I was recently commissioned by Fishpools to give my thoughts on planning for a family holiday.
With the excitement and stress of planning & packing up for a holiday or a trip, it is no wonder that many fall victims to the airport’s costly traps. It is fact that prices for food and other shopping items at the airport have sky high prices, perhaps largely because of the convenience factor.
And there is no question that you are unlikely to resist grabbing a sandwich or two should you go hungry in case your flight is delayed and you’d have to wait longer than expected. Yet with proper planning, you can avoid finding yourself trapped by this kind of situation.
Airport shopping is in it not very cost-effective and wouldn’t you rather spend your hard-earned money on something more worthwhile than a pricey bottle of water?
Here are some saving ideas that you should consider when you are about to travel by air.
1. Bring Your Own Food
Whenever possible, try to eat a heavy meal prior to going to the airport. As with a full stomach, your appetite is unlikely to be whet by the aroma of the cafes and restaurants inside the airport. Bring your own snacks and coffee when waiting is expected. But since new policies are in place in air travel, you are only allowed to bring limited ounces of liquid at the gates.
Yet you can still hang around at the lobby area with your own drink and opt to delay passing by customs until you had quench your thirst right? And if you are in a place where tap water is safe to drink, then bring an empty water bottle and get your drink for free.
2. Purchase Souvenirs and Presents Ahead
Not only will it be cheaper to buy at markets instead of the airport, it will also be convenient for you as you can pack them properly in your bags.
This will avoid you having to carry extra shopping bags at the airport, which most of the time you may forget and leave accidentally. Airport souvenir shops’ items are very expensive so you should avoid these at all cost.
3. Avoid Logging on the Internet
Surely you can survive a few hours without checking your email or updating yourself with the Facebook status of friends.
These stuff can surely wait so don’t be tempted to pay for wi-fi which is usually crappy anyway in airports. But if for some reasons you just have to keep yourself online, then perhaps you should consider choosing an airport with free wi-fi service to at least help you save on connection costs.
4. Weigh Your Bags
Excess baggage fees are skyrocketing and you certainly want to avoid being fined as much as possible. So make sure you know exactly what your baggage allowance is and call your airline when in doubt.
Weigh your bags prior to heading to the airport, making sure that your weighing scale is working properly of course. Some airlines offer extra baggage allowance to be purchased online for a lower price so check if you can avail of it when you know your bags are indeed over the limit.
5. Plan Your Entertainment
Newspaper and magazine stands are in almost every corner of the airport, taunting anyone who is bored enough from waiting. Resist this temptation and better yet, plan how you want to spend your waiting time in advance. Bring your own magazines and reading materials.
Crossword puzzles and colouring books for the kids. Make sure all your digital gadgets are fully charged, all accessories and video games are packed so you can play to your heart’s desire. And when you are one of the lucky ones with an iPad or a tablet, then go ahead and make sure you have downloaded reading materials and even movies to last your whole travel period.
Keep in mind that your total travel cost including air plane tickets and accommodations need not be compounded by airport shopping. Tell yourself that by planning ahead, you will surely save your dollars to kick start savings for your next trip.