Five Tricks for Saving Money at the Airport

Airports: the place people love to hate. On the one hand, they are exciting, as you know you are on your way to your holiday destination. On the other hand, there are many fees involved with your time there that can add up very quickly. Some of these fees are essentials, while others can be avoided or lowered by using these ten helpful tricks.

1.) Pre-book your parking

Parking your car at the airport is likely necessary when you’re traveling with the family. It’s convenient to get everyone to and from the airport without having to arrange transport. There is a fee to park your car in one of the airport parking lots, although it’s substantially cheaper if you book in advance on Parkon.com. When you try to book on-site, you aren’t guaranteed a spot, and the price is higher as you have no other options.

2.) Ensure your luggage is underweight

Less is always better when it comes to your luggage. Avoid trying to stuff as much into your bag as possible because if you go over your weight allowance, it’s going to cost you. The overweight baggage charge is substantial for most airlines, with United Airlines charging up to $200 extra. Each airline has a different policy, and some will charge you per pound of weight you are over the limit. Regardless of who you’re flying with, the fees are incredibly steep. Avoid them by weighing your bag before going to the airport.

3.) Stay away from airport currency exchanges

Never use the currency exchange desks that are in the airports. Yes, they are convenient, but they offer ridiculous exchange rates that eat up a ton of your money. You can lose up to 8% of your money by exchanging through these desks. Even the ATMs in airports will charge inaccurate rates. Your best bet is to exchange via your bank before leaving or going into a bank or ATM once you reach your destination.

4.) Bring snacks and a water bottle

Airport food is notorious for being expensive. You can expect to pay drastically more at any fast-food chains, restaurants, or even convenience stores that are inside the airport. Instead, bring snacks such as granola bars, trail mix, or protein bars to hold you and the family over. That way, you won’t be tempted to purchase anything while you wait for your flight. Also, bring refillable water bottles that you can fill at taps in the airport. Since you won’t be able to bring liquids through security, a refillable bottle is the best option.

5.) Take advantage of airport Wi-Fi

All airports have free Wi-Fi that you can link on to while you’re there. Avoid using your own data and racking up your phone bill by remembering to hop on to the airport’s service. While it may not be fast enough to download movies, it is fast enough for basic browsing, replying to emails, watching videos, or playing games to entertain the kids while you wait to board.