Duty free shops are hard to miss when you enter an airport lounge or take a ferry. Chances are you will have some time to kill whilst waiting for your flight if you are travelling by air, and it can be hard to stay away from the promise of a good deal. Having woken up in one of the Heathrow hotels from Travelodge, and successfully checked in your luggage, take a little time to see what the departures lounge has on offer.
Many people choose to buy their perfume and other duty free discounted goods solely from duty free stores when travelling. This is great for those that travel on a regular basis, as, if they run out of fragrance or lotion it’s only a matter of days before they are able to replenish their supply. For others of us that travel more infrequently and see duty free as a chance to treat ourselves, it is often tempting to buy more than we actually need. Stocking up on ten bottles of number 5 may seem like a great idea, but it will likely reach its best before date before you get around to using bottle number ten!
It is also a great temptation to buy things you might not actually need, or really like. In the same way that many of us fall foul to sales in this way, duty free has the same, “I’m cheap therefore a bargain even if you don’t need me” feel. You’ll probably get home, realise it isn’t that much cheaper in your local shops and wonder what on earth possessed you to buy something you don’t like and will never use. So put down the giant Toblerone and that very fetching maroon poncho, and think to yourself, if you saw the same item whilst out shopping, would you even consider buying it? The answer 9 times out of 10, is you probably wouldn’t, so don’t get carried away. However, do shop around while you’re waiting for your flight and you can find some bargains. Heathrow has a huge range of shops where you can buy literally anything from clothes to laptops, and there are always good deals to be had.
So how great are the discounts available at duty free stores? There was a time where people would pay a ferry fare purely to stock up on duty free goods, then turn around and head straight back. These days the discounts are slightly lower and you have to be quite savvy about what you buy. Check prices online on your phone before you buy if you are unsure, as duty free means you save what the VAT is on a product, so if that’s low to begin with you save little or nothing by buying in these types of shops.
When you go on holiday it’s great to treat yourself, but do your research before you start emptying the Heathrow Airport shops of all their wares. You don’t want to reach your destination having spent a hundred pounds on a coat, to find it on sale overseas for fifty!
One great deal you can always count on is great value rooms at Heathrow Travelodge. Just don’t undo your cash-saving good work by blowing the difference in the duty free!