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It's easy to whisk through the international terminal passing by the perfumes, bottles of cheap liquor and massive Toblerones on the way to your gate and there are even a few airport where we'd recommend skipping the buys altogether. This is not the case at Tokyo's Narita, which stands out as a supreme airport for shopping.
We already know that Japan has some of the coolest foods to bring home to your friends as souvenirs, and Narita is home to a wealth of duty-free shops selling cakes and candies boxed so primly and perfectly that it's less a question of "should I buy it" and more "how many should I buy?"
Here are a couple of this year's best and quickest buys at Narita:
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Remember when McDonalds Happy Meals actually had some great toys inside? Heck, some series were even considered “collectible.” Those days disappeared with the arrival of plastic Bratz figurines and Furbies, but quality surprise toys can still be found, across the ocean, inside chocolate Kinder “Surprise" Eggs.
Every so often, Kinder released a special “traveller edition” pack of its most popular treat, the hollow eggs made of milk and white chocolate. A tiny plastic capsule inside the shell always contains some cute little knickknack, and right now those surprises are Airbus A330 aircraft models.
Students receive two full meals at school.
Earlier this week, we told you how running around Zoo Miami this Saturday can help the kids of a new Haitian school, Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable. But that's not the only way to support the Hand in Hand for Haiti charity that built and runs the school. Here's another way: go duty-free shopping.
Hand in Hand for Haiti was actually founded by three heavy-hitters in the travel retail industry: DFS Group chairman and CEO ED Brennan, Estée Lauder Travel Retailing Worldwide president Olivier Bottrie and The Moodie Report founder and publisher Martin Moodie.
All three companies encourage their employees and business partners to get involved with the charity, and have successfully raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past few years to get the school in Saint-Marc up and running. If you support any of these businesses by buying duty-free goodies on your travels, you're also contributing in some small way to the cause.
You can, of course, do even more by donating to the charity directly or sponsoring a child.