Close this search box.

13 Items You Should Not Buy At The Airport

Written by

When entering airport grounds, it’s like entering a world of its own. Once you’ve checked your luggage and made it through security, you have access to everything from food to clothes to electronics and whatnot.

Even if there are endless shopping opportunities in the airport, don’t just start spending your money left and right. You might be tempted to buy some duty-free items but before you spend your holiday budget before flying, check out these airport items you should not purchase no matter what.

Photo by Matej Kastelic on Shutterstock

Items You Should Not Buy At The Airport:


Wi-Fi is one of the things you should avoid paying for in airports. Apart from being extremely slow, it is exceedingly expensive. Airports bank on the fact that people are used to having internet connection and can’t accept living without it even for a couple of hours. But there’s no better time to take a break from social media and the world wide web than being in an airport, says Coleman Collins, former full-time traveler and author.

Take advantage of this “opportunity” and have fun with your travel companions, make plans, discuss itineraries, catch up on your reading etc.


“Electronics purchased at the airport will cost you significantly more than if you had bought them ahead of time,” warns Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with DealNews, a shopping comparison website. According to Sakraida, airport electronics are 34 percent more expensive than on the online market.

Chargers and headphones are among the most expensive items you could buy at the airport, compared to their real market value. If you know you’ll be needing such accessories, buy them ahead of your scheduled flight.

See also: 5 Things That Annoy TSA Agents: Never Do This at the Airport!


According to travel experts, it is recommended that you do not fly on an empty stomach, to avoid getting sick. However, if you didn’t have time to eat before heading to the airport, buying airport food might not be the best idea.

It’s almost universally overpriced, not very tasty, not very good for you, or some combination of the three,” Collins says. More than that, it’s usually a way for people to pass the time while waiting for their flight. This sort of idling is kind of expensive, don’t you think?

Drinks, especially water

Traveling by plane can be stressful, even for people who are used to it. It can leave you dehydrated, among some of its effects. But buying water from the airport might also “dehydrate” your wallet. To avoid paying overpriced bottles of water, just keep an empty water bottle with you and fill it up in the bathroom. Reusable bottles are even better.

You may think a simple bottle of water is not that expensive, but why pay twice the price when you can have water for free.


Everyone likes to come back from their holiday with some sort of souvenir. But airport souvenirs are not the best purchases. According to Peter Yang, seasoned business traveler, “there is an astronomical markup on souvenirs at the airport,” and they are really not worth the money.

To pay the best price and buy the best souvenirs, do it while still on holiday rather than last minute, from the airport’s souvenir section. Such items are simply not worth the money!

Foreign currency

This might not be the first thing on your list when organizing and planning for a holiday, but should you need to exchange some currency, don’t do it at the airport. According to Jennifer McDermott, a consumer advocate, “it’s well-known that travelers are arriving unprepared, and given the lack of competition among currency exchange booths at the airport, those booths tend to charge high fees and far from the best exchange rates.”

Neck pillows

If you know that your flight is going to take longer, it’s best that you come prepared. This includes a suitable neck pillow to make the trip more comfortable, suggests Arik Kislin, co-owner of the Gansevoort Hotel and Alerion Aviation, a private jet company.

If you don’t already have one purchased before, you might want to avoid buying one at the airport as they can be extremely overpriced. Not to mention they have been tested and touched by other travelers before you. Gross!


If you usually take pack some medicine with you every trip, just in case, but forgot to do it this time, wait until you land. If it’s not something crucial that you might need on the plane, don’t buy medicine at the airport. The prices are more than double compared to their market price.

The best approach is to buy everything outside the airport and put it in your carry-on, suggests Chantay Bridges, CNE, SRES.

Rental cars

To make sure you get the best car when you arrive to your destination, make all the arrangements in advance, suggests Bridges. If you wait until you get to the airport, you’re limiting your choices, and a higher price will reflect that lack of choice.” And if you want to avoid customer traps , find a reputable car rental company and obtain the best deal, check out these 8 Red Flags About Airport Car Rentals.

Reading materials

Reading is a nice experience and it can help you pass time in a useful manner while waiting for your flight. However, purchasing reading items from the airport should not be on your list. You’d better come to the airport with your own book rather than purchase some reading material from airport premises. This way you avoid paying some exorbitant prices for something that keeps you entertained for a short while.

See also: 9 Most Annoying Habits That Offend Airplane Passengers


Everyone loves chocolate, let’s admit it. Apart from tasting delicious, its consumption (in moderation) also has benefits for the brain. But whatever you do, don’t get chocolate from the airport, and definitely not from the duty-free shops, says Brittnay Sharman from The Travelling Housesitters.

Not only will you be paying two or three times more for the same chocolate bar you could get way cheaper from your local store but you’ll also be “tricked” into buying oversize items. How much overpriced chocolate can one eat? Don’t answer that!

Photo by Oliver Hoffmann on Shutterstock


Buying perfume from the airport department store might not be a good idea. First of all, it could be a counterfeit item. Fake products are not only found on airport grounds, but in this case, the retailer at the airport store doesn’t have any idea if the item is original or not. They just sell it.

To avoid ending up with a cheap knock-off that loses its scent the minute you walk out the door, purchase perfume from reputable department stores or other trustworthy sources.


“Airport parking garages tend to overcharge for long- and short-time parking,” warns Gari Anne Kosanke, whose husband works there.” To avoid all sorts of extra fees and overpriced parking spots, try to find private parking garages close to the airport, which offer the same conditions for far more affordable prices. Most such private business also include transfer from the parking lot to the airport.

To make your search easier, check websites like Cheap Airport Parking. Now that you’ve been updated with what you should not buy at the airport, here’s what you should not do when at the airport or while on holiday: 12 Ways You Might Be An Awful Traveler.

(Visited 266 times, 1 visits today)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow us on:

Most Popular

Related Posts