Step Up Your Shopping Game… Go Global

“ It’s Shop–O-Clock Somewhere”

By: Stacey (Benedon) Fugere

Your vacation days are set.  You are planning your flights, hotel, sightseeing, and some memorable meals.  So what is left on your list?  Shopping of course!  Where are the best places to find unique gifts, designer clothes, or distinctive antiques?  The internet is great for travel research, but consult a travel agent and harness the best resources for the best places to stay and the best experiences for you. Travel agents also have “inside information,” which the internet may not have about the destinations you’ll be visiting.

The Caribbean island of St. Barths has been sanctified with the status of duty-free port, thereby creating it a luxury shopping mecca. With over 200 stores, there is something for every discerning shopper. Packed with designer stores, Gustavia is the most popular center, with its three main streets (Quai de la Republique, Rue du Roi Oscar II, and Rue du General de Gaulle). Drop in at Chopard or Cartier, but don’t miss visiting Human Steps and Stephane & Bernard, two shops that are very highly rated by Conde Nast. A stay at Eden Rock St Barths is truly beyond perfect to make your experience complete.

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Traveling to Hong Kong?  You can’t miss a stop at Sam’s Tailor, the famous home of the 24-hour suit.  A stop in their store or a visit to their website is a treasure trove of images with the tailor and his famous clientele.  Although you don’t have to be famous to be among the elite in one of his amazing creations.  Make sure you keep “The Green Shirt” bag and send them pictures of it around the world.  These bags have been everywhere!  For a dreamy hotel experience, stay at the Kowloon Shangri-La or the Intercontinental Hong Kong.

Looking for a fantastic hat?  Look no further than Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany.  Hutkoning (literally Hat King) is the premier hatter in Europe.  Hutkoning has been creating masterful works of art for over 100 years for every occasion.  They even created the hats for the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland (2010 version).  Regensburg is a charming place where you can board your river cruise.  Consider a river cruise on AMAWaterways from Regensburg to the beautiful Budapest.  You can’t beat the view from your room!

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When you are visiting Harrods in London, consider staying at the Athenaeum Hotel.  The location is perfect for walking to Harrods, but also to Buckingham Palace and the London Eye!  If you want something a little different, check out the Covent Garden district.  Here you can find the crème de la crème of shopping and dining.  You’ll find everything from designer to trendy.  Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver tempts the public with delectable flatbreads out of a wood-fired oven at his restaurant Union Jacks.  Finish off your meal with a divine dessert at Morelli’s Gelato or stop for a coffee at Café Nero. **Tip** before you go to Covent Garden, make sure you download “The Pass” app to your phone with the latest deal and offers for their restaurants and shops!  Stay at the Savoy for an iconic luxury stay, or try Me London for trendy.

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And Paris! When thinking of shopping, who could ever forget Paris? But perhaps not the Paris you are thinking of! Insiders recommend visiting the 14th district which is a quiet, non-touristy area that features original, perhaps one-of-a-kind, clothing shopping. Or of course, enjoy the very popular Printemps, Galleries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché. Enjoy a stay at the historic Hotel Dauphine, an elegant, family-run hotel in a 17th-century building which is eight minutes by foot from Le Jardin du Luxembourg and an 11-minute stroll from the historic 14th-century Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.

Every destination in the world has something it is famous for. Each has its own personality and charm. For quick and easy access to all of the wonderful resources to make your travel dreams come true, don’t forget to call your local travel agent for the inside scoop!

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