Shopping on Vacation: Dos and Don'ts

“Where did you get that?” Let’s face it, fashionistas: these are the five most flattering words in the English language. Finding unique clothing, jewelry, and accessories on vacation can be a challenge, but it’s a great way to bring home one-of-a-kind finds that none of your friends will have. For a productive and stress-free shopping experience, keep these dos and don’ts in mind on your next shopping adventure.
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Don’t: Stick to “touristy” shopping areas. There’s more to Chicago than Navy Pier, and there’s more to New York than Times Square. Overlook art museum gift stores for unique and high-quality jewelry you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

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Hit up local markets, like Brooklyn Flea in New York and the Eastern Market in Washington DC for handmade clothing, accessories, jewelry, and more. Just make sure they are still up and running during winter months, however.

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Do: Leave plenty of room in your suitcase. Consider folding up a duffel bag in your suitcase and using it to carry toiletries and dirty laundry on your return trip, freeing up precious space for your new items.

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Don't: Limit yourself geographically. While no shopping trip to New York is complete without a stroll down Madison Avenue, you can find hidden gems in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood and DUMBO and Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Don't: Wear expensive jewelry (especially gold) while traveling in a large unfamiliar city. Pickpocketing and theft are a sad reality in the U.S. and abroad, especially when you don’t have your wits about you. This doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish; just stock up on reasonably-priced items from Forever 21.

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