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What you should be buying from Duty Free at the Airport

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Although airports are often notorious for their high prices, there are some fantastic deals you can grab through duty-free shopping. Check out these lesser-known deals to make buying gifts and shopping cheaper than ever before. 

When you buy duty free goods at the airport, you don’t have to pay the local taxes or tariffs normally tagged onto those items. This means that even if the airport does charge a larger mark up price, the cost for you could be cheaper than buying exactly the same thing at home! Here are some of the best and cheapest items to pick up duty free the next time you are at the airport. 


When you purchase alcohol in an airport, you don’t have to pay customs duties, excise or goods and services tax which significantly cuts the costs of alcohol. Spirits are probably the best category of items to pick up here, as it typically taxed higher than drinks such as beer and wine. Keep in mind that depending on where you are, there may be a volume limit on how much you can buy! 

Tip: Although it may be tempting to offload some of your empty cash and buy duty free at your departure airport, be warned that the 100ml liquid limit may also apply to items bought duty free. For this reason, we advise making sure to stay on the safe side and buy your alcohol when arriving at your destination. However, if you would like to purchase your alcohol prior to departure, please check whether there are any restrictions with an employee at the duty free store.


Duty Free stores are often a great way to purchase perfumes as they are often cheaper compared to retail stores and there’s such a wide range available. To even sweeten the deal, there are testers for pretty much every single perfume so you are able to smell all of them and get the perfume you want (as opposed to looking up reviews on Google). Sometimes there are cool deals as well e.g. just recently at the Sydney Duty Free Store, if you purchased two bottles of Polo Ralph Lauren fragrance you could get a Polo Ralph Lauren duffel bag for free. Have a word with the staff to see if they have similar deals on. So whether it’s for you or as a gift, make sure you take advantage of the savings here! 

High end, boutique fashion and cosmetics

Although limited in selection, if you are an experienced shopper you may be able to pick up a couple of items that are cheaper than back home. Heathrow airport, for example, is a shopper’s paradise, boasting international, contemporary brands. If you have a connecting flight, the airport can be a good chance to pick up local fashion items or designer bags without even leaving the airport. 

Be warned – often lower end clothing stores are actually more expensive at the airport! Unless you need to pick up a last minute souvenir, make sure to do most of your ordinary shopping outside of the airport. 

Things you forgot to pack

If you forgot to pack a pair of sunglasses for your beach holiday, the duty free section of the airport can be a convenient place to snag a deal. Because the item is duty free, the prices will be very comparable with what you would find by shopping around at home. However, be warned that airports will often have a relatively limited selection compared to what your local department stores have.

Although items like magazines and books might be more expensive, don’t be afraid to shell out a few extra dollars. It might cost you a little more, but if you need something to get you through your flight, it might be worthwhile.  

Do you have items that you love to buy duty free? Share your tips for duty free shopping down below in the comment section.

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