Holidays aren’t the only thing I’m addicted to. I am also extremely dedicated to finding ways of convincing myself that a serious shopping habit can justifiably be called one of my “interests/ hobbies”. It’s not working, but at least I’m doing my bit to support the British High Street.
It’s the lure of the airport duty-free shop, however, that can send me into a spending spin. These days, especially in large cities, you are increasingly likely to find yourself plunged into a substantial shopping mall in order to catch a flight. I actually have no problem with this and can generally exhibit enough willpower to walk past the various branches of major retail chains; their airport outlets don’t usually offer much else besides their standard high street presence.
But the duty-free beauty hall?
Well, that gets me every time.
I can cope with the usual department store style counters. In fact, I have no problem buying YSL Touche Éclat when it’s at a duty-free price; there’s always one in my handbag. The same goes for other staples like my perfume. These purchases make sense even for non retail junkies.
It’s the words “Travel Exclusive” that sing out to me.
These are words that wink at you (ok, me) and fool you (yes, me) into believing these are coveted items, only available to a limited audience and therefore worthy of a flash of the plastic. No one is looking at these right now on your plain old boring High Street.
I’m talking about beautiful day-to-night compacts, collections of mini versions of your favourite products and colour options that will make you look like the sun is still following you around, long after you return from that beach jaunt.
All adorned with the words Travel and Exclusive.
Of course, there’s more to go at in the duty-free than makeup and perfume. Should you be shopping for gifts, you might pick up the ultimate bargain – I’ve bought the odd pretty special watch as a Christmas present in an airport shop.
But no matter who I might need to buy a gift for, I know I’ll always visit that beauty hall in search of something exquisite I never knew I didn’t need.
These days, despite how much I might want to shop, I’ve reigned in my airport spending. I finally understand that although I might drink a glass of wine at 5am and cite “international time” as a reason that the alcohol doesn’t really count, I do have to reluctantly accept that it is real money I’m spending in the duty-free and draw the line!
I’m now driven by the fact that my travel addiction requires more feeding than my love for shopping and I usually just browse my way through the departure lounge instead.
After all, the price of a bargain weekend city break can soon shoot up when the bag of Chanel goodies you buy at the airport costs as much (or even more) than your flight.