As any human who has ever stepped foot inside an airport knows, nothing here is ever cheap. Forgot your water bottle at home? Prepare to spend an arm and a leg. Thinking about grabbing a pre-flight snack? The most mediocre turkey sandwich will somehow cost $15.

Airport prices are high because they can be. You're essentially trapped behind security with no other option but to pay the inflated cost of things or go without.

What Should You Not Buy at the Airport?

While sometimes it may seem worth it to just fork over the cash and get on with your trip, there are a few items that you should never ever buy at the airport.

Leave the items mentioned below at the newsstand. Seen any outrageously priced items at the airport recently? Let us know in the comments below.

Bottled Water

hands of man opening water bottle at airport

Bottled water tops the list as one of the things you really shouldn’t buy at an airport. Always carry an empty water bottle in your personal or carry-on bag. These days, plenty of airports will have a designated water fountains for refilling your bottle. If you’re worried about a water bottle taking up too much space in your bag opt for collapsible ones like this one from HYDAWAY.

Related: 6 Hacks for Maximum Airplane Seat Comfort

Overpriced Meals

Family eating food at airport

Unless you’re taking a long-haul flight or just enjoy spending $20 on a microwaved burrito, try to have a healthy light meal before arriving at the airport. (Plus, by eating in advance you won't have to take off your mask to dine in public.) You can also pack some dry snacks in your carry-on bag to keep your hunger at bay.


woman on tablet sitting at terminal in airport

Most airports these days offer free Wi-Fi, but not everyone has caught up with the times. Try to avoid paying for Wi-Fi by checking to see if your smartphone has any mobile hotspot included. You could also try to find a Starbucks or restaurant in the airport and sit near it to access free internet.


L'Occitane display at airport

This one is a no-brainer, but buying travel versions of your favorite toothpaste or lotion is going to cost a lot more at the airport. Try to buy travel-sized bottles and fill them up with your necessities prior to leaving. You can also make or buy toothpaste bites instead of buying travel-sized tubes.

Related: 10 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Toiletries Kit


souvenirs, mini eiffel tower, mini red telephone booth, mini big ben, mini statue of liberty

Avoid the overplayed “I <3 NY” or locally branded saltwater taffy in the airport newsstands. Instead, search for unique souvenirs while you’re out and about in the city where they're sure to cost a lot less.

Travel Accessories

neck pillows on display at airport

Neck pillows and eye masks are always front and center at every airport store, and they're crazy expensive. Try to purchase them in advance on sites like Amazon for a fraction of the price. You'll find an array of travel pillows—some with more support than the typical U-shaped neck pillow. My top choice is the J-pillow. They also have affordable and comfortable eye-masks like this one from Alaska Bear.

Phone Accessories

headphones and cellphone accessories on display in airport store

Make sure you double check your bag for all of your phone accessories. We’ve all seen the Best Buy vending machines and random overpriced electronic storefronts in the airport. If you’re someone who generally forgets to pack your cables and headphone adapters, try to buy extras and keep them in your suitcase.

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