© micromonkey / Dollar Photo Club
© micromonkey / Dollar Photo Club

Still have some holiday shopping to do? You are not alone. According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, 90 percent of holiday shoppers still have gifts, food, décor and/or other holiday items to buy. This means the mall and stores are “cray cray” right now. If you’re planning to get into the ring and do some in-store shopping, here are a few survival tips:

1. Dress for the Occasion

Ladies, dressing to impress is not dead, but nobody will be impressed if you’re limping from the pain of those high heels that are suffocating your feet. This doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. Choose instead your favorite pair of flats or knee high boots with a low heel. Remember, comfort is key and you’d be surprised at the number of miles you’ll rack up doing laps around the mall.

As for your outfit, layers will be your best bet as temperatures vary when travelling store-to-store. Go for a comfortable t-shirt, leggings or jeans with a little bit of give, and top it with a wrap sweater. Voila! Ready to shop! Men can be comfortable and stylish too, with a nice pair of sneakers, jeans and a comfortable t-shirt. A jacket is required as well for the trips in between stores.

2. Start Early

At 8 a.m. the mall is slowly building in crowds, excitement and anticipation. By 2 p.m., the mall is alive, sometimes with lines the length of a Disney World ride. To beat the crowd, be there when the store opens. Going early not only means you have a freshly organized store to select from, it is much easier to park at this time too.

3. Have a Plan

Disorganization will be your worst enemy. Wandering around aimlessly from store to store wastes time, increases your agitation and may deter you from finding what you really need to buy.

Generate several ideas for each gift recipient before you even leave your house. Determine which stores you want to visit first and leave department stores for your final stop, as department stores are a great catch-all for any recipients left on your list. Make sure you keep referring to your list as you shop – including adding more ideas, and cross them off as you go along.

4. Combat Hunger

Hunger can cause you to make irrational purchases. Schedule in grabbing a bite to eat at your favorite restaurant in the mall or near your favorite store, like Nordstrom Café. Also, just to be safe and to keep your energy up, pack a snack and a water bottle – holiday shopping is serious business!

5. Go Basic

Remove tasks that aren’t completely necessary from your to-do list. You’re only one person! You don’t have to go above and beyond the call of duty just to please everyone.

By using these tips, taking a deep breath and smiling, you can make holiday shopping more enjoyable. Keep in mind that the holidays only come around once a year, and we’ll be in 2016 before you know it!