We all have to do it and we all hate it as much as the next guy. Traveling by plane can feel like a hopeless exercise in cutting through red tape. There is no way to escape the futile pastime of getting patted down, taking your shoes off, and surrendering your Fourth Amendment rights.
Another thing we give away freely at the airport is our money. When we finally bypass security and get into the waiting terminal, we are presented with all kinds of consumer choices that blindside us with their seemingly convenient location, then gouge our wallets with ridiculously inflated prices. Even before we pass security, the airport finds ways to rip us off and suck even more money from us. Here are some tips to save some cash while flying through the sky:
Eat Before Getting on the Plane
While the Cinnabon at the airport may seem like a good idea, it probably isn’t. You are not trying to carbo-load for a race. You are going to be sitting in the same position on the airplane for several hours in a very confined space. Try to eat some fruit or lean protein before boarding and if you must, bring an apple with you in your carry on.
Take a Shuttle
The airport shuttle is an excellent way to both save money and save the environment. It is in essence a carpool bus that people take to the airport instead of splurging on a cab. It has several destinations and usually drops 7-8 different people off at different terminals. If you are one of those who does not like riding with a bunch of strange people, then you probably don’t want to step aboard the plane.
Don’t Park at the Airport
Keeping your car at the airport for the duration of your trip can really start to add up. Most parking lots charge you by the day and charge exuberant prices which are consistent with everything else you find at the airport. Instead of leaving your car in storage, have a relative pick you up, take a cab, or call the airport shuttle as previously stated.
Don’t Check Bags
Unless you are going to an exotic location or plan to leave your city for a couple of weeks, there is no need to pack your life up into a bunch of suitcases. With clever packing skills and a little ingenuity, you can fit all of the clothes you need into one bag. Don’t bring things like toiletries along because you will be able to purchase them at your destination.
Bring Your Own Entertainment
Instead of buying magazines and books at the kiosk in the airport, bring some from home. It might be tempting to purchase the new John Grisham novel, but it probably won’t be at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Bring an iPod, tablet, or other device so you can watch or listen to media.
Don’t let the people at the airport trick you into buying things you don’t need. You already gave them enough money when you bought your ticket.