Of course, you might need a new pair of headphones because yours broke at the airport. In these cases, Woroch advises using your phone to compare airport shop prices with those listed online to determine which options offer a fair price. Otherwise, keep your wallet tidy and spend your time people watching.
“When your flight is delayed or you have a long layover, you might be tempted to start shopping to kill time and boredom, but there’s nothing good about shopping at the airport “, she said. “The prices in these shops and stores are higher than in the usual stores. Not to mention, you’ll be stuck with more stuff, which may require you to pay more when you come back to check in a bag or pay for an overweight bag.
Pack the wrong things in your carry-on
“Another mistake people make at the airport that costs them more is not understanding the restrictions on carry-on baggage,” McKague said. “For example, a customer recently had his perfume taken from him at the security checkpoint because he packed the bottle full of perfume in his carry-on, which exceeded the 3.4 oz rule. She didn’t have time to run to the car or ship it home, so she wasted more money getting rid of her perfume.
Although you should pack cabin-restricted items in your checked baggage, you should make sure to pack essential personal items in your carry-on baggage.
“It’s boring lugging your things around the airport, but if you’re checking in a bag, make sure you have a small carry-on with a few essentials,” Wheaton said. “If your bag gets lost or you’re stuck at the airport for a long time, you won’t need to spend money on things like a toothbrush, sweatshirt, or charger for your telephone.”
Missing out on free amenities
A good way to reduce airport expenses is to look into the free amenities you may be entitled to. For example, your airline’s loyalty program status may include vouchers or club access for certain routes. The same goes for your credit card.
“If you’re a frequent flyer, consider a credit card that would give you free lounge access,” Wheaton said. “Choose a card that offers lounges in the destinations you normally visit. Although these cards normally charge an annual fee, if you’re a frequent flyer, the amenities can easily outweigh the fees. Lounges typically offer free food, drinks, Wi-Fi and are staffed with people who can help you if you experience a flight delay or cancellation.
Not being strategic about snack purchases
Even if you don’t have access to free food at the airport, there are ways to cut down on the money you spend on snacks while traveling.
“While the smartest thing to do is bring your own TSA-friendly snacks, sometimes we forget,” Dunavant said. “Make sure you buy your snacks at your doorstep rather than in the air. Some in-flight meals must be booked in advance, and snacks can cost significantly more in the air than on the ground. So save yourself some change by picking up treats from the Hudson News or CIBO Express on your doorstep.