Need a Last-Minute Gift? Airport Vending Machines Are Stepping Up Their Games
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Souvenir shopping at the airport can be the pits.
Beyond lame shot glasses, T-shirts, over-priced regional food items and sports-team memorabilia, there’s often not much that’s truly new and gift-worthy in stock.
Or that won’t give you away as a last-minute shopper.
That’s where SouveNEAR’s vending machines really come to the rescue.
Like the Best Buy vending units found now in about 50 airports nationwide, SouveNEAR’s vending machines are open 24/7.
But that’s where the similarity ends.
While Best Buy machines sell standard gear you can find anywhere — but gear the forgetful may need right now — SouveNEAR’s vending machines are stocked with carefully curated gift items made by local artists.
That means you can stock up on unique souvenirs from a trip without letting on that you shopped at the airport.
Until now, SouveNEAR’s art-filled machines could be found at just four airports: Kansas City International Airport (8 locations), Oakland International Airport (3 locations), Newark Liberty International Airport (2 locations) and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport ( 4 locations).
But starting Sept. 6, SouveNEAR is expanding its footprint with an around-the-clock automatic art-shop-in-a-box in the Sacramento International Airport (SMF).
In October, there will be a 24/7 SouveNEAR art-vending machine opening in Terminal C at McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas.
What’s for sale?
The handmade items range from jewelry, pins and patches to baby clothing, arty T-shirts and handmade candy and cards. Prices range from $4 to about $50.
“In each city, we work with locals connected within the arts community to scout for truly local goods. We visit local craft fairs, markets, etc.,” said Suzanne Southard, SouveNEAR co-founder. “The stock varies and changes depending upon the location. And we use real-time reporting of inventory levels to stock as needed.”
SouveNEAR’s vending machine at the Sacramento airport will reflect the city’s focus on the Farm-to-Table movement and a commitment to all things local, said Betsy Wolf, SouveNEAR’s West Coast manager.
At SMF, look for products such as Brittle California’s almond brittle made with locally grown California almonds and handmade goat’s milk soap made by Sweet Blossom Company with milk from a local goat farm.
In Las Vegas, which has seen a rebirth in the local arts scene, Wolf said SouveNEAR’s products will include items that reflect the city’s quirky, unique culture.
The LAS SouveNEAR machine will include handmade necklaces by Neon Cactus Vintage; dark chocolate bars by Happy Ending Chocolate, hand-decorated with edible gold leaf foil; and iconic Las Vegas-style signs recreated in enamel by Battle Born Pins.
Featured image courtesy of SouveNEAR.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.