Make no mistake, holidays are one of life’s joys. They revitalise, they reinvigorate and they relax, so it’s no wonder we’re always eager to make sure we’re giving ourselves the reprieve we deserve. From classic, sumptuous Cyprus to the low-key appeal of growing tourist destinations like Cape Verde, it’s always a delight to get out there and see the world.
Of course, half the fun of going abroad is seeing how they like to shop, but for many of us, the stores at the airport are just as enticing, if not more. From designer fashion boutiques to those all important travel essentials and a few gadgets to keep the kids quiet on the flight, it’s a massive opportunity to stock up on little luxuries.
The joys of retail therapy
When you’re perusing the shelves at the airport here in the UK, you’re probably doing your best not to get too carried away. It isn’t that you’re not in need of treating yourself – you’re on holiday, after all – but like most smart travellers, you’re aware that airlines and airports both have pretty tight carry-on baggage restrictions.
What’s more, you’re going away to beat the stress, so why give yourself more hassle by lugging all your shopping halfway around the globe? It’s why a lot of us put limits on ourselves while exploring the retail realms of our favourite airports, and it’s safe to say there must have been a fair few bargains you’ve had to forego in the past to make that happen.
Luckily, airports across the UK have cottoned on to our collective love of bargain hunting, and they’ve introduced a few ways to make things easier on us all.
Keeping your shopping safe until you return
Although there are a number of ways to get your fill of shopping at the airport free from worries, the most popular solution in British airports today is the Collect & Reserve service. It’s available at Heathrow and Gatwick, as you’d probably expect from those major international travel hubs. But the good news is, more and more regional airports like Manchester are getting involved, trialling the service across a few stores before expanding to include every shop in the airport.
It’s not just the airports themselves who are getting involved either. Specialist stores like the World Duty Free chain are offering the service, which makes their merchandise available to either be ordered specifically into the airport you’re departing from in advance, or instead bought on the day you fly out and collected during your return journey. Because they’re active in so many airports in the UK and Europe, you’ve got plenty of options open to you.
How does it work?
It’s all a simple process, which is a brilliant way to make sure you’ve got one less thing to think about on your holiday. Your goods are either paid for in advance or put aside on the proviso that they’ll be picked up and paid for on your return journey. That’s it. The airport or store will then ensure the goodies you’ve chosen are placed aside for safe keeping, with a guarantee they won’t be put back on the shelves for other shoppers to snaffle up while you’re away.
If your travel plans change while you’re away, that’s covered too. Just give the airport or shop a ring, and they’ll make sure their records are updated to expect you back sooner or later on, whichever applies. And if you change your mind once you’re back from your break? Just let them know, and they’ll make sure everything is put back without any hassle to you.
It’s a pretty nifty service that shows how UK airports are helping to make our holidays that bit more simple and enjoyable. What’s your take on the Collect & Reserve service?