These days, there are many ways to shop. You can order items online or buy them from freestanding department stores. But neither of these options have the potential to be quite as fun as going to the mall. As such, when people go to the mall these days, they're not just there to shop, they're also there to have a great time. Here are some ways to maximize your fun during your next trip to the mall.

Set aside more time

You might initially think it will only take you an hour or two to shop for the item you need. But if you visit the mall on such a short timeline, you may feel rushed. Allow yourself at least a half-day if you really want to have an exciting mall trip. Not only does this give you more time to enjoy yourself, but it changes the mood with which you approach your mall trip. You'll feel less like you're on a schedule and more like you're just there to explore and take your time. 

Enjoy a meal

Most malls these days have extensive food courts, along with several sit-down restaurants. Look up what restaurants are in the mall before your visit so you can plan on visiting one. Sitting down for a tasty lunch or dinner is a nice break from walking around. It also gives you a chance to chat with the friends you're shopping with. 

Make a game of it

If there's a specific item you're looking for during your mall visit, let your friends know what it is. Then, see who can find that item for the lowest price. This challenge will have you visiting stores you've never been in before, which will help you find items you did not even know existed. Plus, you'll leave the mall having bought your needed item for the best price.

Bring cash for the extra indulgences

Most malls have a few little extras in their halls, such as massage chairs and manicure tables. Being able to say yes to one of these little indulgences can really round out your mall trip and make you feel a bit spoiled. So, make sure you budget a few extra dollars for whatever you happen to be in the mood for that day.

Visiting the mall is about more than just shopping. It's about having a great time with friends while browsing, enjoying a meal, and maybe even saying yes to that chair massage. Keep these tips in mind when looking for a shopping center near you.