item! After all, the point is to save money on things you would buy for yourself home, not to come home with more junk that'll collect dust for years to come!
Can you bring it back?
Deals are great, but you need to make sure that whatever you purchase will fit in your luggage to head back home! You may need to re-consider purchasing certain items, especially if they are bulky, heavy or easily breakable, as things could quickly get complicated when it's time to pack up and head home!
Check out if our great guide to buying souvenirs to help avoid making regret your purchases!
Enjoy the experience!
Most importantly, make sure that you have a pleasant experience! If you're able to do so, perhaps consider treating yourself to a nicer than usual item or a special piece of chocolate! Don't forget, you're on vacation after all and fun must be had!
Budget Travel Blog: Tips and tricks for affordable vacation planning. From cheap hotels to cheap flights and everything in between, prioritizing safety and comfort.
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