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Gift Shopping at the Airport: Can You Get Away With It?

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Woman with shopping bags on escalator (Photo: Index Open)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on December 19, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, airport, Christine Sarkis, holiday, shopping, shopping boutique.

I was horrified to learn that, before we met, my husband used to routinely do all of his Christmas shopping at the airport on his way home to see his family. John Grisham novels and electronic coin sorters for everybody! But with more major retailers and local stores opening airport locations, I started to wonder: Can you buy gifts at the airport without giving yourself away as a last-minute-shopper?

To find an answer, I went for a virtual shop at a few major U.S. airports. Here are some of the more promising gift shops I found:

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Based on these examples, it seems like you might actually have better luck shopping at the airport nowadays than at a local mall. However, shop options do vary, so be sure to check store listings at your departure and arrival airports in advance. Many airports post store and restaurant directories on their websites.

And remember flight carry-on restrictions. Many airlines allow you to carry one shopping bag as your personal item in addition to your carry-on, but it's worth checking in advance and shopping strategically.

Do you have more airport shopping ideas? Share your suggestions by submitting a comment below!

 
 
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