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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 17 October, 2018

6 useful hacks to make your Christmas shopping easier

You’re making a list, you’re checking it twice…

AH, SHOPPING. YOU either love it or you loathe it.

And no matter which side of the fence you’re on, we’d all love a way to cut out the more stressful elements of it and keep the positives.

That’s why we’ve decided to make you a list of ingenious hacks to make the whole experience a lot easier – and just in time for Christmas and all. Thank us later…

1. First things first…

This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people fall down at the first hurdle and don’t make a rigid budget and plan. Allot each person a slice of your budget. But here’s the tricky part: stick to it.

list Source: Giphy

2. Return to sender

If you’re buying presents for friends and families who live in far-flung places around the world, consider shipping it directly to their address. This will cut down on costs – you won’t have to pay for it to be shipped to you, only for it to be posted to your loved ones. (Plus you get to avoid the post office queues. Score.)

The stockings are done :) Source: insidious_plots

3. Off the beaten track

If you want to get something little bit more unusual for your loved ones this Christmas – and support Irish crafts and small businesses while you’re doing it – then you should hit up a Christmas market. Not only can you usually eat delicious festive treats (and mulled wine) as you browse, but you’ll nab some gifts that will be really unique and special. Here’s a list of where they’re on around Ireland.

4. Fail to prepare…

Download handy price comparison app PriceSpy for Android and iOS – it gives you the chance to search for the best price against a huge range of items in real time. When you’re out and about shopping in town, you can also use it to scan bar-codes and see if items are cheaper in other shops. The future is here.

ooeuxw Source: PriceSpy.ie

5. Right on time

If you’re shopping in the capital, you can use Is Dublin Busy? to find out when are the best times to shop – and which times you should totally avoid the queues and treat yourself to a hot chocolate somewhere warm instead. It shows car park  and Dublin Bikes availability, a breakdown of M50 drive times, traffic cams and a detailed analysis of what days are best to head in shopping. Basically it’s magic.

dubb Source: isdublinbusy.com

6. Ticket to ride

One way to avoid traffic in town is to use car parks on public transport routes, drop the car off and swing into town by bus, Luas, DART or whatever you’re having yourself. Not only does this cut off hectic traffic jams, but also you’ll be paying less than city centre rates – and you won’t be stuck looking for a space for yonks. The Luas park and ride locations are here and Iarnród Éireann’s are here, here’s one in Cork and also one in Galway.

snailor Source: Giphy

Who doesn’t love a saving, no matter what time of year it is? If you take public transport in Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork or Waterford cities, pick up a Leap Card and see how much you can save instead of paying with cash. That’s some extra money for gifts this Christmas, so. Head over to Leap Card to find out more. 

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