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Our guide to smart holiday shopping

There's nothing worse than coming back from holiday with a bulging suitcase full of 'bargains' and tacky souvenirs you didn't really want in the first place. These days, shoppers need to be super savvy to avoid post-holiday purchase regret, not to mention nasty excess baggage fees.

Faced with an array of designer outlet boutiques during a recent trip to Orlando, our shopping skills were put to the ultimate test (a challenge we were only too happy to take part in) at Premium Outlets. These swish, open-air malls assemble literally hundreds of your favourite brands in one handy location, and offer discounts of between 25% and 65% off recommended retail prices.

It's worth noting that this Thursday our American cousins celebrate Thanksgiving and that the following day, 'Black Friday', officially kicks off the holiday shopping season. But any in-the-know shopper worth her Louboutins knows that it's at midnight (on Thursday night) that the fun begins. Indeed, most Premium Outlets centres will throw open their doors at 00:00 on Friday 25 November in the spirit of Midnight Madness, launching the annual three day After-Thanksgiving Weekend Sale.

Easyvoyage was whisked off to Orlando by Virgin Holidays, and we shopped ('til we dropped, literally) at Orlando Premium Outlets International Drive and Orlando Premium Outlets Vineland Ave. But every shopaholic needs to take it easy too, which is why we were only too happy to enjoy the rides at Sea World and the company of Mickey and friends at Walt Disney World Theme Parks. Luckily, the Hilton Bonnet Creek was there to make sure we had super plush digs to head home to every night. Book your cheap flights to Orlando with Easyvoyage.

RHP