Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Black Friday Shopping: Road Trip Edition

It’s almost that time of year again, where families fill up on delicious turkey dinner, and then hit the retail stores for an all-night shopping excursion.

I must say Black Friday Shopping was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had by far. Living in Canada, this isn’t a common practice up here, but with such great sales on Black Friday, we’re more than willing to hit the border and wait in long lines with everyone else to score mega deals.

If you’ve never experienced Black Friday Shopping before, I’m sure you’ve heard all about it from friends, family or even the local news.

Here’s a little overview of our Black Friday Shopping experience last year:

I went with a group of girlfriends who are experienced Black Friday Shoppers. They planned out our whole trip for us, which stores had the best deals, what time those stores open at, what coupons they had that applied to which deals, and how far it takes to get from one shopping area to the next.

We hit the border from Vancouver, BC around 9 pm to make our way down to the Seattle area. Just before you reach downtown Seattle there are a group of outlet stores. We arrive at the outlet mall just in time for the stores to open for Black Friday Shopping at midnight.

After a crazy 2 hours of shopping, we headed south on the I-5 for about a half hour only to arrive at another mall. We again joined a large lineup of people, but thankfully didn’t have to wait long before the store opened. Once the madness of shopping was over at one store, off we went across the parking lot to the next store.

Around 4 am, we arrived at the local mall and had a short hour nap in the car before lining up at the front doors with everyone else. By 6 am, the mall was open for Black Friday Shopping, and we continued on our crazy hunt for amazing deals.

We spent a total of 11 hours shopping, and few hundred dollars later, we hit the border with a trunk full of goodies. All in all it was an amazing and interesting experience, but I’m not sure if I would do it again though. It seems like the majority of deals being offered during the Black Friday season are electronics; anything from cameras, computers and tv’s, that’s where you see the best deals. General clothes shopping is still a lot of fun, with loads of amazing deals in every store, but I personally prefer to spend my time/money on road trip experiences rather than a great sale. And with the ever rising popularity of online shopping, I think that’s the avenue I plan to take this year.

Tips for successful Black Friday Shopping:

1. Have a well thought out plan.

Know what you’re looking for, where the sales are, and what time stores open at. Also knowing what stores are accepting (or offering) coupon deals in advance. This will help you with the planning process.

2. Stay organized with your shopping list.

If you’re going out for those big ticket items, or if you’re shopping with a team of people, make sure you have your shopping list, and stay organized with what items (or people) you have already bought for.

3. And lastly, coffee.

This can be a fairly tiring process, even with a strong love for shopping. Coffee is an essential item that really helped us get through our shopping experience.

Need a little help planning out your Black Friday shopping experience. You can find our printable Black Friday Shopping Planner here.

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