Between the flight, hotel and food costs, you may think that you've covered most of your vacation expenses, right? Not quite. Before you even get on the airplane, there are already costs that can blow your vacation budget before your trip even starts. But with a little planning you can avoid wasting money at the airport. Just follow these six simple tips:
1. Tote your own water
Last time I bought water at the airport it cost me eight bucks for a measly, medium-sized bottle (three times what I would have paid at my local grocery store). Don't get fleeced on bottled water costs - come armed with your own water bottle. You can refill it after you've past the security check point.
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2. Bring plenty to read
There's something about the airport that makes us want to spend impulsively on magazines and books. If you don't bring something to read or entertain yourself on the plane, you can end up spending $20 or $30 on magazines you didn't budget for. Go to the airport with your reading material ready.
3. Pack your own food
The only thing worse than having nothing to read on a flight is having nothing to eat. Airport shops lure travellers in by strategically placing racks of candy and chips near the entrance - those snacks can be expensive and unhealthy. Bring your own fruit, sandwiches, cheese and crackers to munch on in the lounge and on the plane.
4. Weigh your bags first
These days, you can end up shelling out $100 for overweight and oversized baggage on flights. It's a huge waste of money that can easily be avoided by checking the airline baggage requirements on their website before you travel.
5. Buy gifts before you go to the airport
Souvenirs and gifts at the airport can be a lot more expensive. If you can, try to pick everything up in local shops before you go.
6. Get a friend to drop you off or take the airport shuttle
Taxis and limos charge big bucks to take you to and from the airport. From where I live, it can cost me $100 ($50 each way)! If you can, get a friend to drop you off or just take an airport shuttle or the bus for a fraction of what a cab will charge you.
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