I have to admit, I have gone shopping many a time with just an idea to pick "this and this" up with no real idea of where I was going. In fact, just a few weeks ago I did that and ended up all over town... twice. No, really. Thankfully I didn't have a time crunch, and there were no problems. But I started thinking about this, especially with this time so fresh in my mind and other times started popping up in my memory as well.
It doesn't take that long before you leave to sit and plan the route you will take while shopping. Truly, write it down, because I'll forget the one perfect spot I wanted to hit while I'm out in the traffic navigating the crazy drivers. And look up the new store online, because I'm sure everyone has at least one "GPS got me lost" story, and who needs another one of those?
"Let's hit Penny's, then Kohl's, and while we are at it let's go to Rue's. But let's go there second because it's right next to Penny's rather than on the other side of the highway." There are two benefits of doing this.
(1) You know where you are going and wont look like a lost puppy trying to find your way. It keeps you from being vulnerable because you look confident and determined rather than lost and unfocused.
(2) You can let someone not going with you know where you are going. If you don't make it back in time and aren't answering your phone they know where to start looking for you.