5 Ways to Save Money in the Airport
With the summer travel season in full swing, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself spending time in an airport over the next few months. Increased security, longer lines, and flight delays, mean you may actually end up spending more time in the airport than on your flight. If you’re not prepared for delays or layovers, you’ll find yourself paying high airport prices for drinks, snacks and entertainment. Here are five ways you can save money while at the airport:
Bring an Empty Water Bottle — You have to stay hydrated while traveling, but buying bottled water at the airport can easily set you back up to $5 a pop. Bring your own empty bottle and fill it up from the drinking fountain (Yep, they still exist!). An aluminum or stainless steel bottle will keep your water cold longer than plastic and won’t get crushed or punctured in your bag. If you get tired of drinking plain water, bring along some powdered drink mix sticks to add flavor.
Bring Your Own Snacks — While airport dining options have improved a lot over the years, the prices have continued to go up, too. If you decide to eat a full restaurant meal while waiting at the airport, you could spend $30 or more. The solution, of course, is to be prepared with your own food. Try to focus on high-protein options to keep your energy up over long travel days. Small packs of nuts, nutrition bars, and string cheese are all easy, no-mess options. If you’re feeling really motivated, make sandwiches and wrap them carefully so they don’t get smashed in your bag.
Keep Yourself Entertained — Airport boredom can lead to spending money on books and magazines you’d never buy otherwise. Be prepared for flight delays or layovers by bringing your own entertainment. Load up your tablet or smartphone with the books you’ve been meaning to read, the latest season of a show you love to watch, or a few movies you never managed to see in the theater. Be sure to pack a fully juiced portable charger in case you can’t get near an outlet to charge your device. And don’t forget your headphones! Airport gift shops are notorious for offering sub-par quality earbuds for inflated prices, not to mention the ones they’ll offer to sell you once you get on the plane.
Freshen Up on the Fly — Be sure to pack some basic toiletries in your carry-on so you can freshen up throughout the day. Yes, you can buy a toothbrush or hand sanitizer at the airport, but why spend the money? Bring along a toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, tissues, sanitizer and lotion in your carry-on (all in TSA-approved sizes) so you can freshen up when you start getting that grimy travel feeling. It will make your day much more pleasant, and you’ll be glad you didn’t have to pay airport prices to do it.
Avoid the Temptation to Shop — Just as airport dining options have gotten more sophisticated, so, too, have airport shopping opportunities. But don’t be tempted! You’re going to pay higher prices than you would on the outside, plus you’ll have to drag around shopping bags you weren’t planning on carrying.