Black Friday and Cyber Monday may almost be upon us, but put down that laptop, tablet, smartphone and everything in between: as tempting as those designed-to-be-on-sale offers are, nothing beats the glamour of an overseas shopping jaunt. And it’s even more satisfying when you know you’ve bagged a bargain you could never get at home.
From the US east coast to the foothills of Japan's Fuji Mountain, some of our favourite holiday destinations also offer superb discount shopping opportunities, courtesy of accessible outlet malls carrying a cavalcade of sought-after brands. And when you're dressed head to toe in Vivienne Westwood, who's going to know - or care - that you bought it all for a bargain price?
If that sounds appealing, read on to discover the Flexicover team's choice of the world's five best discount shopping trips.
Woodbury Common, New York, USA
Manhattan's Fifth Avenue might be where the glitterati of New York come to splash their cash, but the Big Apple's price-savvy shoppers wouldn't dream of dropping a week's wages at a high-end boutique when they could pick up the exact same clothes for a fraction of the price at Woodbury Common. An impressive 250 fashion retailers can be found at this vast 800,000 square foot site, which offers discounts of up to 65% on brands like Nike, Michael Kors and The North Face. So if you think about it, that means you can buy 65% more clothes, right? Once you've scratched your designer shopping itch, just hop on the express bus service to Port Authority and you'll be in Midtown in under an hour.
Gotemba Premium Outlets, Japan
We love discount shopping, but we have to admit that stunning scenery generally isn't one of the plus-points of an outlet mall. Then we saw Gotemba Premium Outlets, a Japanese retail mecca that offers incredible vistas of the snow-capped Mount Fuji. You might take the two-hour train journey from Tokyo to Gotemba for the view, but you'll definitely stay for the shopping. Japan's largest outlet centre is home to more than 200 shops, including a handful of brands like Balenciaga, Issey Miyake and Alexander Wang that are rarely seen in discount malls. Look forward to Godzilla-sized savings of up to 65% on regular retail prices.
La Vallée Village, France
At first glance, La Vallée Village appears to be a charming French provincial town, with its wide, tree-lined boulevards and pastel-hued buildings. But take a closer look and you'll find that the traditional boulangeries and boucheries have been replaced with dozens of upscale fashion boutiques and homeware brands, offering discounts of up to 50% off the recommended retail price. Take advantage of big savings on French labels that you won't normally find at outlet malls, from Celine and Givenchy to Yves Saint Laurent and Zadig & Voltaire. Trains between La Vallée Village and Paris take less than an hour, so why not reward yourself for all those hard-sought bargains with a slap-up meal on the chic, cobbled streets of the French capital?
Foxtown Factory Outlets, Switzerland
From designer watches to decadent chocolate, Switzerland oozes luxury. But while those upscale purchases often come with an eye-watering price tag, Foxtown Factory Outlets bucks the trend, offering discounts of up to 70% at 160 designer stores. Located in the Swiss town of Mendrisio, the outlet mall is just a short hop from the Italian border, so you could be sipping white wine and gorging yourself on pizza in Milan in just over an hour by train. The location also means you'll find renowned Italian labels like Prada and Versace at Foxtown. There's even an on-site casino if you're feeling lucky having bagged all those discounts.
Dubai Outlet Mall, UAE
Much like Switzerland, Dubai isn’t popularly known as a haven for bargain-hunters. But give the emirate a chance and check out Dubai Outlet Mall, the first shopping centre of its kind in the Middle East. Dubai likes to supersize everything – just look at its skyscrapers and theme parks – so you won't be surprised to hear that this mall is home to more than 1,200 of the world's premium brands, including Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana and Kenzo. With discounts of up to a staggering 90% on offer, you'll definitely want to bring a spare suitcase with you.
If you do find yourself bagging a bargain, just remember that any valuables, such as iPads, Kindles and even prescription sunglasses, need to be carried in your hand luggage and not the hold for cover for loss or theft to apply.
Wherever you plan on heading on your travels it's good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you're safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.
*The 25% discount is only valid from 00.01 on Tuesday 20 November and ends at 23.59 on Thursday 29 November. The discount will be taken off the base price of the policy only and does not apply to any other aspects such as medical screening. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion and the company reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any time. T&Cs apply.