Buying your airplane tickets has already taken a massive amount out of your travel funds. The last thing you want to do is spend $50 on a sandwich, apple, and bottle of water at the airport cafe. But it can easily happen to even the savviest of travelers. For your next trip, stick your wallet in the bottom of your carry on as you save big bucks with these airport saving hacks.
Getting to the Airport
Forget a taxi. Forgo paying to put your car in the extended parking lot. If you are coming from your home, ask a friend, neighbor, family member, or colleague to drop you off at the airport. That’s a freebie, and you can promise to bring them back something swell as a souvenir.
When you arrive at your destination, contact your hotel and see if they have a free hotel shuttle. In most major cities, brand name hotels offer this service, but you have to know to ask for it. Another option is to use ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber, which are a fraction of the fee for a taxi. Plus, that wallet is still tucked safely out of sight since you use your cellphone to complete the transaction.
No Thank You to $5 Bottled Water
Whether you are stuck in an airport on a layover or need to stock up on beverages before a multi-hour flight, this is where you can spend the most bucks. Start with your beverages. Stick to water or bring a few tea bags with you. Also, bring along a refillable bottle. Take a look around and you’ll discover most airports now have water bottle filling stations. Use them. If you want a hot tea, ask for a free cup of hot water at a local coffee stand.
Snack Time at the Airport
As for snacks, pack your own food. Only bring stuff that is prepackaged; avoid traveling with muffins wrapped in aluminum foil or home goods filled with liquids. Trust me on this. Both of these are going to give you the hold-up in the security line.
Another insider tip I learned from security on my airplane adventure this spring is if you bring any food with you, go ahead and pull it out of your carry-on. Place it with your electronics and shoes so the security agent can give it a once-over. Otherwise, your bags will get pulled and you’ll have to endure a hand search and subsequent repacking of your strategically packed stuff.
Spend Time Wisely
If you are stuck in an airport for an undesirable amount of time, avoid shopping, paying for Wi-Fi, and hanging out in highly overpriced restaurants. Instead, spend time walking around and getting your daily dose of exercise. Most airports these days have museum exhibits featuring local art and history. Indulge your senses and stretch your legs that need the extra movement before you get wedged into an airplane seat. You can also spend the time catching up on phone calls with friends and family, or finishing up on last-minute work if you bring a laptop.
Paid to Vacay Longer
Another hack to saving money if you are stuck with a long layover is to volunteer to give up your seat on the plane. If you don’t mind hanging out in the city where you’re stuck for a while, you can give up your seat and earn a huge profit in return. The airline will pay you for a hotel and give you a cash prize, ahem compensation, for your help. You’ll also get a new ticket free of charge, so it’s like you are getting paid to take an extended vacation. Who doesn’t like that money saving tip? Plus, this can offset any unexpected charges you paid while on your trip, which is a golden gift to thrifty airplane travelers like yourself.