12 Things You Should Not Buy At Airports (Unless Left With No Choice) 

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Airports are full of temptations, especially since we may be stuck for hours without much to do. However, flying is expensive, so why make your trip even more pricey by indulging in airport shopping? Here are some common things you might be tempted to buy at an airport, but most of these expenses can be avoided with smarter preparation. 

Bottled water

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Water is the most sold-out item in any airport. However, bottled water prices have been known to go up to 300%, so buying it makes no sense. Instead, bring a reusable bottle and fill it on one of the water stations. You need to be hydrated for a flight, but breaking your bank over water is unnecessary. 



Another overpriced thing you should not buy at an airport – a souvenir. Instead, buy something during your stay. Airport souvenirs are tempting but often double the price of an average similar piece outside the airport. Long layovers are particularly hard because you have nothing to do but explore airport shops. Bring a book or even pay for lounge access, where you can get a better place to rest and even complimentary drinks or food. 

Foreign currency

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Most people are prepared because they got burned while enhancing foreign currencies at the airports. Due to the lack of competition and a sense of urgency, exchange rates and high transaction or commission fees will likely make you regret you even bothered beginning your travel. The good thing is that you can use cards almost everywhere. 



Airport food can cost you a small fortune. Still, it is good to eat before your flight, but it does not mean you have to starve. You can carry TSA-approved foods, like bread, cereal, candy, dried fruit, and nuts. Usually, security does not throw away food, but to be on the safe side, pack these snacks and wait for your flight. If it is long-haul, you will get your proper meal while in the air. 



Some might drink to remove the pre-flight edge, but airport drinks are excessively pricey. Talk to your doctor about how to overcome the pre-flight jitters, and keep in mind that drinking only increases anxiety, so overpriced beverages will not be doing you any favors. 

Blankets and neck pillows 


The prices of blankets and neck pillows can be three times higher at the airport than outside it. Ideally, you will bring your own, but if you forgot, fly without them if you can. Unless you have a medical condition requiring a neck pillow, you will be fine without it. 



Stay out of the airport pharmacy unless you need medicine to improve your flying experience. When we say that everything is overpriced at airports, we truly mean everything, including necessities like over-the-counter medications. Anti-nausea medicine should be in your carry-on, but if you forget it, you have to get it, so this is one of those situations when it is impossible to pay airport prices. 

Electronics and accessories


Electronics, including chargers or earbuds, are among the most sought-after products at airports because many people forget them or can’t find them in their luggage. When it comes to chargers, there are places you get to use them for free, but for the rest, it is better to wait until you arrive at your destination.

Beauty products 


Perhaps the greatest temptation is to look at all those perfumes and beauty products and resist them. Many believe that most of these products are fake, and even if that’s not the case, duty-free shop prices are usually so high that you will pay the same as in your favorite store. Just because it is tax-free does not mean it will be cheaper overall. 



Free WiFi is usually offered for a brief period, but once that’s over, you will need to pay. And the prices are stiff, so you can either go back to the old ages and go offline or try to find free WiFi near an airport lounge. Ideally, you can bring a book and avoid other temptations by reading in a corner. 

Books and newspapers 


Speaking of books, it is always a good idea to bring at least one, especially if you’re going to be stuck on a plane for more than two hours. It is crucial to get your offline entertainment to avoid paying double for a book you already read, or even worse, for something that turns out to be ultra-dull. 

Rental cars

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Finally, if you want a decent ride without a price that will break your bank, rent a car before your trip. You will have more extensive choices and reasonable prices. Last-minute rentals are justifiable only in emergencies, and to avoid all these unnecessary costs, you can make a list of all the things you will need and check it before leaving your apartment or hotel room. 


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On-site parking at the airport can be costly, especially if you park near the terminal. To save money, consider off-site parking or ridesharing.

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.