I look back fondly at my younger days, when I had no responsibilities. I’ve always loved shopping and recall payday arriving and unfailingly by the middle of the month, my friends and I were frantically looking for Topshop receipts to start returning stuff, as our bank balances looked pitiful. Oh those were the days.  We didn’t learn as the same thing would happen the following month! We looked good though…
I’ve been contemplating venturing further afield for a night away to enjoy some ‘me time’ and get some decent shopping done. I know all the London shopping haunts like the back of my hand and fancy a change of scenery and Liverpool One sounds quite good. Liverpool has been on my radar for a while as I’ve always wanted to visit The International Slavery Museum, so why not kill two birds with one stone and combine some culture with a shopping trip!
Liverpool One has everything I need for a memorable shopping trip. Great shops, an amazing range of restaurants. There’s even a park and a cinema so the kids won’t get bored. A stone’s throw away from the train station, it’s conveniently located too.
Typically I do prefer to shop on my own if I’m planning a serious shopping trip. I can plan my route around the various shops, go back to look at items again if I need to, and generally shop at my own pace with no distractions. Since having Cassius, those days have been virtually non-existent.  I tend to do most of my shopping online, as he hates staying in a shop for too long and starts acting up, wanting me to move on and I can’t browse for as long as I’d like to.
My fool proof shopping tips to ensure successful retail therapy!
1 Plan your trip – Make a list of what you want, stick to your budget, research your shops before you go and see what’s instore, online. Also, check which restaurants are at your disposal, so you can plan that all-important lunch!
2. Go early

Nothing bugs me more than crowds in shops. If you can, avoid Saturday (busiest shopping day of the week) and aim to go early on a weekday morning. The shops are quieter, staff are more attentive and items are more likely to be in stock.

3. Bribe the kids
Okay not literally, but if you can’t leave them behind don’t bore them senseless by dragging them round all your haunts for hours on end. You’re asking for a meltdown in the middle of Zara! Cassius loves Thomas the Tank Engine, so I’ll pop into a toy store and let him have a play or buy him a new book. It keeps him entertained and I can buy some more shopping time! Same goes if there’s a play area, I let him go and stretch his legs and with a bit of luck, he’s passed out napping within the hour!

4. Be stocked up
Make sure you have a drink on standby and pack plenty of snacks for the little ones. Have something for yourself too. Dragging yourself around the shops with a dry throat is asking for a trouble – and a possible headache!
5. Keep your receipts
Once you’ve got home, keep your receipts safe, just in case you need to take an item back. There’s nothing worse than realising an item doesn’t fit/match/suit and having binned or lost the receipt. It’s money down the drain.
*This is a collaborative post with Liverpool One


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