Saturday, 27 May 2017

My tips for a stress free family shopping trip // #UltimateShoppingExperience

I love a good shopping trip every once in a while..... who doesn't?! Whether it's buying new clothes for my daughter or stocking up on holiday essentials, I love coming home feeling like I have achieved and bought everything that I went out to get. It's a great feeling! 

Going out shopping when you have a small child (or more than one!) to keep entertained though can sometimes feel like quite a task. Sometimes it's got to be done though and I am a firm advocate for making a trip to the shops a pleasant, stress free and fun experience for the whole family! We love making a day of it and when we go out shopping we tend to head for shopping centres that offer a fantastic experience for visitors. So that's not just amazing shops.... I always look for a good range of family friendly restaurants, playgrounds, entertainment, toy shops for kiddo, convenient parking and good facilities too! 

We have a few favourites that consistently tick all our boxes including Meadowhall in Sheffield, Bicester Village and the Trafford Centre in Manchester but we're always on the lookout for new shopping destinations to try. 

Liverpool ONE is a shopping destination that has been on my radar recently and I am super keen to take a trip there. I really want to see the Disney Magic cruise ship as it arrives in Liverpool this July so i'd love to combine this with a visit to Liverpool ONE and some of the other attractions that the city has to offer. I haven't visited in years so Liverpool ONE is completely new to me!

They have everything from an amazing range of restaurants to all of my favourite shops (Cath Kidston, Disney Store, Dr Martens, The White Company and more!). Of course, there's a park and a cinema too so kiddo won't get bored. You can find out what's on in Liverpool ONE here.... it's so much more than shops! Finally, it's just a stones throw away from Albert Dock and a short walk from the train station too.... I simply must pay it a visit!

Liverpool ONE have put together a great eBook which details everything that they have to offer along with information on visiting with children and tips for a successful shopping trip. The key to success is always found in the preparation and so with this in mind, today I thought i'd share my top tips for a stress free shopping experience as a family!

1. Plan your trip - Make a list, know your budget, research your shops before you go and take a look at the menus of restaurants ready for when you need to take a break from all that shopping! Also, don't forget a few tote bags to carry your shopping in!

2. Set off early - Crowds can quickly get too much for any of us but for children this feeling can be completely overwhelming. We love shopping at the start of the day when stores are much more quiet. This way, you'll get everything done quicker too leaving plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day!

3. Alternate your shops - Shopping with my daughter is always an act of bargaining for us but we find this really works! If she's good in a shop that her daddy or I need to go in, then she gets to go in the Disney Store, Build a Bear or spend some time in the park. We'll work our way around the shops like this so it doesn't get boring for her! 

4. Drinks, snacks and entertainment - Make sure you keep hydrated and pack plenty of snacks for little ones. Taking time to refuel can help you assess your progress! Pack a few little portable toys in your bag ready to bust out when your child starts to get bored. Small sheets of stickers, a yoyo or a rubik's cube maybe!

5. Get children involved - Keep children interested by giving them little jobs to do such as helping to pay at the till, making purchasing choices or letting them hold the shopping list! 

I'd love to hear your tips for shopping with the family so please do share them in a comment below!

* Collaborative post but all words are my own

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