Flying is expensive! Keep your costs down on your next flight by remembering these 7 tips.
1. Bring Your Own Food:
Most airlines these days charge you for snacks and even for in-flight meals. And don’t even think about trying to find something reasonable in the airport, airports have some of the highest markups anywhere! Instead, make sure you eat a big meal before traveling and pack some snacks or a meal if you’re on a long flight. Besides being cheaper, packing your own food allows you to make healthier choices. We’ve all self-rationalized why it’s ok for us to buy McDonalds just because we’re in the airport.
2. Avoid Baggage Fees:
In 2014 Airlines in the U.S. made $3.5 billion in baggage fees according to the Airline Financial Data report. The only 2 major airlines to not charge a baggage fee are JetBlue and Southwest airlines. If your not flying one of these carriers then one of the easiest ways to save money and time while flying is to try and fit all of your belongings into a single carry-on bag. Besides avoiding the baggage fee, you’ll also save time by circumventing long lines to drop off your bag and the always infuriating process of waiting for your luggage at the carousel.
3. Weigh Your Luggage:
Another way that airlines increase their revenues is by charging you a fee for going over the allowed luggage weight. To avoid this, try to weigh your bags at home before you head out for your flight. To weigh your bag you can either purchase a Luggage Scale or for a rough estimate, use your home bathroom scale.
4. Use Public Transportation:
After buying a plane ticket we often forget about the other travel costs involved in getting to and from the airport. Since airports tend to be placed far outside of city centers it’s often expensive to take a cab. To avoid cab fees make sure you do your homework on what public transportation is available and leave yourself plenty of time before your flight to make it to the airport on time. Cutting it close to your flight adds stress to traveling and forces you to use the most convenient form of transportation, which is likely a cab. Another cheaper alternative to taking a cab is using Uber (get $15 for signing up) or Lyft. Many airports are cracking down on these services but a quick Google search of the airport should let you know.
5. Currency Exchange:
If you are travelling abroad and need to exchange currency avoid lousy exchange rates by not using services at the airport. Instead, use an ATM at your destination but make sure you are familiar with your banks foreign transaction policies to avoid extra fees. If you travel abroad often it’s probably worth your while to get a no foreign transaction fee credit card or a no fee debit card.
6. Prepare Your Entertainment:
Before heading to the airport make sure you are stocked up on entertainment. Bring some magazines, a book, load your phone with new music or download a few TV shows or a movie. Making sure you have plenty to do on your flight keeps you from buying magazines and books from newsstands in the airport. You can also avoid paying for movies/internet on the flight if that’s something your airline charges for.
7. Bring an Empty Water Bottle:
Nobody likes paying $3 – $5 for a small bottle of water, it’s pretty much highway robbery! Since you can’t get liquids through airport security, carry an empty water bottle with you and fill up at a water fountain. This collapsible bottle is great for travel
Check out our article Plane Ticket: Save Money by Knowing When to Buy to save even more money on your next trip.