In my opinion, London is one of the greatest cities in the world for shopping but for fellow introverts like me, Christmas shopping can often seem like a daunting task. As soon as we reach December, London becomes bursting at the seems with masses of Christmas enthused individuals. I do believe there is such thing as Christmas Spirit and when in London, you do sense a buzz of the season in the atmosphere. Yet with the positives, comes the irrational fear of potential claustrophobic environments and long queues that can heighten stress. At least for me, each venture out often involves a fair bit of mental preparation. So here are some tips for surviving the shops:

Plan Your Journey
This is possibly the most important recommendation for those who are not completely fluent in the London tube system. To reduce endless amounts of walking each time you get lost, plan your journey with the phone App, Citymapper.

Detailed Lists
Admittedly they are awfully tedious to write but lists are a life-saviour! We’ve all done it before when we end up buying things we do not need and actually forget the thing we came out for. It’s one of life’s frustrations. This is why lists are the way to go making you feel savvy and in more control. Remember to include relevant information like sizes!

When shopping for yourself divide lists into two categories: things I need and things I want. It sounds awfully obvious but I do believe there is such thing as the delirious shopping mind. I now tend to scout items in person and then digitally save them using the app Shoptagr, which enables you to create a digital list which alerts you when your size is in stock or if there are any discounts or sales. I honestly live by it, whoever invented it is a complete and utter genius!

Budgeting
If you are like me, it is very easy to get carried away when shopping but it is important to be money savvy. Make sure you have a clear idea of how much you want to spend and make sure you document all purchases so you can keep on top of your finances.

Always Be Prepared
Umbrellas are almost a permanent fashion fixture here in England so be sure not to forget it. When I need to go shopping, I make sure I wear either ballet shoes or shoes with a low heel that I know I can walk in. My handbag is a tardis of essentials and I always make sure I have everything in case of an emergency including the best invention in history; blister plasters… otherwise known as a girl’s best friend. If you are a book lover or fashion magazine enthusiast like myself, bring a copy with you to keep your brain active while commuting around.

Have A Break
It’s fundamental to give yourself a breather whether that be a brunch or having a cappuccino in a coffee shop.  When shopping alone, I have to say this can be my favourite part of my shopping experience in London as it allows you to watch the world go by. It also helps give you an approximate estimation of how much energy you have left inside of you so you can work out roughly how long you wish to spend.

Lola’s cupcakes

Do you brave the shops in December or are you an internet shopper?