I spent several hours today traveling from Grenada, West Indies back to my home state of Louisiana. It was a long day of flying with a lot of luggage, but we definitely used some tricks to save money and avoid potential headaches. Here are some of my top tips:
1. Pack Breakfast
During the morning of a flight, it can be hard to take the time to make breakfast. Plus, then you have dirty dishes waiting for you when you come home, and no one wants that. I’ve always found that packing a bagel or making a breakfast sandwich and putting it in a ziplock bag works wonders for getting over that tiring travel lull. Today, our good friend made us each a breakfast sandwich to bring, and it was so sweet. It helped a lot in ensuring we didn’t gorge on snacks as soon as we made it to our layover.
2. Do the Baggage Math
Baggage fees are so expensive now, and sometimes it’s actually cheaper to fly first class. Since we were bringing home six bags today (since I am moving permanently back to the U.S.) we opted to fly first class and have all the bags included in the price. It was several hundred dollars cheaper than flying coach and paying for extra bags.
3. Stay Out of Airport Malls
I’m always amazed at how many people purchase goods at airport malls. I like to window shop and look when I have a long layover, but I never buy anything. Prices are usually so marked up, and you can often find the exact same purse, shirt, earrings, etc. for half the price online or at a store at home.
4. Bring an Airline Brand Credit Card
If you enjoy collecting airline points, be sure to get the credit card of the airline you fly on the most (and pay it off at the end of every month of course!) You often get discounts if you purchase an in flight snack or extra points for various purchases. We use ours for everything and have enjoyed complimentary upgrades, priority boarding, etc. over the past few years.
5. Have an Internet Free Day
While many airlines and airports offer free wifi, the one where I spent most of my day (Miami) does not. While it was tempting to purchase the day pass for $8, I knew that I’d be home soon enough, and there was nothing urgent or pressing in my e-mail. I can do a lot of my work directly from my computer without an Internet connection, and I actually had a much more focused and productive day without it.
Ultimately, saving money while traveling just comes down to saying “no” to all the little extras and preparing snacks in advance. We didn’t spend too much money today, even though we could have easily spent $50-$60 purely on lunch, Internet, and snacks. Instead all we bought was a bottle of water to share! I love saving money and coming home to the USA all at the same time.
How do you save money when you travel?
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Great tips! Staying away from airport mall is the best tips. Few months back while I was travelling to Canada, I bought a Samsung S3 from airport mall. Guess what happened! They gave me a old phone. I could only use the for one day and it died after that one time. Such a waste of money. Everyone should be careful.
While I understand that people want to save money I would recommend that those on a budget go on a vacation they can afford and enjoy and not budget around something they can't really afford.
Packing your own food is essential. Airports and airplanes can be horribly expensive places.
I often do pay the charge as I find that airports are actually a great place to work as you can just sit by yourself on the laptop without being disturbed by others and you have a forced deadline by the time the flight leaves and so that usually forces improved productivity. For me, anyway...