Are you feeling the holiday shopping rush yet? With a little over a week left to hit the stores, I know I am wishing I would've bought more online! I can do without all the lines and crazy people trying to find those last-minute bargains.

I'm thinking about changing my strategy for next year though. I always take a day off during the week before school starts to head to The Crossings Premium Outlets in Tannersville. The outdoor complex is located about 15 minutes north of Lehigh Valley and it is very convenient to get to.

This year, my son and I made a full day of it, making sure to hit our favorite stores including Zumiez, PacSun, Liz Claiborne New York, Nike Factory Store, Kasper, Le Gourmet Chef and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Normally we just grab some fast food on our way home to cure our growling stomachs, but this year we chose to eat lunch at The Crossings' Log Cabin Bar & Grill. As the name states, its décor resembles a warm, homey-style log cabin. The food was served quickly and was very satisfying. The Crossings also have a food court if you need more variety.

Some tips if you plan to head to The Crossings Premium Outlets to finish up your shopping:

  1. Get there early. During busy times, the traffic can be very congested.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes. If you are like me, you will be walking from one end to the other, and then back again to make good on those great offers.
  3. Sign up for their VIP Shopper Club. This will get you access to a VIP Coupon Book which has a ton of savings in it. It also gets you exclusive online deals, inside info on some of the stores, email updates on specials and exclusive online coupons. And, best of all, it's free!

I am actually thinking about heading there after the holidays for their big sales event from December 26 through January 2. What about you? How and where do you prefer to shop?