How to stay frugal at the airport

We all know that travel is expensive. Especially air travel. There are many costs in flying that most of us don't think about. First there is the cost of getting to the airport. Next you have baggage fees (if you don't pay them in advance). Once through security you might want a drink or need to have a meal. These both are much higher in the airport.

I have some tips that help combat this. I will address each one above.

  • Getting to the airport costs include: gas, parking, train fare, taxi etc. Explore all your options. Compare total cost of daily parking versus train, bus, or taxi. You will be surprised how much it costs!
  • Baggage Fees: If you are not "elite" with the chosen airline you most likely have to pay for checked luggage. The best avoidance is to not check a bag. If you do need to check a bag a lot of airlines offer a cheaper rate if you prepay the fee online.
  • Food and Drink at the airport: Use the free water fountains. The restriction on security is for liquid. You can bring 50 sandwiches if you want. Bring your pre-made meals or snacks with you. If you must buy a drink the vending machines are usually cheapest. If you want alcohol look into a day pass cost for the business lounges (open bar) versus how much a drink is at the terminal bar.
No matter how you slice it travel costs money. Following the tips above can "reduce the damage" if executed well. Traveling can be expensive but that does not mean it has to be. Happy travels!