It’s holiday season so while traveling can be a lot of fun it can also be very costly. The airport is the ultimate tourist trap in some regards so if you want to save more money for the things that matter, here are seven ways to help you keep more cash in your wallet when passing time at the airport.
8 Ways to Save Money at the Airport While Traveling…
1. Pack your own snacks
Airport food is expensive so be prepared ahead of time by packing yourself filling snacks so you can avoid starving and the high prices that go along with airport dining. Depending on your layover times and which meals you will miss, keep healthy selections like fruit and nuts in your carry-on bag. Don’t forget to plan for delays or cancellations too. If you are sitting in the airport for several hours make sure your prepared for what may come.
2. Pack a Water Bottle
And then fill it up at the water fountains rather than buying costly bottled water.
3. Stay out of the gift shops
It can be tempting to check out the knickknacks, t-shirts, and other souvenirs but avoid the gift shops to keep your money in your pocket. If you find anything that you must have, you may be able to find it after your trip through online resources at a much cheaper price. I’ve found the best souvenirs are photographs; they’re free to take and don’t take up space.
4. Bring your own reading material
The airports will sell the latest bestseller, magazines, and tabloid papers but it can be a much better idea to shop at a used book store or online for some titles you are interested in before your trip. You’ll pay top dollar for the airport reading materials so borrow from a friend or buy used to save. Bring along your music and other personal entertainment to keep you from wandering the airport stores and kiosks. I’ll usually stop by the library before trips to have a book to bring along.
5. Pack light
Many airlines have changed policies and no longer allow the first bag checked to go through without payment. A $25 or $30 baggage fee per bag (more for overweight luggage) can eat into your vacation funds. Pack light by taking only absolute essentials. You can invest in a quality carry-on that is regulation size so you can avoid baggage fees altogether. While on your trip if you end up bringing home more than you went with, mail the extras to you home which will likely be cheaper than the airline baggage fee.
6. Review the banned list
A big waste of money at the airport involves the items the TSA throws out of your carry-on bags. Review the policies of the airline before packing so you know what is banned and what is allowed on a flight. If your personal items like shampoos and perfumes are tossed for violating regulations, you’ll have to spend a lot of money to replace them when you reach your destination and then have to throw them out again for your return trip home.
7. Be your own doctor
Traveling can be stressful so come prepared. Bring an emergency supply kit with headache medicine, cold medicine, tissues, hand sanitizer, tissues, and a few bandages. Make sure to also pack your prescription medications in your carry-on. Over the counter medications are available at the airport but they are going to be priced two or three times more than those you get from Walmart or your local grocery store.
8. Give up your seat
A great way to save money down the line is to volunteer to give up your seat when the plane is overbooked. Many airlines can provide major incentives like free hotel stay and free airline tickets to those who volunteer to wait. If your travel plans are flexible, these free tickets can be a great way to take a vacation on the cheap in the future.
What ways will you be saving money while traveling this holiday season?