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7 Common Airport Ripoffs Most People Fall For



A major part of the airport experience is the stores and kiosks that offer a wide range of products, but they often come with a high price tag due to their captive audience. From overpriced bottled water and snacks to costly electronics and souvenirs, many items sold at airports can significantly strain your travel budget. Savvy travelers know that these marked-up goods, though tempting in the moment of need, are rarely worth the extra cost. Understanding which items to avoid buying at the airport is essential for keeping your expenses in check and ensuring a more cost-effective journey.
Here are 20 overpriced things not worth buying at the airport.

Bottled Water

Bottled water at airports is often significantly overpriced compared to standard retail prices. The markup can be substantial, with prices sometimes being two to four times higher. Instead of purchasing expensive bottled water at the airport, bring an empty reusable water bottle and fill it up at a water fountain after passing through security.


Don’t fall for the temptation of overpriced airport snacks, as prices are usually two to three times higher, making a candy bar normally priced at $1.50 now $4. Instead, plan ahead and pack your own assortment of treats from home. Granola bars, nuts, or fresh fruits make excellent portable snacks that are not only healthier but also more cost-effective than purchasing snacks at the airport.

Books And Magazines

Save yourself the hassle and expense of buying reading materials at the airport by downloading e-books or audiobooks to your electronic device beforehand. This way, you can enjoy your favorite novels, magazines, or podcasts during your journey without having to carry around heavy books or pay premium prices for reading materials at airport shops.


Avoid buying overpriced souvenirs at airport gift shops. Instead, wait until you reach your destination to purchase authentic local souvenirs at more reasonable prices. Not only will you have a wider selection to choose from, but you’ll also be supporting local artists and businesses.


Avoid purchasing electronics at the airport, as they are often marked up and aimed at captive travelers in need of last-minute purchases. Try to plan ahead and buy electronics online or at a regular store before going to the airport to get better deals.

Duty-Free Goods

While duty-free shops may seem like a bargain, the prices may not be as competitive as one might expect, especially when compared to online deals or sales in regular stores. The allure of duty-free shopping can lead to impulsive purchases without proper price comparison, resulting in spending more than necessary on items that might be available for less elsewhere.


Don’t waste your money on travel-sized toiletries at the airport, where prices are typically higher than at regular stores. Instead, pack your own toiletries in reusable containers to save money and reduce waste, or purchase them at a local convenience store.


Being mindful of the high markup on goods sold at airports can lead to substantial savings during travel. By preparing in advance and packing essential items before departure, travelers can avoid the common trap of overpaying for conveniences. Ultimately, a little planning and awareness of what not to buy at the airport can enhance your travel experience, leaving more in your budget for the actual adventure ahead.