Last Minute Christmas Shopping Guide. Photo by Abi Skipp

Last Minute Airport Christmas Shopping Guide

Christmas shopping can be a venture fraught with disaster, especially if you’re buying for loved ones out of town. But for those who always leave present shopping to the last minute, and are flying off to visit family over Christmas, the good news is that the airport can be an absolute goldmine for finding gifts.

Airport shopping has lifted its game immensely in the past few years. There’s an ever increasing variety of outlets , including designer boutiques and other high end retailers – all in one place. And if you’re travelling, it doesn’t get more convenient than shopping in the terminal that you’re already hanging around in (duh).

And of course, as anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of a request for alcohol or cigarettes knows, one of the big lures of airport shopping boils down to one phrase: “duty free”. Duty free airport stores are exempt from certain taxes, so prices can be lower than in normal shops. Other items on which you can save big money include perfumes and cosmetics, as well as electronics. On top of that, there are often extra airport sales on, or even staff handing out sheets of vouchers to encourage you on your bargain hunting way.

Check in for your flight early so that you have plenty of time to explore the airport shopping options. Or, if time is of the essence, in many airports you can browse online to preorder items in advance and pick up on the day – just collect and pay at the airport terminal. In some cases, shopping online yields extra discounts! Many stores offer gift wrapping services, saving you even more time and hassle.

Christmas Shopping at Auckland Airport

At Auckland International Airport, the biggest hub in New Zealand, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There are 3 JR Duty Free stores – two departures stores and one arrivals store. Shop online before you leave and get 20 percent off liquor, wine, and champagne. Pick up some vintage Glenfidditch or Ballantines scotch, or go the patriotic route with 42 Below vodka. Or choose two fragrances and receive 30 per cent off – Chloe, Prada, YSL, Issey Miyake, Elizabeth Arden, Thierry Muegler. If you purchase a Go Pro, you’re entitled to a free bonus – a Floaty Backdoor to help keep it buoyant in the water.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Auckland International Airport. Photo by Phillip Capper

Auckland International Airport. Photo by Phillip Capper

 

Christmas Shopping at Wellington Airport

At Wellington International Airport there are three JR Duty Free stores – two departures stores and one arrivals store. Mix and match top liquor brands and save (eg get two Drambuie or two Tanqueray for $99, or two 42 Below or two Jameson for $69). If you buy a large Elie Saad fragrance, you’re also entitled to a free gift with purchase. Other great gift ideas include the Remy Martin VSOP 1 litre with 2 glasses pack for $99, or the Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial 750ml for $74.90.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Christmas at Wellington International Airport. Photo by Kristina D.C. Hoeppner

Christmas at Wellington International Airport. Photo by Kristina D.C. Hoeppner

Christmas Shopping at Sydney Airport

SYD Airport Tax & Duty Free at Sydney International Airport offers a variety of luxury brands. This Christmas, pick up a FitBit for the sports nuts in your lives from $109 or spoil someone with the new Givenchy Dahlia Divin fragrance, $94 – or the Christmas pack at $117. Other specials include Jack Daniels’ Gold Double Barreled 700ml at $95, and Jean Paul Gaultier male Christmas set at $100.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Christmas at Sydney Airport. Photo by Gwydion M. Williams

Christmas at Sydney Airport. Photo by Gwydion M. Williams

Christmas Shopping at Melbourne Airport

Thanks to First Tax & Duty Free at Melbourne International Airport, you can indulge music lovers with genuine Beats by Dr Dre headphones, $429, pick up a funky Andy Warhol limited edition Absolut vodka for $32.99, or grab a Givenchy travel makeup palette for $98.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Melbourne International Airport. Photo by eGuide Travel

Melbourne International Airport. Photo by eGuide Travel

 

Christmas Shopping at Dubai Airport

Dubai International Airport is a shopper’s paradise. For fine wines and spirits, look no further than Le Clos – perhaps the Tenpyo Genshu Tosatsuru (US$56) sake, J Bally rum from Martinique (US$67) or Cuvee de Cinquanenaire French cognac (US$153). With current DDF promotions, indulge the sweet tooth with buy 2 get 1 free offers on Ferrero and Thornton’s. Or get a free handbag with any Aramis Calligraphy Saffron or Rose perfume purchase. Newly arrived products include fragrances from Guerlain (Santal Royal), Bvlgari (Man in Black) and Burberry (My Burberry).

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Dubai Airport. Photo by Patrik Nemes

Dubai Airport. Photo by Patrik Nemes

 

Christmas Shopping at New Delhi Airport

At New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport you’ll get 10 per cent off liquor when you buy two bottles. What about some Mont Blanc pens or accessories (cufflinks or bag) or Habanos cigars for the men in your life, or Gucci or Chanel goodies for the women?

