Tips on how to save money when traveling by air

Airport travel is not only exhausting, but it can be costly so you can save money with these tips:

1.        Carry a reuseable water bottle.  Insure it’s empty when you go through security, then fill it up at water fountains, and have the flight attendant  fill it up when they come along with their bar cart serving snacks and drinks.   If you keep hydrated when flying, you will feel more refreshed during and following the flight.

2.       If you have to eat at the airport, share a meal with your traveling companion as servings are usually generous, saving money and calories.

3.       Carry a meal, snack and fruit from home for the flight.   A homemade wrap or sandwich, some grapes, and cashews are a much healthier and considerably cheaper alternative to airplane offerings.  I sat near a young couple traveling with three children recently and as I pulled out my wrap and fruit, they distributed foil wrapped packages of homemade pizza to each of the family members.

4.       Take your own earphones for the in flight movie, and pack a sweater or pashmina to snuggle under for a snooze instead of paying for a blanket.

5.       Get your novel, magazines and guidebooks at your local public library, saving huge amounts of money.  Read the novel and magazines on the flight and during the holidays, and once the guidebook is used for a particular destination, are you going to use it again?

6.       If you need to leave your car at the airport for an early morning flight, it’s often cheaper or the same amount to stay at a basic hotel near the airport for the special package called Sleep, Park and Fly.  We recently had an early flight, so stayed overnight at an airport hotel, left the car at the hotel for 12 days, took their shuttle to the airport and it cost less than having an airport car service from our house.

7.       Take your own breakfast.  When we stayed at the airport hotel, our shuttle was leaving earlier than the opening of the café, so we brought cereal, disposable bowls, and a carton of milk.   Not only are you saving money, but you are avoiding high carb, high fat restaurant breakfasts and you can eat when it suits you.

8.        While you are sightseeing on your holidays, carry containers of nuts, raisins, dried fruit, granola bars, or trail mix so when the munchies hit, you are ready, saving on picking up pricey unhealthy choices.

9.       Unless absolutely necessary, leave the cellphone at home and avoid expensive roaming charges. Buy a phone card or if you are away for a long period of time, purchase a cheap local phone with a short term package.

10.   Avoid hooking up to high price WiFi lounges in airports. Wait until you can access a hotel business centre for no charge or visit a local internet café, where you can enjoy a cold drink or a coffee while you check and send emails.

11.   Buy souvenirs at local markets where cultural pieces are colorful, unique and usually much cheaper than airport shops.   I recently purchased a hand woven purse at a market in Ecuador and took a photograph of the woman who made it.  I saw a similar purse but cheaper quality at the Guayaquil airport for more than twice the price.


About The blog of travel & lifestyle journalist Melody Wren

Melody is a freelance writer because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. She writes about travel, food, lifestyle and green living. Melody loves staying in a place long enough to get acquainted. Local customs, markets and traditional cultures are magnets for this writer. When not writing she’s either on the road, in the air, or savoring something tasty. Most of her travels feature outdoor adventures of some sort, although she typically avoids sleeping on the ground. She is an ordinary person that enjoys challenging and pushing herself, facing fears with an eye on experiential travel. She needs to do it, feel it and see it so she can write about it. Her hope is that her stories encourage readers to get out there and do the same.
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