Chicago Airport

3 Ways to Avoid Over-Spending at the Airport

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Keep Your Budget in Check During Travel

If you’re on the road regularly, whether it’s for business or leisure, you are familiar with the outlandish upcharges for products and services at the airport. A bottle of water, an umbrella, or snacks can often cost more than they would in the outside world because, essentially, you’re paying for the convenience and not the quality of the products. For business travelers, that kind of constant over-paying can add up over time. For leisure travelers, the extra money could be spent on shopping or services during your vacation.

Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to minimize the amount of extra money you spend at the airport, and we’ve compiled a few of them into a simple list below.

Bring Your Own Snacks

Airport food is the number one culprit for guzzling up your extra cash when you need convenient snacks. Giving into the “convenience” of an airport soda, bottle of water or bag of chips could set you back two-to-three times as much in the budget department as simply bringing your own snacks.

Bringing your own snacks through the airport is, of course, a tricky situation. You have to package them in security-approved containers, and ensure that they meet all of the requirements. Once you’ve carefully checked that your snacks pass the test, you can head to the airport, confident that you won’t drop $8 on a bag of chips and a bottle of water.

A few snacks that are easy to pack and won’t go bad while you make your way from security to your gate?

+Pretzels

+Nuts

+Trail Mix

+Granola

+Dried fruits

Also, bringing an empty water bottle or Thermos and filling it after you’re through security is an easy way to stay hydrated without dropping any extra cash.

Avoid Airport Shopping

Airport shops can be tempting—especially when you have a long layover and plenty of time to justify dropping a cool hundred on a bottle of perfume or a new tie.

Unfortunately, indulging your layover or delayed-flight shopping bug can result in huge deficits in your trip budget, and possibly even put a dent into what money you’ve allotted for your hotel stay and meals.

If you find yourself particularly susceptible to airport shopping displays, try wearing earbuds with distracting music when you’re making your way to your gate. Take an absorbing book or eReader along so you’ll have something to distract you as soon as you sit down at your gate.

Pack a Few Extras—So You Don’t Have to Buy Them at the Airport

Another way to save money when you’re stuck in the airport is to already have a few essentials on hand, in case of an emergency.

For instance, if you’ve had a slight headache building since you woke up for your flight, pack some ibuprofen in your bag so you can avoid overpaying for the same stuff at an airport convenience store.

Similarly, if you have a runny nose, saw rain in the forecast or simply want to be prepared for unexpected occurrences, packing tissues, an umbrella, and a few Band-aids will help save you money and time should something occur.

Of course, you don’t want to overfill your suitcase, especially if you have limited space after travel necessities or are only taking a carry-on. Minimize the size and amount of extras you bring, but be sure that you know where they are located if you should need them.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to improve your experience at the airport that go beyond saving money. Having all of your devices charged and ready to go, as well as having reliable car service on hand, are other ways to make your business or leisure travel experience easier.

Whatever your methods for surviving and improving your travel life, we hope you strike a harmonious balance and come to love your life as a road warrior.

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.