Duty-Free Dilemmas: 7 Items to Think Twice About

Duty-Free Dilemmas: 7 Items to Think Twice About

Travel Tips 2023-10-17 ParkingNearAirports.io

When planning an international journey, the allure of duty-free shopping might cross your mind. However, exercising caution and conducting thorough research is advisable before making any purchases. Here are 7 items you should think twice about buying from duty-free shops and the reasons why. Let's get to it!

Smart shopping at duty-free: what to know before you buy?

1. Electronics

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Purchasing electronics at a duty-free store can be a risky venture. While the idea of snagging a bargain is enticing, it's crucial to examine the finer details before swiping your credit card. Items for sale may not be the latest versions, and their voltage might not be compatible with your region. Additionally, keyboards could be tailored for specific regions. Consider warranty issues as well; some warranties may not apply worldwide, potentially leading to regrets if you need repairs or a refund after buying from a foreign duty-free store. Contrary to popular belief, not every duty-free item is cheaper. Retailers like Amazon and Best Buy often offer competitive prices and substantial discounts. Whether you're eyeing a laptop upgrade or a new pair of noise-canceling headphones, diligent research is essential before parting with your money.

2. Skincare products and fragrances

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If you're on the outbound leg of your journey and planning to splurge on high-end skincare products or fragrances at the airport duty-free, take a moment to reconsider. Check the size of the items you intend to purchase. Since 2006, restrictions on carrying liquids in hand luggage have been in place. Items exceeding 100ml, classified as liquids, may be confiscated upon your return to your home country. Even if you have checked baggage, there's a risk of containers leaking or breaking. Unless the store offers item collection upon your return, consider saving such purchases for airside duty-free shops at your destination.

3. Certain foodstuffs

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While some duty-free stores offer food items, they may not always be a wise choice. Aside from the limitations posed by liquid restrictions, you might run afoul of regulations at your destination. For instance, if you're flying to Australia, the import of many types of food is strictly prohibited. Although most chocolates and candies are usually permitted, the rules are stringent. You'll be required to complete a detailed customs form or face significant fines. Even if you truthfully declare the items, a biosecurity inspection is likely, and it doesn't guarantee permission to bring the items into the country. Such regulations are often enforced to protect local farming industries.

4. Alcohol

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Before rushing to the duty-free shop to purchase alcohol, conduct thorough research. You may find that mainstream brands are cheaper at a local supermarket. However, keep in mind that special offers can vary, so it's advisable to check prices online before your trip and buy wherever it's most economical. There are exceptions to this rule, particularly in regions with strict alcohol sales restrictions or hefty government taxes. For instance, when traveling to Iceland or Norway and planning to consume alcohol during your stay, duty-free purchases upon arrival are typically more cost-effective.

5. Items exceeding local allowances

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Duty-free purchases, including wines, spirits, and tobacco products, are subject to quantity restrictions. Ensure you stay within the limits specified by your destination country. For comparison, international travelers arriving in Germany from outside the EU by sea or air may bring in goods worth up to €430. Returning U.S. residents usually qualify for an $800 personal exemption. This includes the total value of tax-free purchases, which can vary significantly from one country to another. Exceeding these limits may result in paying taxes on the surplus amount and even potential item confiscation.

6. Designer fashion

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If you're passionate about designer labels, you might be captivated by brands like Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Burberry when perusing the airport's duty-free offerings. While duty-free shopping can lead to substantial savings, take a moment to reflect. When shopping for fashion, one of the significant advantages of city-center shopping is the vast selection available. Conversely, at the airport, your choices may be considerably more limited. Visiting a department store or a local boutique offers more time to browse, try on items, and seek a second opinion on whether a particular piece suits you.

7. Expensive jewelry and watches

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Before purchasing expensive jewelry, consider your travel destination. While indulging in luxury might be tempting, wearing flashy items in some places could attract unwanted attention. Prior to your journey, consult travel advisories to ensure you make informed choices. Very high-value items may not be covered by your travel insurance; review your policy's coverage limits for valuables to understand what's protected. Contemplate the nature of your upcoming travel and whether you'd prefer to enjoy your vacation rather than worrying about the security of your possessions. The same applies to wristwatches – after all, isn't a vacation a time to lose track of time?

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In addition to our special recommendations, we would also like to give you one more helpful tip – this information will be handy for those who prefer to travel by air.

If you get to the airport by car, you always need to find a good parking space for your vehicle to leave for the period of a trip. In most cases, airports have special on-site parking for that purpose. However, such a parking lot is pretty costly most of the time, and people aren't ready to spend a lot of money at the beginning of a trip. So is there any solution?

The best way to solve this problem is to choose off-site parking. Why, you may ask? We will explain.

There are many reasons which can prove the benefit of this parking type. Here are some of them:

  • Affordable Rates. Depending on the duration of your trip, you can choose between short-term and long-term airport parking. Anyway, an off-site airport is much cheaper, so you can save your money and spend the most considerable amount on things you really want to see or try while traveling.
  • Fast Service. In contrast with on-site airport parking, which can take quite a long time, off-site parking offers you the convenience of driving directly to the entrance and having a staff member pull your luggage out of your vehicle and load it into the shuttle. Then they will park your car for you. After your baggage is loaded, you can take your seat in the shuttle, which will bring you and your bags to the airport. It is a hassle-free option that is usually faster.
  • Convenience. When people travel, they may be stressed about making it to the airport on time. If you use off-site parking, you will definitely make your travel experience more convenient, as you use the service of a private company. Even though you may be able to park on-site at the airport in a short-term or long-term airport parking lot, consider using an off-site parking lot service.

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We are glad to say that our booking platform, ParkingNearAirports.io, offers travelers online reservations for parking just outside airports that are convenient and affordable. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing travelers parking options at over 100 airports in the US and Canada. The app allows customers to search and compare parking rates at up to 70 percent savings compared to the cost of on-site parking at all major airports.

With our platform, it only takes a few clicks in the app to reserve a parking spot. Guests receive a booking confirmation and a guaranteed parking space upon arrival at the off-airport parking. In addition, the app helps customers locate the most convenient lots to the airport. Cancellations are easy if plans change with hassle-free, refundable cancellations.

Besides this, we also offer services for top cruise ports in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas.

Now let's take a good example. Imagine that you're planning a trip to England. So if you're flying from Miami, Florida, USA, you can use cheap parking near Miami Airport. If you're coming from San Jose, California, you can choose affordable SJC overnight parking. It just depends on the place you're flying from.

You can always find everything you need on our official website: the best deals for parking near US and Canadian airports, airport parking fees, and much more.