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Indira Gandhi Airport, Delhi. Photo by Patrick Rasenberg

Indira Gandhi Airport, Delhi. Photo by Patrick Rasenberg

Christmas Shopping at Singapore Airport

Duty free at Changi Airport offers a smorgasbord of choices. Right now, save on a range of iPhone and iPad accessories, as well as 25 per cent off Toblerone, Godiva and The Belgian chocolates. Other great gift ideas include the Nakamichi My Mini Plus portable speaker ($55.14) and Powermonkey Extreme portable charger ($185).

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Singapore Aiport, Photo by Patrick Nouhailler

Singapore Aiport, Photo by Patrick Nouhailler

 

Christmas Shopping at Seoul Airport

At Incheon International Airport there are both Lotte and Shilla duty free chains. Some of the best selling products include Citizen watches, the Chloe Paraty tote, Swarovski jewellery, Ferregamo perfume and the Versace Muffler scarf.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Incheon International Airport, Seoul. Photo by Sharon Hahn Darlin

Incheon International Airport, Seoul. Photo by Sharon Hahn Darlin

 

Christmas Shopping at Hong Kong Airport

One of the newer outlets at Hong Kong International Airport is Blancpain, a watchmaking brand with a long history. Other hot gift ideas include Dior’s J’adore Eau de Parfum or the Macallan Oscuro malt.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Hong Kong Airport. Photo by jgmarcelino

Hong Kong Airport. Photo by jgmarcelino

 

Christmas Shopping at Bangkok Airport

At Suvarnabhumi Airport you have the option of buying some some great local products – Thai handicrafts, art and design at Chitralada, Mae Fah Luang, Sai Yai Rak and OTOP. In addition, there are all the usual suspects available: from Longchamp to La Prairie, Hermes to Hugo Boss.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. Photo by eGuide Travel

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. Photo by eGuide Travel

 

Christmas Shopping at Tokyo Airport

At Narita International Airport you’ll find a variety of brand name boutiques, in addition to the main general duty free shops selling everything from alcohol and tobacco to cosmetics and perfume – pick up Swatch and Seiko watches, perhaps, or fragrances from Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Haneda Airport, Tokyo. Photo by Jun Seita

Haneda Airport, Tokyo. Photo by Jun Seita

 

Christmas Shopping at Beijing Airport

At Beijing Capital International Airport there is a specialist Tibetan handicrafts store and a China specialty store selling silk and other souvenirs. Or pick up apparel, liquor, cigarettes, chocolate or leather goods from the mainstream duty free outlets.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Beijing Airport. Photo by Brandon Atkinson

Beijing Airport. Photo by Brandon Atkinson

 

Christmas Shopping at London Airport

At Heathrow International Airport, you can enlist the help of a personal shopper. Currently you can get 20 percent off a Laurent Perrier Brut twin pack or a Jimmy Choo 100ml gift set (plus two free gifts with the latter). Alternatively, what about a new iPad 3 mini (from £299) or a Swarovski stardust bracelet (£40.83)?

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Heathrow Airport, London. Photo by Sagie

Heathrow Airport, London. Photo by Sagie

 

Christmas Shopping at Amsterdam Airport

At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport you’ll find Dutch soft clogs, tulips and flaphats. This Christmas, you can also nab Esprit women’s bags for €35, Ray Ban sunglasses for €85 or two perfumes for just €49.

Airport Christmas Shopping Guide: Schipol Airport, Amsterdam. Photo by Christopher Schmidt

Schipol Airport, Amsterdam. Photo by Christopher Schmidt

Featured image by Abi Skipp

Related
QUIZ: Guess the airport from the emoji

QUIZ: Guess the airport from the emoji

I have an 8-hour stopover in “Microphone-paws” airport.
Tomas Dano
15 things anyone who’s ever travelled on Christmas Day knows to be true

15 things anyone who’s ever travelled on Christmas Day knows to be true

As every seasoned traveller knows, whether you’re jetting off to Brisbane or Bali, getting from A to B on December 25th...
Katie Gregory
Festive flying: the best decorated airports this Christmas

Festive flying: the best decorated airports this Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you fly. Airports around the world are decking their terminals with...
Lauren Mack
Travel tips See all
10 ways to escape the crowds in London

10 ways to escape the crowds in London

London and crowds go together like summer and fruit flies; it sometimes feels like you just can’t escape them. While...
Emily Ray
9 things I wish I’d known before visiting Sri Lanka

9 things I wish I’d known before visiting Sri Lanka

Packing in history, culture, wildlife, food and activities from the lush hill country to its palm tree-fringed exterior, it’s really no...
Kirsten McCroskrie