Airport Shopping: Yea or Nay?

Posted by Brette in Travel Shopping

airport shopFrommers just published a guide to the best duty free shopping at airports. I am not a duty free shopper since I am generally not looking for booze or expensive jewelry or handbags, however, I’ve been known to browse at the airport, duty free or not. And if I have a layover, I will most definitely pop into the shops in my terminal. In general, airport shopping is nothing more than a diversion while you’re waiting to board, but on occasion I’ve stumbled onto some nice finds.

In Hawaii my daughter and I both found super cute navy blue hoodies with “Hawaii” spelled out in madras plaid. This was a treat after not being able to find anything on the island we wanted.

In Rome I found a nice selection of photographic coffee table books and bought one there. This is an item I buy on just about every trip and we had not seen many of them throughout Italy, so it was a good find.

The St. Lucia airport had a very nice shop that sold locally made items, but I don’t think I actually bought much, mostly because I’d been to the stores selling those items already. If I hadn’t, this would have been quite a find for me.

Airport shopping can be good for magnets, which I also buy on every trip. If you can’t find one on your travels, you can pretty much rest assured that you can find something at the airport. Airports can also be good for locally packaged food souvenir type items. In Florida, you can buy little gumballs in the shape or oranges or gum or candy that is called “alligator poop.” If you’re desperate to bring home candy from the area you visited, you can likely find some at the airport. In Hawaii, you can buy whole pineapples at the airport to bring home if you desperately need one straight from Hawaii.

Other than those items though, I don’t find airport shopping to be a good deal or very interesting. At best, it is a diversion for me and a reason to walk around. Have you ever bought anything great at an airport?


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