Buying liquor for travel: store vs. duty-free
I'm visiting a friend in South Africa and he requested a bottle of whiskey. Does anyone know- would it be cheaper to buy it in the airport (or on the plane??) duty-free, or just to buy it at home and pack it in my checked luggage (which seems like it would be easier)??
I agree with DavidT, since you're in California, you're not going to save anything going to the duty free, you will only limit your selection severely. Try going to Beverages & More or even Costco to pick up a good bottle of whiskey. If you're packing it in your checked baggage (which I assume you are), why not get 2 or 3 bottles and have a nice selection when you get there? Duty free is more for the unfortunates who live in states where alcohol sales are controlled by the local governments. We are lucky in California in that regard...
The problem with flying today is 9/11. It's much more difficult to travel with liquids. "A bottle of whisky" doesn't say much -- what KIND of whisky/whiskey? Is there a specific BRAND your friend would like? Care to be specific???
Most duty free shops at airports have an abysmal selection from which to choose. If it's a major brand (e.g.: Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, Chivas Regal, Glenlivet), you can probably find it at the airport. But if it's a higher quality/less well-known bottling, you're much better off buying it "in town."
As for spirits and duty free shops in general, I've never found them all that much cheaper (if at all) than a well-stocked purveyor of wines and spirits. Then again, if you live in a place where the stores are under state- or provincial-control . .. well, that's another story.
If it is a major label I'd argue for the duty free - it's tax-free, it's in your carry-on and you're already through security.
I'm always a bit worried about packing glass in my checked luggage (double layer of thick socks, wrapped in other clothes and nothing's broken yet in 25 years, still)
From my friend: "Jack, Johnny, Jim, or Glen will be fine with me (I am
fond of black Jack or Glen Levett)"
....I guess that leaves things pretty open.
I'm in California... don't know what the tax situation is, but I would guess that the savings to be realized from duty-free aren't huge (I don't think these are really expensive brands, anyway).
It would be a major bummer to have booze-saturated luggage! But it's a 36 hour flight/travel so lugging a bottle carry-on is also somewhat unappealing.
hmmm, well thanks for the input!