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Florida Guide > Shopping

Shopping in Florida or how to make your trip pay for itself, almost! (Part 1)

We are lucky in that since we bought our home in Florida we have managed to visit the sunshine state roughly every four months. Due to our frequent trips the main attraction to us is no longer the theme parks but visiting the villa and enjoying the gorgeous weather. One of the things we do look forward to however when planning our visits is the shopping. The excellent selection of shopping malls and outlets means we can plan our clothes shopping for most items around a trip and take advantage of the low prices and at the moment the excellent exchange rate. By organising our shopping carefully and buying items we would buy at home anyway we can make our trips almost pay for themselves, well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

On our shopping list there are all the usual items you hear people on the TV travel programmes talking about as being good value, jeans, trainers etc but over the last few years there are other items that have become regular buys and which save us a small fortune compared with the prices we would have to pay if we bought them at home.

As non smokers we never need our duty free tobacco allowance for our own use but we use it to buy cigars to bring home for my Dad. He started smoking at the age of 14 and now at the age of 78 although he has bowed to pressure and given up cigarettes he still enjoys a daily cigar. He usually buys King Edward Invincible’s in Tesco and they cost him a Kings ransom so we used to buy them for him in Florida at a cost of around $2. 50 for five that was until we discovered he preferred White Owl brand that we now buy for him a cost of $1. 70 per pack of 5. The allowance is 50 per person so they last him for around 3 months, longer if we have family with us and we never have to ask what he wants for Christmas or birthdays. We always buy them from Low Ball Louis’s at Berry Town Centre although I am sure there are lots of other suppliers around the area.

We always use our duty free alcohol allowance to stock up for Christmas as well as the odd drink in between. Rum is really good value in Florida and our favourites are Bacardi and Captain Morgan’s Spiced rum we usually buy it from the liquor stores attached to Publix or Wal Mart as not only are they cheaper than the duty free at the airport but it means we can pack the bottles in the cases to avoid having to carry them onto the aircraft.

To be continued in Shopping in Florida part 2

Although the prices in Florida are very low please bear in mind your duty free allowances. That bargain you couldn’t resist won’t be such a bargain if you exceed your limit and end up paying duty or worse still haveing it confiscated.

Author: Steve and Julie Roach (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 23 December 2007
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