How to Save Money at the Airport

| October 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

Photo: Ram Viswanathan

If you’ve planned any trips or vacations for your family lately, you know that airfare and travelling costs have gone up significantly in the past few years. On top of buying plane tickets and figuring out other travel details, you are also faced with escalating prices at the airport with baggage fees, high food prices, and expensive parking rates. Spending some money at the airport is probably inevitable, but there are steps to take to avoid incurring extreme charges – and save money during your trip. Here are some tips:

1. Take an empty water bottle through security. Since airports now ban bringing large amounts of liquid in your carry-on luggage, it’s a good idea to store an empty water bottle in your luggage to be filled up before you get on the flight. Buying drinks can be pricy in the terminals, but filling your own bottle of water will keep you hydrated and save your budget on your travel day.

2. Research parking options. There is no denying that airport parking is quite expensive, especially if you are planning a lengthy trip where you’ll have to pay a significant amount each day. Here are some alternative parking options you could consider:

  • Airport hotel. Depending on the proximity of the airport to your home, it might actually be a cheaper option to stay in a hotel near the airport the night before your trip. Many of these hotels offer free parking for the duration of your vacation, so this could be a cheaper option than paying for parking at the airport.
  • Parking outside the airport. Most airports have services nearby that will park your car for cheaper rates than those you’ll find at the airport. Do some research and find one that might work for your family.
  • Public transportation. Is it absolutely necessary for you to drive a car to the airport? If your city has a good public transportation system, consider taking a bus or taxi. This small investment beforehand could save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

3. Forego airport Internet. If you’re stuck at the airport for a long layover or because your plane has been delayed, it can be tempting to entertain yourself by purchasing an Internet service from the airport. These services are generally extremely overpriced, though, so if you can find something else to do, it will be much more beneficial for your wallet.

4. Don’t exchange foreign currency. If you’re flying internationally, you’ll probably need to exchange currency at some point during your trip. Currency exchange services at airports generally charge some of the highest interest and commission rates you can find, so try to avoid exchanging currency until you have more options. If you absolutely need some cash for public transportation, only exchange a small amount at the airport

5. Pack light. As baggage fees escalate, it’s more important than ever to pack lightly. If you can travel with only carry-on baggage, you’ll potentially save a great deal of money since most airlines now charge for checked baggage. Bring along large carry-on bags and consider buying liquid products (contact solution, shampoo, etc.) at your destination.

The most important thing about saving money in the airport is thinking ahead and not making spur-of-the-moment decisions about purchases. If you come prepared with snacks, an empty water bottle, plenty of entertainment, and bags that are compatible with your airline’s standards, you should have no problem saving money in the airport and spending it on what you really need during your vacation. Happy travels!

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Category: Frugal Living

Kelsey Bohler

About the Author (Author Profile)

Kelsey Bohler is a young wife and mother who loves to write and strives to pursue simple, intentional living. She and her family are currently living abroad and are learning firsthand what it means to stick with a budget and live frugally. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, writing music, playing the piano, and being a Mum to her precious daughter.

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