Reduce the Cost of Travel When Stuck with an Expensive Ticket
Although there are many travel deals and discounts offered by airline companies and third-party travel websites, you may find yourself paying full price for an airplane ticket. If that does happen, there are still ways that you can reduce the cost of your trip. How?
Bring a snack with you to the airport. Airlines have increased the cost of their onboard snacks. Not only that, but they are expensive in airport shops. A small bag of chips could easily cost you $2. On the other hand, it would have been $1 or less at a nearby gas station or grocery store. If you have a long day of flying ahead of you, pack lots of dry snacks. They will come in handy and easily reduce the cost of flying.
Buy a drink at the airport. Unfortunately, there are rules and restrictions in place for liquids on an airplane. Unless you are a parent traveling with a small child, you cannot bring a drink through airport security. Most airlines have done away with free drinks, meaning you must pay for a water or soda on the airplane. You could easily pay at least $2 for a small can of soda. Although it is more expensive to buy a water or soda bottle at the airport than a grocery store, it is still cheaper than paying for an in-flight drink. At each connecting airport, buy a drink.
Eat before traveling. At many airports, you will find fast food eateries and upscale restaurants. Even fast food restaurants are expensive. For example, McDonald’s is known for their dollar menu, but many airport McDonald’s do not have this cheap selection of food. You can save money by eating a full meal at home or at a cheaper restaurant before arriving at the airport. If you must buy a full meal at the airport, consider sharing with your partner to reduce the cost.
Bring books and magazines from home. Not only are snacks, drinks, and meals more expensive at the airport, but so are books and magazines. If you have a long flight, you may want some reading material. Decide ahead of time. Wal-Mart is known for reducing the average selling price of magazines. You can find cheap books at Wal-Mart too, as well as the discount bins at most bookstores. Do not pay full price or more for books and magazines at the airport. Plan ahead instead.
Bring a portable DVD player or laptop. If you are on a long and large flight, your airline may show an in-flight movie. This sounds nice, until you learn that you need special headphones. The headphones from your iPod will not work in most situations. Most require a special connector. These headphones usually cost at least $3. Bringing your own laptop or portable DVD player, you save money on this fee and get to handpick what movie you watch.
Avoid extra baggage fees. Since airlines are losing money at an alarming rate, most are increasing their fares. Not only that, but they are also increasing and creating new fees. Now, many airlines charge you for a second bag of check luggage and some even charge you for the first. It is right that you are charged an extra $30 roundtrip just because you have a suitcase? No, but it does happen. Luckily, there are many ways you can avoid these added costs.
Condense luggage with family. If you are traveling with your family for a family vacation, condense your luggage. As cute as your five year old will looking dragging her own suitcase, is it really necessary? By combining her clothes into your suitcase, you could eliminate the common $30 roundtrip charge for the first checked bag. This approach is best done with family, as there are little safety and security risks.
Buy space saving travel bags. We have all seen the commercials for Space Bags and other similar products. These really do work and there are bags designed especially for travel. Instead of using a vacuum cleaner, you seal the bag and lean on it to apply pressure. These bags really do work. Put your clothes inside and you reduce the need for an extra suitcase. If you are taking a short flight, these space saving bags can help you get all of your clothes in your carry-on bag, eliminating any additional fees.
Of course, the best way to fly cheap is to get a good deal on your airline reservations. If you are past that point, try some of the above mentioned steps; they do work.