Living near the US/Canadian border is fantastic. I grew up near the Buffalo/New York State border and currently live in Vancouver, a short drive to Washington State. Whenever we feel like a mini getaway, we load the car up with a few snacks, grab our favourite tunes, and hit the road. It’s still strange to me that a short car ride can take you into a different country, but that’s something that I’ll likely never get over.
On a recently particularly sunny weekend, we decided to do just that. We packed a picnic lunch, snacks, and our overnight bags for a shop-and-stay weekend with Seattle Premium Outlets. The drive to the outlets from Vancouver is about two hours, so you can absolutely do the trip in one day (I’ve done it many times), but staying overnight will activate your overnight shopping exemptions and also give you an excuse to go to IHOP for dinner (not that I need an excuse). The drive down the I-5 from Vancouver to the outlets is a breeze. It’s full of rest stop exits that also have picnic areas, so bathroom breaks and lunch spots are quick and convenient.
As soon as we arrived, I headed to my favourite stores: Vince, Burberry, Kate Spade, J.Crew, DVF, and Theory. I ended up making purchases at Vince, which is no surprise because they are a brand full of cozy basics with minimalistic tendencies. Basically, my personal style in a store.
Shopping Tip #1: To prepare yourself for the best outlet shopping possible, sign up for the Seattle Premium Outlet VIP Shopper Club. You’ll receive emails about promotions and events happening at SPO and you’ll also be able to gain access to a printable “Canadian Shopping Passport,” which is full of additional discounts and deals on top of the outlet promotions you’ll find in store.
Most stores have an additional percentage off their entire store (usually 20%-30%), but Kendra Found It has to find the best deals, so I purchased three items from the clearance section of Vince (which had an additional 40% off the clearance price): a black knit shirt for $35, a long-sleeved geometric print shirt for $60, and a cropped tee for $25. My total savings was $170 off the regular price!
Shopping Tip #2: Bring your actual Canadian passport with you as you go into the mall; flash it at select stores as you’re making a purchase to receive additional discounts and promotions that apply to Canadians only.
We shopped until we dropped and then headed to our hotel, which was just on the other side of the I-5 highway. After devouring pancakes, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Marysville. It’s just seven minutes away from the outlets, was clean and tidy, and they provided a really tasty complimentary breakfast (more pancakes!).
The next day we packed up and headed to one last must-stop location for me on our way home: Trader Joe’s. I picked up my favourite grocery items and snacked blissfully as we made our way back to the Canada/US border. I highly recommend their classic cookie butter.
Shopping Tip #3: Familiarize yourself with the allowable limits, exemptions, and regulations around food/goods upon re-entry into Canada. They are always changing, so make sure you understand them before you head out.
I arrived back home with my designer deals and organic snacks just in time to make dinner, have a conference call, and get ready for the workweek ahead. Even though we crammed a lot into our weekend, I escaped somewhere new for 24 hours and still felt refreshed. True to Kendra Found It fashion, my escape just happened to be full of luxury discount items and pancakes.
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Disclosure: The above links are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something that I feature, I’ll get a small commission. Not enough to buy a pony, but this is one of the ways that I can continue to #findit for you! Accommodation and SPO Gift Card c/o Seattle Premium Outlets.