Airline fares, taxes, seemingly excessive bag fees… the airport can be a pretty expensive place when traveling. With all of the expenses you incur on a flight, it would be wise to consider ways to limit further expenses at the airport. A pair of fashionable boots or an attractive bottle of whiskey might seem like a great deal, while the forgotten phone charger will have to be replaced.
Regardless, airport shopping can set you back a couple of bucks more than regular shopping will. Considering costs of airport stores and their near monopoly in the area, it is no surprise that prices are at a premium. But you can avoid these extra expenses by limiting your airport purchases. Here are ten things to avoid buying altogether.
1. Bottled Water
This is one of the most frequent purchases at the airport. Considering that you cannot pass a bottle of water through security and that flights can be very dehydrating, this is fairly understandable. However, a bottle of water can cost you as much as $5 per bottle. And for a family, that expense could get to as much as $20 before your trip even commences. Cut down on costs by packing a reusable water bottle and filling it after crossing airport security.
A gift shop away from the airport would offer you the very same souvenir for a whole lot less than an airport gift shop. Meanwhile, you would hardly find a great selection of locally made souvenirs at airports. Getting a gift away from the airport makes a whole lot of sense.
3. Travel Accessories
Neck pillows and other accessories needed for travel comforts can be rather pricey at airports. Trapped in your terminal, you have no choice but to make the purchase at outrageous prices if you didn’t come with one. You can always get one for half the price by ordering online before your trip.
4. Food and Snacks
Restaurants generally charge much higher prices in airports than they do outside. Considering the increased operating costs these outlets incur at airports, it is fairly understandable. Even worse, costs can vary between terminals in the same airport. But you do not want to be on the receiving end of this confusing increase. Pack your own lunch from home to take care of your hunger when it arrives. Snacks might seem a fairer alternative on the surface, but prices are generally double the cost outside the airport.
Going by conventional wisdom, a duty-free purchase might sound like a great deal. But that’s not always the case. While you can get the occasional good deal on such items as cigarettes or alcohol, for the most part, duty-free goods can be bought outside the airport for a lot cheaper than the going rate in the airport. Always compare prices online before deciding which is a great deal.
6. Foreign Exchange
Traveling to another country without first having some of their currency can make your stay a whole lot difficult. The airport loves to take away this stress by offering to change your currency right there. Convenient, right? Wrong! High transaction fees and poor exchange rates make it much better that you convert your currency either before you get to the airport or after you arrive your destination.
7. Airport Parking
Airport parking can often cost an arm and a leg. The longer your vehicle remains in an airport parking lot, the more cost you accrue over time – you can spend as much as $126 for 7-day parking at JFK! If you must drive down to the airport, off-site parking lots regularly offer better deals than airport parking lots. On the other hand, you can always ditch your car. Have a friend or family member drop you off at the airport or catch a ride to and from the airport for reduced costs.
Free Wi-Fi is not so readily available in certain airports. While you might catch free Wi-Fi in certain airports, others might cost you as much as $5 – $10 per hour for internet access. First, you might have absolutely no important reason to access the internet. If you must, though, you will often get a password-free connection near the first class lounge. Most airport Starbucks (though not all) also offer free Wi-Fi connectivity which you can exploit.
A reading material can conveniently keep you busy while waiting for take-off or even mid-flight. Although buying one of such at the terminal newsstand might not set you back so much, the game changes once you cross the border. Magazines that cost only a few dollars back home can go for as much as $10 at foreign airports. So, those planning to enjoy a read while on their trip are best served getting a good magazine or book back home.
There’s a lot of spending to be done when you travel. Keep your wallets safe by cutting down on unnecessary purchases, especially at the airports. This extra cash can always bump the finances available for your trip or they could serve other purposes back home.