Bag a bar­gain in Big Ap­ple

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reader Travel -

With world-renowned stores Macy’s and Bloomin­gales, and count­less high-end brands along the iconic Fifth Av­enue, New York is a shop­per’s dream. Add to that the pic­tureper­fect lo­ca­tion, great food, and holiday at­mos­phere, and it is hard to beat the first class shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence the Big Ap­ple has to of­fer.

Sadly, as we know, it all comes at a price and once you’ve forked out for your flight and ho­tel it may not leave much for the ac­tual shop­ping.

And with the pound strug­gling against the dol­lar, your money may not go as far as you like.

But New York shop­ping doesn’t end in the city, and with out­let malls such as Wood­bury Com­mon Pre­mium Out­lets and Mills at Jersey Gar­dens, you can still grab a bar­gain.

Both malls are run by Si­mon Shop­ping Des­ti­na­tions, and are not dis­sim­i­lar to the likes of McArthur Glen re­tail parks– pro­vid­ing miles and miles of out­let shops where you can pick up a bag or a pair of jeans at a quar­ter of the orig­i­nal price.

There are reg­u­lar buses from New York City cen­tre to both malls, with a re­turn ticket cost­ing around $30 – a small price to pay when you con­sider the sav­ings to be made.

We sand­wiched our city cen­tre shop­ping with a visit to each of these malls, start­ing with a day at Wood­bury Com­mon Pre­mium Out­lets – just over an hour north of Man­hat­tan – and a visit to Mills at Jersey Gar­dens be­fore our flight back from Ne­wark Air­port.

With a care­fully-planned flight at 7pm, we man­aged al­most a full day’s shop­ping at the mall be­fore we headed to the air­port – just five min­utes away.

With reg­u­lar shut­tles for trav­ellers di­rect to the air­port, it takes any hassle or pres­sure out of get­ting to the air­port on time. And it’s in Jersey, which means there is no sales tax – a small sav­ing, but a sav­ing none-the-less. Again, there are reg­u­lar buses be­tween New York City and the mall.

There are plenty of deals to be had when it comes to Amer­i­can sta­ple brands such as Vans, Con­verse, Nike and Ralph Lau­ren.

I was shop­ping with four oth­ers who all man­aged to grab a bar­gain bag from Coach, DKNY or Kate Spade, as well as re­turn­ing with arm­fuls of clothes, boots and train­ers.

The real sav­ings come from the coupon book­lets – a sav­ings pass­port, which offers you even more money off your shop­ping. Some stores give you dis­counts for spend­ing over a cer­tain amount, while oth­ers sim­ply re­duce the price if you pay by Mastercard. Just be pre­pared to wade your way through dozens of pages of offers.

And if, like me, you don’t have a math­e­mat­i­cal mind, make sure you go armed with a cal­cu­la­tor. The end­less cal­cu­la­tions and cur­rency con­ver­sions can cer­tainly send your head in a bit of a spin.

It’s also worth grab­bing a map, and if you’ve got limited time, work­ing out a gen­eral route. There’s noth­ing worse than ar­riv­ing back at your ho­tel to re­alise you com­pletely by-passed the Amer­i­can knick knacks at Bed, Bath, and Be­yond.

Of course, no trip to New York would be com­plete without a visit to Man­hat­tan. As well as hitting Fifth Av­enue and all the big de­part­ment stores, we made the Thayer Ho­tel at West Point which shares the cam­pus with the his­toric mil­i­tary acad­emy.

About 20 min­utes from the mall, it was lo­cated on the banks of Hud­son River in the heart of a beau­ti­ful na­tional park.

It was in stark con­trast to our Man­hat­tan ho­tel – The In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal New York Bar­clay – just off Park Av­enue. Five min­utes from Cen­tral

As evening falls, New York lights up RHIANNON McDOWALL shops till she drops in New York

Rhiannon McDowall en­joys the views of the Man­hat­tan sky­line from the top of the Rock­er­feller Cen­tre, and, be­low, The High Line, New York

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