Ways To Shop Safely During the Holiday Season

Amy-Grace Shapiro, Multimedia Photo Editor

Typically, when the holiday season approaches, restless shoppers rush into malls to commence their gift purchasing. However, this year, customers’ usual traditions may need a few modifications in order to ensure complete safety.

Shop Online

During the COVD-19 pandemic, online shopping remains the safest way to knock out holiday shopping. Most stores that one would find in a mall can also be found on the internet. Online shopping allows customers to browse store selections from the safety of their own home. In order to make certain of proper safety guidelines, once packages arrive, customers should properly sanitize all products purchased and properly dispose of all shipping material.

Curbside pick-up

Customers who do not feel safe entering a store but cannot find a desired item online should utilize curbside pick-up. Many stores offer a curbside pick-up option, which allows customers to prepay for items, and then, once the customer arrives at the store, an employee places the customer’s order in their trunk, eliminating the need for contact. Again, with curbside, make sure to properly sanitize and dispose of all packaging.

Get your shopping done early

When shopping in stores, do not wait until late December. In previous years, crowds tend to build up in the later days of the month. If possible, try to shop during off-hours: either right when a store opens or before one closes, and preferably on a weekday. Avoid the weekend crowding, and instead opt for less common and convenient time frames. For example, Thursdays at 7 p.m. may not be the most suitable time of day, so not many people tend to shop then. Going as early as possible allows one to steer clear of the crowds and stay as safe as possible while purchasing gifts for their loved ones. 

Go in with a plan and shop quickly 

When it comes to physical excursions, make sure to create a plan prior to entering the store and strictly follow it. Sticking to a plan allows one to shop quicker and more effectively, limiting the time spent in the store. A plan can be as simple as a few bullet points on the Notes app, or a more intricate list of all the specific items needed, including their exact locations within the store. 

Pay with contactless methods

After locating all items, avoid dealing with a form of payment that requires back-and-forth handling. If possible, refrain from paying with cash; use a contactless method like a credit card, instead. Many cards have a Near-Field Communication tag that allows owners to simply tap or wave their card above the payment reader, reducing the amount of surface area they have to touch. 

Follow CDC guidelines 

Most importantly, always follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions. To ensure the safety of yourself and others, make sure to remain six feet away from people at all times and wear a protective face covering that tightly rests on the nose and over the chin. Also, remember to use hand sanitizer before and after leaving all stores.