If you have a love for everything fashion, travelling to one of the world’s fashion capitals must be on your bucket list. The four cities that come to mind in this case are Paris, London, Milan and New York (in no particular order). As far as fashion powerhouses go, these cities are definitely a must visit. Being what they are, the travel costs can be quite restrictive. If you are planning a trip to one or even all of these destinations, you definitely need some money saving tips. No one says that you can’t be right in the middle of the latest trends on a budget. After all, you have to shop while at the world’s fashion capital. Below are some of the tips for shopping in the world’s fashion capitals on a budget, by city.
#1 - Paris on a budget
The first and obvious place to start is to look for cheap flights or trains to Paris, depending on where in the world you are travelling from. Booking well in advance, a few months before you actually leave for you trip can save you a lot of money. In addition to this, booking airfare and hotel packages can also save you money on both. These travel tips apply for all the destinations mentioned here.
Since you are in a fashion capital, you will need some money saving tips for shopping. Monoprix, a chain that you can find throughout the city (a lot like Target in the US) offers great deals for fashion items to die for. The thrift shops in this part of the world are also worth looking at as you can expect to find designer items for next to nothing. If you want to buy great leather handbags, go down to 334 Rue St. Honore, at the Maroquinerie Saint-Honore where you will get the best discounts on leather bags this side of the world.
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#2 - London on a budget
London is right up there as far as fashion capitals go. London however is not known to be particularly pocket friendly for tourists. This however doesn’t mean that you can’t shop on a budget. One great tip to save money when shopping in London is to explore the High Street. Here, you will find a variety of shops and boutiques. The unique thing about London is that you can actually get discounts virtually any time of the year, and not just during special times. Take your time to explore the different stores, and hunt for bargains, discounts and sales.
Also check out the London markets where you can get fashion treasure at throw away prices. You may be surprised at the items you can actually find here. Camden is home to some of the best vintage fashion that you can get for a fraction of the price. London also has many great swap shops that allow you to make major savings on your shopping. Forget the same old tired second-hand clothes. Here, you can get boutique style exchanges where you can get rid of your ‘old’ clothes for some new and even better ones. Lastly, be on the lookout for vintage shops for some great 60’s, 70’s and 80’s fashion that you probably wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.
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#3 - Milan on a budget
So you have made it to Milan, saving on airfare and accommodation. Everything however seems to be out of your price range. If this is the case, you are probably doing it wrong. You can always get a bargain, including in Milan. Make your way to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II where you will find warehouses and outlet stores selling designer items at unbelievable bargains. You will need to exercise some patience and trawl the streets of the city centre but you will eventually find what you are looking for. These places house over-runs and leftovers from some of the best and top designers, and are offloaded at unbelievable discounts.
Just like in London, Milan’s markets offer hidden fashion treasures that you can get at a fraction of the price. There is also a weekly flea market for vintage fashion hunters to take advantage of. Some of the places that come to mind include Fiera di Senigallia, open on Saturdays, and is the best flea market in the city. Another is one of the biggest markets in Milan is the Mercato di Viale Papiniano open on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Lastly, book a Milan Fashion Tour. There are weekly tours and personal shopping trips scheduled every week. The best part is that you will be taken to some of the best city-centre designer outlets where you can shop at very affordable prices.
#4 - New York on a budget
You can also score some great fashion deals in New York if you know what to look out for. A good place to start is the designer outlets dotted all across the city. Century 21 is a great example, where you can get as much as 75% off on designer fashion among other items. Although it can get crowded, your efforts will be rewarded by some great designer gear for mind blowing low costs.
The New York Magazine also has an annual sales calendar that will prove to be very useful for the quintessential bargain hunter. You will get inside information on all the big sales going on during your trip there. There is never a shortage of clearance sales so you will most definitely be in luck.
Check out consignment and resale shops for some great deals. You will find fancy designer gear that has most probably been worn only once and is still in top condition. A Second Chance Designer Resale and Try Clothing Warehouse are two examples where you can find some great deals. Lastly, travel to Brooklyn by train. It is an adventure that will be very rewarding as there are plenty of vintage shops that are cheap. In addition to this, the Brooklyn Flea every weekend is a chance to get your hands on some vintage yet trendy clothing for next to nothing.
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Bonus money saving tip
If you want to save even more on your trip, get travel insurance. There is no excuse not to, especially now that it is easy to get cheap travel insurance. This often overlooked necessity could be the clincher as far as touring the world on a budget goes. What most people don’t know is that unforeseen circumstances such as medical care abroad, cancelled flights, lost baggage, emergency evacuation and other such problems can really rack up the travel cost. You can avoid all this by getting covered for your trip. You can rest assured that you don’t have to spend any more than you need to with this important document. Be sure to carry a photocopy with you around, and store the original as safely as possible. Any number of things can happen during your trip. As long as you are insured, any money you might end up spending will be reimbursed according to your plan’s stipulation.
Written by: Ana Grgic