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Guide to Shopping at Airports

August 30th, 2019

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When you're at the airport, you'll likely see a variety of different stores. From fast food chains to souvenir stores, shopping at the airport is a little bit different than at a regular mall, for instance. Whether you are a frequent traveler or only fly occasionally, knowing how to shop at the airport effectively is a good thing to know before your next trip.

What Does Duty-Free Mean?

The main difference between shopping at the airport and shopping outside the airport is that you can buy items duty-free inside the airport.

When you're traveling internationally and buy something, you may have to pay a duty on that item. A duty is a tax on items that are transported across a country's borders. When you return to the United States, for example, you can bring in these items up to a specific value. If you go over that value, you may have to pay the duty tax.

By shopping at certain stores in the airport, you can avoid paying this tax on certain items. Depending on the airport and what you want to buy, it can be less expensive than elsewhere. Many travelers purchase alcohol, cosmetics, cigarettes, perfume and luxury items at the airport because they can buy them at lower prices than if they had bought them in their home country.

You can typically save between five and 25 percent on items, with higher savings at stores where the U.S. dollar has a favorable exchange rate.

Best Items to Buy in Airports

Before your trip, research the prices of any items you'd like to buy. While you can save a good amount, sometimes duty-free shopping isn't the best deal. Knowing ahead of time exactly what you would pay at home will help you figure out if buying certain items at the airport will actually save you money.

Typically, cigarettes and alcohol are the best items to buy at the airport because the duty-free cost is much lower. In addition to duty-free shopping, the airport is also a good place to get souvenirs and other items you didn't have a chance to buy during your trip.

Best Times to Shop

Planning can be the best way to decide on the best time to shop. If you're looking to do some duty-free shopping and are traveling to a few different airports, you can research the different prices to find the best deals.

If you can, it's best to buy items at the airport at the end of your trip. That way, you don't have to carry them around with you for the duration of your travels. You can buy what you want and head home!

While you're planning your trip, you need to decide how you'll get to the airport. At SuperShuttle, we offer a variety of shuttle options that give you a safe, reliable and easy way to get to the airport. Book your ride today!

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