Traveling by airplane can be very expensive! Don’t make it more expensive than it needs to be! After you spend hundreds of dollars on your airplane ticket, rental car and housing (costs that we often have little control over), you will still have some “hidden” costs for your trip. You will still need to get to the airport, eat and take care of incidentals. We can’t plan for everything, but there are a handful of things that we can anticipate and plan for (which are often NOT accounted for).
These extra expenses can quickly add up to hundreds of collars per year.
Here are some tips to save money during travel:
Avoid Paying Baggage Fees
Many airline now charge customers to bring luggage, and the fees start at $25 each way. Sometimes this cost is unavoidable. However, if you are traveling along for only a couple of days, challenge yourself to pack everything you will need in a smaller “personal sized” bag. Alternatively, if you are going to visit family or friends for a few days, you can ship most of your clothes to their home a week before your scheduled arrival. Not only will it make your load lighter and save a few dollars, it will eliminate the need to wait for luggage. This strategy is especially useful if you have little ones and need free hands.
Bring your own Car Seat or Booster Seat
If you have a small child and are planning to rent a car, bring your child’s car seat along with you. Most car rental companies will charge you $20 or more per day to rent a car seat. To make travel through the airport with a car seat easier, you could purchase a device that essentially puts wheels on the car seat and allows you to pull it with your child in it like a stroller. Also, most airlines don’t even charge extra fees to bring your car seat on the plane (check with the airline for details).
Use Public Transportation or Have Someone Drop You Off
If possible, avoid having to pay parking fees. Depending upon the length of your trip, parking fees can quickly approach and exceed $100. Most large airports can be accessed by public transportation, and this is a great option (depending upon your amount of luggage and who is in your travel party). With a little planning ahead of time, you can either have someone drop you off, or use public transportation to get to the airport. This way, you will avoid paying those parking fees, and save those funds for your next plane ticket.
Pack Your Own Reading Materials
It is very easy to get bored while you are waiting to board your flight, which may lead to you perusing the bookstores or newsstands. To avoid spending $5 – $10 on magazines and newspapers, bring your own materials from your local library, your collection at home, or on your electronic device. Not only will it save you some cash, it is better for the environment.
Bring Your Own Food to the Airport
Most airports will allow you to bring food with you through the security checkpoint in your carryon luggage (not liquids). So, be sure to bring at least one meal and some snacks for your trip. Also, be sure to pack an EMPTY water bottle to fill up after passing through the security checkpoint. Many large airports now have water fountains that supply filtered water. A meal, drink and snacks purchased at the airport will very quickly add up to $25, so save that cash and bring your own (for under $3).
Plan Meals & Snacks
While it enhances your trip to enjoy the local cuisine of the place you are visiting, it may not be cost effective to do so for every meal. To avoid this expense, when you plan your trip, look for hotels that have at least a refrigerator and that offers complimentary breakfast. Also once you arrive to your destination, find a grocery store and stock up on quick meals and snacks that you can take on the go. If you are taking a larger suitcase, you can even pack some food items in your luggage. If you will have access to a kitchen, be sure to pack nonperishables like spices, rice and oatmeal. This way, you will only need to purchase things like meats, dairy and produce when you arrive.
What are some ways that you like to save money while traveling?