Things Not To Buy At The Airport

If you’re stuck at the airport and looking for a way to pass the time, or you just realized you forgot to pack something, you may decide to do a bit of shopping. While it may be the convenient thing to do, your wallet won’t thank you. Prices in the airport tend to be marked up quite high; you’ll save a lot of money if you wait and make your purchases at your destination. Here are the things you should never buy at the airport

Parking

Parking at the airport is notoriously expensive, both for long and short-term. There are usually privately owned parking lots or garages near the airport that are much more reasonably priced. Many of them even provide free shuttles to the airport. You can find a garage near your local airport with sites like Cheap Airport Parking. Depending on the distance from the airport, it can be more affordable to take a taxi or Uber and skip the parking altogether.

Food

Trying to maintain your eating schedule while flying is always tricky. Either you’re up in the air at mealtime and the airline only serves you a bag of peanuts, or they try to feed you a limited selection of unappetizing, preheated food. The obvious solution is to eat before boarding the plane. However, restaurants in the airport charge much higher prices than their off-site counterparts, and can even vary from terminal to terminal. Save money by purchasing snacks before you arrive at the airport. It may not be a complete meal, but you’ll save money that you can use for a nice dinner at your destination. It’ll probably taste better, too.

Water

A bottle of water can cost you as much as $5 at the airport. It may not seem like much, but it can add up, especially if you’re buying for a family. Bring a refillable bottle and fill it at a drinking fountain once you’re through security. As long as the bottle is empty, security won’t flag it. Whatever you do, don’t skip the water entirely. Air travel can cause dehydration, which can make for an unpleasant trip.

Souvenirs

While you’ll no doubt want as a souvenir from your vacation, the markup on items at the airport is astronomical. There are better ways to remember your trip than an overpriced sweatshirt from the airport gift shop. You’ll do better to purchase souvenirs outside the airport. You’ll most likely have a better selection, too.

Duty-Free Items

Many people make the mistake of thinking that because an item is duty-free means that it’s going to be cheaper. However, that’s not always the case. The prices of these items are based on geography and currency exchange rates. So, depending on where you are, you could end up paying even more than if you purchased at home or online. If you find a lovely bottle of wine and don’t want to risk checking it in your luggage, see if the shop will ship it home to you.

Foreign Currency

Don’t exchange your money at the both in the airport. Due to the lack of competition, the booths tend to charge high fees and unfavorable exchange rates. Your best option is to wait until you’ve arrived at your destination and take money out from an ATM there. You’ll get a much better exchange rate. But, beware of ATMs at the airport operated by currency exchanges as opposed to banks. You’ll be able to pull cash from them, but the exchange rate won’t be in your favor. If there’s no alternative, use your credit card to purchase your train tickets or taxi ride to your destination and then find a local ATM.

Electronics

Electronic items and their accessories are marked up an average of 35% at airport shops. That could mean you’ll be paying an extra $15 dollars for some headphones and an extra $100 for that nice camera you’ve been eyeing. Unless you’re traveling to a remote location, chances are your destination will have a shop that sells electronics. If you forgot your phone charger, check with your hotel to see if they’re willing to lend you a one. Often times they will have some on hand, often times they keep the ones that other people leave behind when they check out. If you simply can’t live without an item, you’ll pay closer to retail at one of the Best Buy kiosks scattered throughout the terminal.

With a bit of planning, you’ll never have to waste your money on overpriced airport items and that’s more money in your pocket you can put to better use at your destination.