With even long-term travel becoming an everyday occurrence rather than a luxury, the world is getting smaller, and so many more wonderful shopping destinations worldwide are suddenly available to turn your pay check into something more…tangible. Here’s our rundown of the best retail spots in the world, so you know where to head to first to satisfy your international shopping fix.
It’s hard to overstate Dubai’s incredible and extravagant shopping scene. If you want every single luxury designer and brand you can think of in one location, plus a good dose of sunshine and a few trips to the beach, then Dubai is most certainly the destination for you. With most shopping malls open until 10pm, I suggest you spend your days sunning yourself at one of the city’s glorious beach resorts, and after a little siesta, head to the mall for an evening of shopping once the heat’s died down. Although if you do decide to take a break from the sunshine, you’ll no doubt be pleased to learn that the shops are all well and truly air conditioned.
New York City
New York well and truly trumps all other US cities for the title of best luxury shopping destination, so if you’re headed to the States it’s more than worth organising a layover in NYC. Fifth Avenue is obviously the go-to for luxury shopping, but make sure to wear comfortable shoes – and ideally organise someone else to carry the bags! It’s one hell of a street, and really it’s best to tackle it over a couple of days, especially if you want a relaxed shopping experience. For department stores, Macy’s is often underrated and carries a lot of luxury brands – but be prepared to sharpen your elbows as it can get very busy. For a calmer shopping environment, opt for Saks or Bergdorf’s. If you only visit one store in the whole of New York, then please, make it Tiffany’s. It might seem like a cliché, but it really is wonderful and worth the trip up to the top of the street. They also have a range of products for all budgets (yes, really!) so don’t be intimidated. For quirky shopping there are plenty of flea markets where you can pick up antiques of all kinds, generally in the West Village and Williamsburg.
Napa and Sonoma Valleys, California
For something a little different, or rather drinkable, head for wine country in California. Californian wine is up there with some of the worlds finest, but is still wildly underrated – so collecting a few lovely bottles for your cellar is a must. The Napa and Sonoma Valleys are beautifully set up for visitors, so they should be your go-to destinations. You can take tours of the vineyards and wineries, sample the wine, and then choose the perfect bottle (or case) to take home.