In a previous post, I’ve suggested five tips in making long-distance flights less horrible. But as frequent travelers, we all know that the flight is just one part of the equation. These days, the costs of airfare, accommodations, and tours usually don’t come cheap. You’ll have to save for months to have funds for your next vacation. There are many tips for saving on the aforementioned parts of a trip, but sometimes travelers don’t realize that they spend a lot on the way and once inside the airport. That’s why it’s better if you also avoid unnecessary expenses in airports so you won’t go ballistic once you find out that you’ve used up a portion of your funds. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind.
Before Going to the Airport
Stick with hand-carry baggage, if possible. Additional check-in luggage fees can chip away at your budget. What’s worse is when you have overweight baggage, so be sure to pack as light as you can. If you have a bathroom scale or spring scale at home, then that’s much better. Just weigh your luggage at home after you’ve finished packing.
Double-check item restrictions. Aside from general regulations, some airports are strict with specific items like shampoos and lotions. Do some prior research about the airports you’ll be visiting to make sure you are well-informed, because when an item is removed, you’ll have to buy another and that’s an unplanned expense already, regardless if it’s cheap or not.
If you’re taking your car with you, book a parking slot at least a day in advance. Even if you find a slot on the day itself, chances are that this is either a) decently priced but far from the airport or b) nearer but expensive.
To avoid both inconvenience and more expensive cost, make sure you get a spot early on. Thoroughly check your options as well to get the best one that will work for you. Many airports in major cities like Seoul, Beijing, New York and London have a wide range of choices for any kind of traveler. For example at London Gatwick, a passenger may explore up to 4 parking options which includes short stay, long stay, valet and hotel parking.
At the Airport
Make sure you have snacks packed. In case an unforeseen flight delay happen and you go hungry, you will have something to consume instead of heading straight to food stalls and restaurants. Like mentioned earlier, everyone knows how prices are in airports, and those include food as well.
Use a refillable drinking container. Of course, don’t stop with snacks. Go all the way and just use your drinking bottle with you instead of buying bottled water every time you need to rehydrate. Just make sure the container is empty before passing through airport security.
Avoid shopping. Don’t buy anything unless absolutely necessary. Prices of products are usually significantly higher at airports, and yet you might wonder why there are still lots of boutiques and shops in airports. That’s because a lot of people still make this mistake.
Lastly, keep yourself entertained. While waiting for your flight, read an e-book or a real book if you brought one. Play a game on your smartphone. Just do anything to keep yourself from roaming around shops, as that can lead you to purchase something you didn’t plan on buying. Fashion and souvenir stores are notorious temptations for shoppers, so be careful.
These simple suggestions may save you a lot of money if you add them all together. Do you have additional tips to share? Just leave them through your comments!
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