Shopping when you get to the airport is part of the whole holiday experience, with the chance to grab a bargain in duty free being something we all like to do.
But what if you are worried about forgetting something, are concerned about getting liquids through security or simply aren’t sure you’ll have long enough to grab those last minute bits at the airport.
If that applies to you then why not shop in advance? We've pulled together a quick guide to some of the ways in which you can do your airport shopping before you've even left your home to make things that little bit easier when you arrive...
If you follow our social media channels, you’ll have seen that Boots offers a service where you can shop online at home and have your order delivered to the airport.
There are certain restrictions on what you can order to collect from the airport, taking into account items that you can’t carry on an aircraft as hand luggage, whilst you also need to give yourself a bit more time than if you were having an item delivered to your local shop. A minimum of five working days is advised.
World Duty Free:
World Duty Free operate stores at airports around the UK including all the major hubs like Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Edinburgh.
They also offer a reserve and collect service that allows you to browse their products online and then reserve then to collect when you get the airport. What that means is no rushing around once you arrive as you can simply head for the collection desk, pay for your shopping and head off to wait for your flight.
It’s ideal if you know you will be pushed for time or if you know what you want in advance – and is also a good way for you to compare whether your duty free purchase is a real bargain or might actually be cheaper in a local store.
As you only pay on collection at the airport, you can also change your mind at any time and a special price promise means you won’t pay more than the price you reserved at – but could pay less in the case of a price falling or an item being put on promotion.
World Duty Free offers the service from a month in advance of your travel date through to 24 hours before you fly.
Dixons Travel is one of main technology stores that you’ll find in airports around the UK and is the place to visit for any electrical purchases.
Whilst goods can’t be purchased online, there is a reserve and collect facility available that means you can have your items ready and waiting for you when you get to the airport.
A limited product range can be found online but you can call individual stores to check if they have a product available and then to reserve it ready to pick up at the airport.
You’ll need to call the store at your departure airport up to seven days, and at least eight hours, before you travel to reserve a product.
It isn’t usually the best way in which to sort your travel money but you can order your foreign currency to collect at the airport before your travel.
It’s a good option if you’ve left it until the last minute and don’t have time to visit a local currency exchange or to get a delivery to home with better rates, but is available as a fall-back option.
Manchester Airport offers a range of different products that can be reserved online to collect on arrival at the airport.
These products are from various stores located at the airport and you’ll collect them from the individual store and pay when you arrive.
Heathrow’s Boutique service operates in the same way as the service offered at Manchester Airport and includes a number of stores that wouldn’t otherwise offer a reserve and collect service.
You can browse the products available online and then submit a reservation request before price and availability is confirmed.
On arrival at Heathrow, you then need to visit the relevant store where you can collect and pay for your purchase.
Gatwick offers a reserve and collect service on a number of stores that are listed online.
To make a reservation, you’ll need to visit the website for the relevant store to view the range of products before ringing the store at the airport.
If they have the item in stock, you can then reserve it to collect at the airport.
Boots allows you to click and collect online, whilst products from Dixons and Duty Free can be reserved through Gatwick’s site.
Shop and Collect:
As well as click and collect, most airports also offer a Shop and Collect service.
This allows you to make a purchase at the airport and benefit from any special offers that might be available, but allows you to then leave your goods behind to collect when you return from your holiday.
It’s ideal if you have made a bulky purchase you can’t carry with you or if you are buying alcohol for consumption at home so you don’t need to take it with you overseas.
Click and collect services are subject to change with further information on the exact nature of services offered being available from individual airports.
Information correct as of the date of publication.