It’s like a trap. Like a sports stadium trap with overpriced hot dogs and beer. Everything always looks so delicious and so tempting, until you fork out the equivalent of a week’s worth of groceries for one simple afternoon snack.
I used to do really well with avoiding the trap, forcing myself to wait until the plane to partake in food and finding water fountains if I was thirsty. Now, I find myself spending more than not… especially when there are long layovers and you just flew on a flight that makes you pay even for a beverage.
It’s hard as a budget traveler because even those budget flights end up being something way more expensive than we initially planned – what with the cost of transport to and from the airport, with baggage fees and with the fees to eat and drink.
Spending more than I plan = my worst nightmare!
How can you save money at the airport? Good question!
Bring in sealed snack food for waiting in the airport and while on the plane. If you didn’t bring any sealed food in with you, then you can shop around for good deals at the airport kiosks that you can bring on the plane. Plane snacks can sometimes be a bit more expensive and for less quantity than you might find in the airport kiosks. Unfortunately, with security rules, you will most likely need to purchase a beverage inside the gates. If you have a long wait, try to grab a bottle that you can refill with water for the flight.
Research the cheapest transport option to the airport. If you can handle a big shuttle bus heading out from a depot or meeting location in the city, those will generally be cheaper than a door-to-door shuttle service. If driving, research all different parking options available at or near the airport. Websites like those for Heathrow Airport Parking, Manchester Airport Parking, and Luton Airport Parking compare the different parking lot options in the area, their rates and even the transfer time to the airport itself.
Go carry on only and double check restrictions! You don’t want to pay to take luggage, do you? The best way to avoid this issue to just take carry on, and to also make sure your carry on options are checked and double checked. Paying to check a bag while already at the airport can be significantly more expensive – and of that I am not a fan!
I know this may not be the biggest list for keeping it cheap at the airport, but those places make it difficult. Am I right?!
Feel free to share any tips you might have in the comments below.
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