Airports are a dangerous and powerful nemesis to your wallet. Even after forking out cash for your flight tickets, the subsequent spell spent inside the airport as you wait for your plane can rack up monumental costs. When you get slightly peckish you’re breaking £20 notes for a single mouthful, and when you get bored you go and blow your holiday allowance on arcade games and slot machines.
Remember, airport expenditure is not a cost-effective habit to slip into, so here are our top tips for saving pennies at the airport.
Bring your own entertainment
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and there’s definitely no scenario where time needs to fly faster than a dragging wait in the airport. An airport knows this, and it’ll try and lure you into all the fun it can offer, but at a heavy price. Stay away from the arcade games and put that crime novel back on the shelf. You should instead prepare for this duration of boredom during your packing session. Stick a book from home in your hand luggage or bring your iPad along and just play Angry Birds.
Steer clear of WiFi fees
Surely you’re in the airport to catch a subsequent flight that will take you away from your emails and Facebook account? Well let’s start this new habit early and avoid tempting WiFi fees. Often you’ll find WiFi in airport cafes or bars, naturally you’ll buy a couple of drinks and next thing you know ‘Bam!’, mortgage required.
Don’t pack overweight
A true holidaying classic – the overweight suitcase. Not only will you spend the next ten minutes deciding whether your large pot of mousse or your sixth pair of shoes will spend the next chapter of its life in an airport bin, if you can’t get below the required weight you’ll be hit with a fine. So get culling before you leave for the airport. Back light!
Stay away from potential souvenirs
This is another textbook airport scenario. You’ve forgotten to get your neighbour a present to say thanks for watering the geraniums whilst you were away. Thankfully the airport houses 54 souvenir shops all selling the same tack you could have got for a third of the price from the shop next door to your hotel. Think about your neighbours and geraniums early and get those souvenirs sorted pre-airport.
Don’t buy the food
If possible try and consume any food before or after your spell in the airport. Food in airports is accompanied by astronomical prices and let’s be fair, usually it is pretty unsatisfactory. I recall one incident I had in Buenos Aires airport – I had to resort to my Visa Debit to purchase a solitary Pain au chocolat, once seated and ready to enjoy my snack I found there wasn’t a single trace of chocolate within the innards of the pastry. As far as I was concerned this had ruined my entire trip and I’ve had a derogatory view of French pastries ever since.
Exchange your money before
Exchange rates are always going to work against you in airports. Get down your local post office before you head away and you’ll find you get a better exchange rate there. Use the same tactic for your return. Oh, and make sure you have a little bit of your own country’s currency for your return airport visit, just in case of emergency. Don’t leave yourself open to a panic currency exchange.
Get your essentials elsewhere
There is always something you’ll forget to pack. Whether it is the toothbrush, your swimming shorts or earplugs, there will always be something you need to get. But don’t give in to the convenience of the airport shop network; wait until you’ve made it to your destination. Most countries in the world sell toothbrushes, swimming shorts and earplugs.
So there’s some of our advice for chasing away those airport fees, if you need a little more inspiration check out these airport money saving tips.
Do you have any other tips to save money at the airport?