With that long-awaited summer trip finally here, you’re about to spend a lot of time realizing that some international airports are way superior to others (and well, nearly all American airports) as you’re on your way to your top travel destination. But that’s not a bad thing, because if you’re on vacation and already in the mood to treat yo’self, you’re going to love the wealth of duty-free options available abroad, which rival stateside prices. US residents are allowed to bring back $800 worth of travel splurges (AKA duty-free goods) before they need to worry about a three to 10 percent tax. We’re sharing the five best airports to shop on-the-go.
1. Seoul Incheon International Airport, South Korea: This is undoubtedly the best airport to layover in. Not only does it have great food courts with a wide variety of cuisines and a sauna where you can relax while waiting for your next flight, this airport offers a wealth of duty-free and luxury shopping to distract yourself. There are three outlets — Lotte DFS, Shilla DFS, and Duty-Free Korea — that are stocked with high-end cosmetics and accessories, as well as Korean beauty products, which are a bit tougher to find for cheap stateside.
2. Hamad International Airport, Qatar: Qatar is known for its decadence, and this airport is no different. Possibly the best place to shop for luxury duty-free goods, Hamad International is also open 24 hours a day. That means that if your connecting flight is in the middle of the night, you’ll still have an opportunity to shop luxury brands from Harrods to Hermes and Tiffany’s at unrivaled prices. The quirky modern art installations all over the airport are a bonus.
3. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore: There’s a reason why many travelers in Asia often choose Singapore for their connecting flights. Not only is it a hub city where flight prices are generally cheaper, the airport is a destination in itself, boasting some of the best shopping and cuisine. With 350 stores, you’ll have an incredible selection of goods at your fingertips — all without having to go through customs.
4. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands: Not only is Schiphol a beautiful airport with many interesting things to do, like relaxing in a rooftop viewing area, its duty-free stores also feature monthly deals which are clearly marked near the entrance (or you can check them out online). Another Holland perk that you won’t experience elsewhere is that Schiphol offers really good deals on tulip seeds and bulbs, so if you are hurting for last-minute gifts, these famous Dutch bulbs are great to pick up for friends and family (or yourself, master gardeners). (Photo via Christopher Furlong/Getty)
5. Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong: Hong Kong is known for its shopping culture, and the airport does not disappoint. Hong Kong International Airport has a “downtown pricing guarantee,” which promises travelers that the retail prices are no higher than the ones slapped on products found in the city. Head here for high-end jewelry, alcohol, electronics and cosmetics you didn’t find during your time in the city.
What’s your favorite airport to shop in? Let us know on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)