Airport shopping and timeshare vacations.Shopping at airports used to be a joke. Airport vendors were where harried travelers grabbed the gift they should have bought during the trip but never got around to buying. The selection at the airport was limited and typically overpriced.

Across the country shopping malls have been hit hard by the US economic recession causing retailers to look for other ways to sell. Some have ramped up their presence at airports, no doubt figuring that shoppers are both bored and trapped.

According to an article that appeared in the New York Times (“The Airport Experience Now Includes Shopping for the Family” by Stephanie Clifford) Jose Gomez, senior vice president of business development for fashion retailer Mango, says, “Airports are becoming, really, a service facility, like a shopping mall.”

Interestingly, airport retailers aren’t just selling neckties and luggage. Since 2010, Victoria’s Secret has opened seven airport stores. Brooks Brothers added five airport stores last year to the 26 it already had in US airports.

Other retailers are anxiously adding airports to their list of venues. And retail in airports not only benefits the retailer; it is a big boost to the airports themselves.

Good for Retailers and Airports. Maybe Not so Good for Your Timeshare Vacation Budget

If it is good for the economy, then in general, it is good for all of us. We don’t want to see retailers crashing, creating more unemployment and more strain on US economy. And retail in airports helps the airports themselves stay strong.

While airlines are obviously the biggest contributor, retail and food service accounts for nearly 20 percent of airport revenue. As Paul McGinn, president of MarketPlace Development, explains, “Airports have to be self-sustaining,” and retail “has become a valuable source of revenue.”

5 Reasons We Shop or Over-Shop at Airports

Airport shopping attracts us, which is not a bad thing, unless it causes you to blow your vacation budget before you even arrive at your timeshare. Understanding why we shop at airports may help you make better decisions about how you really want to spend your travel dollar:

  1. Airport shoppers, once they have cleared security, are virtually prisoners in the “Airport Mall.” Domestic travelers average over one hour waiting in airports once they have passed security.
  2. Fight delays increase your urge to shop, as you seek to reward or comfort yourself during your inconvenience.
  3. A sense of urgency to decide and get ready for your departure may result in you rushing your buying decision.
  4. If travel makes you anxious, tired, or annoyed, you may be more inclined to reward, revive, or sooth yourself with a purchase. Shopping also offers you the opportunity to engage in a familiar activity, affording you a sense of control in a situation where you otherwise have little control.
  5. If you have any guilt about leaving your spouse, children, job or even your pet while on your trip, you may be inclined to gift shop for them as a way to assuage that guilt.

Shop, enjoy, and help keep retailers and airports vital, but don’t over-shop, so that you arrive at your timeshare vacation feeling guilty or annoyed with yourself for spending too much, too soon because that is no way to start a relaxing holiday.