Stock up on gifts on a fun vacation: incredible shopping getaways to drop, from New York’s holiday favorite to glitzy Paris
- Visit iconic New York department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue
- Hop on the Eurostar to see the lights of the Champs Elysees shine in Paris
- Tour Germany’s Christmas markets on an enchanting 5-night river cruise
Every week our Christmas hero Neil Simpson takes a deep dive into a sparkling holiday theme and does all the fieldwork so you don’t have to. This week: Mini-breaks for Christmas shoppers.
The shopping holidays are back until you drop. And with concerns about empty shelves in Britain, this could be the perfect year to go abroad and fill up those important Christmas stockings.
New York is a holiday favorite, and after the United States reopens to double jab Brits starting November 8, one important tip is to start at the iconic department stores.
Holiday Favorite: Enjoy the glittering window displays along New York’s Fifth Avenue
There’s 100-year-old Macy’s in Herald Square, where storefronts are a tourist attraction in their own right, and Bloomingdale’s, famous for its ‘little brown bag’ and where Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York knocks on doors every morning. open to customers.
At the super-posh Saks Fifth Avenue, style consultants and beauty concierges greet shoppers with free treatments.
Fancy having breakfast at Tiffany’s? The original Fifth Avenue store is under wraps for a remodel, but its temporary home is still worth a visit: The atrium has a stack of Tiffany boxes stacked 40 feet high in a replica of the Empire State Building.
Galeries Lafayette marble clad in Paris
Fly Virgin Atlantic from London and enjoy three nights at the Row NYC hotel near the Rockefeller Center ice rink from £ 595 per person (virginholidays.co.uk).
Alternatively, upgrade to four nights at the Double Tree by Hilton in Times Square with British Airways Club Class flights to speed up security and lounge access, plus flat beds and great airborne dining, from £ 1,619 per person (ba.com).
Add sunshine and celebrity sightings to a shopping trip by heading to Los Angeles.
Exercise with your credit card at the top designer flagship stores on Rodeo Drive, then stroll through the House of Bijan to see what’s parked outside ‘the most expensive menswear store in the world’.
However, it is only an appointment to enter. A five-night break with flights and accommodation in the heart of Beverly Hills at Loews Hollywood (famous for its rooftop pool) costs from £ 1,199 per person (travelbag.co.uk).
In Dubai, home to the mega mall, you will find the largest in the world with 1200 stores and hundreds of places to eat and drink. There is also an aquarium and an ice rink.
Would you rather a bargain? The Dubai Outlet Mall has 200 stores and promises great discounts. Five nights at the Movenpick Hotel, flying from London or Manchester, costs from £ 1,072pp (emiratesholidays.com).
Germany is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful Christmas markets. In the photo, Cologne
Closer to home, the lights of the Champs Elysees in Paris shine bright in December and there is plenty of glamor amid the marble corridors of the Galeries Lafayette. Eurostar return plus a two-night hotel stay costs from £ 152 per person (eurostar.com).
Europe’s Christmas markets are perfect for one-of-a-kind gifts, and Germany is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful, such as Rudesheim, Koblenz, Bonn, and Cologne.
Visit them all on a five-night Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise from £ 699pp, including flights and luxury cabins (rivieratravel.co.uk).