5 things you should never buy at an airport

When traveling, avoid buying anything at the airport at all costs. Pricing can easily be two to three times more expensive than any place else in your destination. Plan ahead and do your best to not get stuck paying too much at the airport.

1. Water

water bottle

We recommend to take an empty water bottle through security and to refill it at the gate. There is almost always water fountains at the terminals after going through security. This is an excellent way to save money and have water to keep yourself hydrated while traveling. Never pay several dollars for a bottle of water again!

The same applies to food. Do not be afraid to bring a sandwich or snack with you either from home, or picking one up at a restaurant before heading to the airport.

2. Souvenirs

Souvenirs

Souvenirs can easily be twice the price at the airport and they do not have as many options as real tourist stops within the city. We recommend to plan ahead and buy your souvenirs on the streets of your destination. Plus, everyone will know you forgot to get them a gift if you show up with a Toblerone bar.

3. Duty Free

Duty Free

Buying from Duty Free is normally a big mistake and will cost you more money. Unless you are lucky and they have a really good deal, in which you might be paying the same price as outside but receiving a novelty item as well.

However, there are some cases where duty free will be cheaper than in some countries, such as Ecuador which has super high taxes. The easiest thing is to use the Amazon app or a quick Google search and compare prices before making any decision.

4. Exchange Currency

Exchange Currency

Airports always have the worst currency exchange, as many people think you cannot change money downtown. We recommend to wait until you are in the city to exchange your money to get the best rates.

If you have to exchange money at the airport for transportation, do so after passport control and customs as the rates will be a little better. Alternatively, take money out using an ATM, for which our bank only charges us 1%, including the currency conversion. If the ATM charges a fee, it is worth taking out a larger sum of money as the small fees add up quickly.

Please contact your own bank to see what is their policy and fees are for foreign transactions.

5. Wifi

Wifi

Some airports still charge you to use their WiFi, or are always pushing you to upgrade to the faster WiFi option. Turns out they want you to pay up to $10 for access while you are waiting for your plane to board.

We recommend to look for a restaurant or cafeteria in the airport that offers free wifi. Even if you do not find one, it is better purchasing a coffee to get the WiFi password than paying the same and not getting a coffee.

If there really are no other options, take some time to talk with your travel partners, listen to music or map out your next destination.

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3 thoughts on “5 things you should never buy at an airport

  1. Buying duty free alcohol in Australia is ALWAYS a good idea if you are planning to drink it here (or for returning Aussies. It’s 3 times the price otherwise. Also just watch some countries, you are asked to do a second security check after passing through the main one and if you havae refilled your water you’ll be asked to throw it away. Singapore and Hong Kong both do this and sometimes Dubai.

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