Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Canary Islands: A Tax Free Shopping Gem!

This time last month I was getting ready to go away for 10 days in Gran Canaria with the girls I went through Uni with. I didn't do your traditional Uni lifestyle; all 5 of us girls stayed at home and travelled to a Uni within 5 miles from our homes. We went for Uni for the degree, not the actual life. But through this, made an amazing friendship from day one. We shared all those dull lectures where someone - usually me - fell asleep, the essay stresses, the exam pains, and all the good times inbetween. It was always a plan to get away together after graduation and that is what we did.

We stayed all-inclusive in a lovely hotel in the Playa Del Inglés resort. I could not recommend this hotel enough, lovely rooms, amazing food, pretty grounds and SUN. If you're interested in holidaying in the Canaries, the Sunprime Atlantic View Suites and Spa, Gran Canaria is definitely worth considering.

Toward the end of our stay, we went for a daytime walk down to the Yumbo Centre and got sucked into the Europa Markets, big, bright beauty emporiums with all the brands you know and love. With skin are brands like Clarins, Estée Lauder, YSL and Lancôme, and all the perfumes and aftershaves imaginable from Calvin Klein, to Chanel, any beauty junkie would be in heaven. Especially when we learned of the prices. The shop we went to in particular was offering 30% all prices shown and the actual original prices on the labels shown were already amazing.
As mentioned in a past post, ever since my first Glossy Box, I have become a daily user of Clarins Extra Firming Body Cream. Here in the UK, it costs a hefty £42 for a 200ml tub. If I didn't think it worked, believe me I wouldn't be buying it. In the Europa, it was labelled as €40. Already a few quid cheaper than in pounds. Throw in that 30% off and all I payed was a much more painless €28.. Which would be roughly £23. Bargain? I think so! As well as my staple Clarins, I got a perfume for the mother, Escada Sexy Grafitti and an aftershave for the boyfriend.

The next day, the whole group went back to the Yumbo, which was probably not the wisest decision but I'm so in love with my last purchase, I'm so glad we did. Taking another wander into our favourite Europa, we saw.. SUNGLASSES. Raybans to be precise. With massive savings. And yes 100% real. As soon as I saw these beauties, I knew self-control was out of the window and swimming far away into the Atlantic Ocean.

But for a snap at £69 (€89 after discount) compared to the usual RayBan price tag of £110-120 can you really blame me? Of course not! :) I had been trying to tell myself all summer that I don't really want the Wayfarers like the rest of the world, but turns out I did and turns out I am still one very pleased and happy bunny.

We found out later that the reason for the low prices, was due to the Canary Islands being a TAX-FREE shopping zone. We found this out too late in the holiday to make the most of it. But this was probably for the best!

So at least I can share this with you, so if you're heading to the Canaries soon, or thinking about it for "one day", bring your best shopping shoes and enjoy the savings.. Or spendings!

A gorgeous view from dinner time at the hotel


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