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Florida Guide > Shopping

You will find prices in the US incredible particularly with the current weak dollar rate (July 04).  This is the beauty of staying in a villa – you don’t need to take too many clothes as there are washers and driers in all so don’t take so much and you have plenty of room to bring new bits and pieces back.  Ensure however you take all tags off as it has been known for customs to query the amount bought as you only “officially” supposed to bring back around $150 worth of goods.  We always pack a foldable type holdall for all those extras.  If you fly scheduled, i.e. Continental, American Airlines, and United etc you have a far larger baggage allowance than if you fly charter.

You can spend literally days shopping and still not have visited 10 per cent of all the shops that Orlando has to offer – see my reviews on Belz and Premium Outlets.

Here are a few items that we always buy as they are so much cheaper than in the UK.

Trainers: if you have children, simply buy future sizes, they grow so quickly, it is worth it.  Reebok often do buy 2 get one free and there are always coupons everywhere with $10 off if you spend $65.   Nike and Reebok outlets can be found all over Orlando – but visit Footlockers as they often have great bargains too.  If you want the latest fashions, you will probably find that you will pay in dollars what you would in pounds (i.e. what is £100 will be $100 which is still a fantastic saving).

Jeans: Levis are much cheaper here and again the Levi outlets often have offers but do try them on, as even the same size of jeans in the same style (i.e. 501 etc) can vary.  We are often asked to bring jeans back for people but I am reluctant to do this as the sizes can vary quite a lot – one of the reasons they may be seconds I guess.  The department stores, Sears, Dillards, and Burdines do not sell seconds so again they are much cheaper than over here.  Guess, Ralph Lauren are all available and worth buying.

CDs: lots of record shops around and the chart CDs are about $10!  Don’t forget that DVDs and Play station games do not work with normal UK machines but if you have the correct region or machines are chipped you can use them.  Game boy games are fine as these are universal.

Makeup: Sooooooo much cheaper, Revlon, Max Factor, literally all makes of lipstick, foundation, mascara are far cheaper here – check out Wal-Mart and Walgreen’s.

Toys: If you are a Lego freak, don’t forget to visit Downtown Disney to their wonderful “Lego land” (which is free by the way) but you will also find every kind of Lego item in the shops and again Wal-Mart is a good source for this.

Vitamins: Huge amounts of every kind of vitamin sold in the US – again far cheaper.

Batteries: if you use Walkman etc, don’t bring extra batteries; buy them when you get there.  If you want to buy spare batteries or memory for your digital camera, wait and visit the electrical shops in Orlando.

Sun cream: Far cheaper in the US and no messy spillages in your suitcase!

When we return to the UK we don’t go shopping for weeks because we get depressed by the prices!

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 21 July 2004
Viewed 7901 times since 1 September 2008.

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