A couple of years ago we made the switch to online shopping, especially around birthday season in May and Christmas. When you are ordering en masse it just makes sense for things to be as convenient as possible and yet, as a lover of all things festive, I missed that sense of wandering around a shopping centre or city centre, soaking up the atmosphere and physically selecting gifts for family and friends.
It is possibly this which drove me to Liverpool City Centre last weekend, to brave the crowds and begin my Christmas shopping for the year. I know, some of you may sit back smugly and know that you have already bought, and wrapped, your presents but I'm just not wired that way!
Liverpool is just about the best place to go if you are based in the North and want a whole day out experience. There is Liverpool ONE, Albert Dock, the Ice Rink...there are also tons of restaurants in Liverpool which make the perfect place to have a pit stop after you've spent a few hours shopping.
Of course, begin so close to Christmas, it was absolutely rammed and it got me thinking about my top tips for shopping (and surviving) during the festive season:-
Have A Plan
The absolute worst thing you can do is turn up without a clear plan of where you'd like to look. This doesn't mean knowing what presents you want to buy but it does mean knowing which part of the city you want to head to. For example, Liverpool ONE is home to more upmarket stores such as Zara, Michael Kors and Harvey Nichols whereas the High Street (Church Street) is where you will find your large department stores and brands such as as Primark and H&M.
Have A List
Not necessarily a list of the things you want to buy but it will definitely help to have a list of the people you need to buy presents for. That way you won't get home and realise you bought something for every except Auntie May and have to head back out again or online.
Save the Big Items Till Last
If you know there is something large you need to buy then leave it until the last minute to avoid having to carry a bulky item around. The city will be busy enough and navigating the crowds is never an easy task but you certainly don't want to be doing it with a giant bag in tow. If you're worried that something might sell out then maybe head for that first and take a quick walk back to the car instead.
Make the Most Of It
There is so much going on in Liverpool over Christmas that it makes sense to make a whole day out of your visit, especially if you aren't local. Get your shopping out of the way early on in the day and then you can pop your bags in your car and head on down to the Christmas pop-up market stalls (and enjoy some mulled wine), visit St George's Hall and the Dreamworks Lantern experience, or check out the Ice Festival down on the Pier Head complete with Ice Skating rink or enjoy a meal at one of the many fine restaurants the city has to offer instead.
What are your top tips for surviving Christmas shopping? Or your favourite things to do in Liverpool; let me know!
This is a collaborative post.