Whether you’re traveling to Disney World or something else, you’ll probably be spending some time in an airport.
Airports aren’t necessarily the most fun or best places to be, especially if a flight gets delayed or canceled. Airports can also be costly, especially if you need to eat or accidentally forgot to pack something important. However, there are certain items you should never pay for in airports (and some you should). We’re breaking it all down for you.
What You Should Never Pay For
Okay, you know us and how we go on and on about free water at Disney World, so it should come as no surprise that we’re telling you not to pay for water at the airport. Although you can’t bring water from home through airport security, you can bring a water bottle — all airports have water fountains where you can fill your water bottle up after you get through security.
Another thing you should NEVER buy in an airport is electronics like chargers, headphones, etc. You will pay FAR MORE for those items if you happen to forget to pack them. If you really need to purchase something like that, wait until you get to your destination and hit up a Walmart, Target, or other store and buy them there.
If you’re in for a long flight, a good neck pillow is always a good idea to bring, but you don’t want to buy one in an airport — you’ll pay a LOT more for that pillow than you would’ve if you’d just ordered it from Amazon and brought it with you.
We know how tempting it is to buy souvenirs at the airport when you’re waiting for a flight, but DON’T DO IT. Those souvenirs are usually pretty cheesy, not unique, and you’ll end up paying way more for them at the airport than you would in a gift shop elsewhere.
If you’re flying internationally, you might think it’s convenient to exchange currency at the airport, but it’s not and you’ll end up paying a MUCH higher exchange rate than you think. If you need to have actual cash on you before you leave, go to your bank to exchange currency. Otherwise, wait until you get to your destination and use an ATM to get foreign currency — you’ll get a way better exchange rate that way.
Another thing that is going to cost you more at the airport is medicine and toiletries. Yes, we all tend to forget a few small things like that from time to time, but if you can wait until you get to your destination and hit up a store for those items, you’ll save some money. A better solution is to make a packing list that includes those items and check it twice before you leave!
You’ll also want to avoid buying luggage at the airport. Again, it’s going to cost you a lot more money there, and if it’s just a case of you needing an additional bag to bring home souvenirs (and yes, that happens a lot when we visit Disney World), just be sure to pack a collapsible bag in your luggage BEFORE you leave so you can use that for any extra stuff you buy.
However, there are some things that you SHOULD buy in the airport, so let’s look at those!
What You Should Pay For
Okay, so you’ve seen the duty-free shops at the airport, right? Well, go ahead and stop by one of those duty-free shops because you can find great duty-free makeup, cosmetics, and perfume that include products you can’t find easily anywhere else. You might also discover that the big brand names for these products are less expensive here.
Okay, so we won’t ALWAYS recommend getting food in the airport, but sometimes we WILL say you should get food in the airport. If that’s confusing, bear with us. First, if you’re hungry, you’re likely to find better food in an airport than on a plane. Also, some airports have some great local restaurants you’ll want to check out — for example, you can find Polite Pig locations INSIDE Orlando International Airport and a Wine Bar George spot is coming soon.
Upon occasion, you may find some local items or foods in an airport that you can’t find anywhere else. For example, we’ve seen Wondermade Marshmallows in Orlando International Airport. If you happen to be lucky enough to fly to Paris, you’ll find an entire Laduree (yes, as in the macarons) location inside the airport.
If you have a long delay, layover, or just need to get away from the chaos of the airport for a while, an Airport Lounge Day Pass could be just the thing you’ll need to make it through the day. This will give you access to a quiet environment where you can sit in comfortable chairs, charge your devices, eat some free snacks, drinks some free drinks, and even take a nap.
The day pass might be pricey, but considering all the amenities you get (plus free food and drinks), it’s absolutely worth it.
Before you fly to Disney World (or anywhere else, for that matter), be sure to check out your destination’s cancelation policies (we’ve outlined all of Disney’s policies here). Delays and cancelations are more frequent these days, so knowing how that will affect your trip is important.
If you are flying to Disney World and your flight gets canceled, we’ve outlined what you need to do next here. And if you want to do some planning before your flight (or even on the plane!), check out our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining.
We’ve compiled all of our BEST tips and tricks from years of Disney World travel into one eBook that you can download to your tablet or smartphone and take with you! We’re offering our readers 25% off with code WDW2022.
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What do you always end up paying for in airports? Let us know in the comments!
The post 7 Things You Should Never Pay for In Airports (And 4 You Totally Should) first appeared on the disney food blog.