Time spent in the airport pre-flight is a minefield for spending more of that holiday cash than you intended to.
Avoid extra expenses by following our simple steps to get the most out of your experience and kick your holiday off to a great start without burning a hole in your wallet.
1. Money Exchanging
According to Which? buying your currency at the airport is a rookie mistake. Airport bureaus offer the worst value for money on exchange rates. You’re far better off booking online in advance and making comparisons to find the suppliers with the best deals. Even last minute online bookings and picking up from the bureaus guarantee you’re likely to get a far better deal than buying on the day, face to face.
It is also suggested that visiting a cash machine when you’re already on holiday can offer the best exchange rate. If you think you might opt for this approach to getting your currency, ensure you’ve notified your bank branch that you’ll be abroad to avoid any complications using your card.
This may seem like an extravagant extra, but you’re on holiday so why the hell not? Booking yourself into one of the airport’s VIP lounges can help in capping the amount you pay on food and drink whilst walking through the airport and awaiting your flight.
Costing, on average, £20 per person and including free food and drink, and sometimes even something to read, you can begin your holiday indulgences right there and then. No need to worry about racking up costs whilst filling the gap between arrival and take off. It also takes you and whoever you’re travelling with away from the temptations of throwing money away in duty-free.
3. Airport Parking
Just like with money exchanging, advance bookings are key to finding the best prices. It also doesn’t do well to do anything last minute when it comes to your holiday. We reckon you’ll have enough on your plate with trying to squeeze that suitcase shut.
With so many options to choose from to suit your parking requirements, pick from short and long stay options, premium or even VIP parking for that extra luxurious touch. With up to 72% off at Parking At Airports you can book airport parking to suite both your needs and your budget.
4. The Weight of Your Luggage
Don’t get caught out by going over the limit on your luggage weight. It’s always important to know exactly what your limit is and weigh-in before you head off to the airport. Spare just a few pounds and invest in your own luggage scales so you can see an accurate reading on your suitcase.
Excess charges are often extortionate with £65 per overweight bag with British Airways and Ryanair’s double the cost of your 20kg limit with £20 on top for every kilogram extra. EasyJet charges £10 extra per kilogram. If you know you’re likely to want to take more than your airline allows, buy some scales, or even pay to take more to avoid a nightmare at check-in.
5. Take a Plastic Carrier Bag
Another way to get around those annoying luggage restrictions is by taking a plastic carrier bag or buying something at duty-free to obtain one. If you’re limited to just a cabin suitcase but want to take a handbag or other small bag, you can easily slip it into the carrier bag and it’ll appear as though you’ve just had a shopping spree in duty-free. Most average sized rucksacks will fit in a large duty-free plastic bag, meaning you can take more on holiday.
6. Is Duty-Free Actually Saving You Money?
It’s a rite of passage to visit duty-free and save on designer goodies and extravagant food and drink in the airport before you jet off on holiday. But it’s probably worth doing your research, because it turns out duty-free isn’t always the cheapest option. You could actually save up to 43% by avoiding picking up ‘bargains’ in the airport.
If you know the duty-free company that’ll be at your airport, it’s worth looking at their online prices and comparing them to high street shops. Can you get that litre of Bombay Sapphire gin for less at a supermarket? After a new bottle of perfume? Compare prices on a variety of online stores and ensure there aren’t lower prices out there.
7. Fast Track Security Passes
No one particularly enjoys waiting in a long queue with only stripping off and getting patted down to look forward to (not). But is it really worth the extra expense of a fast track security pass? Sure, it’s only a couple of pounds, but if you’re only getting priority going through airport security, it’s only minimising an average 7.2 minute wait depending on which airport you’re flying from, to maybe 3 or 4 minutes. Chances are that £5 quid will be more valuable spent on in-flight snacks than a couple of miniscule minutes.
Now that you’re a money saving airport whizz, you can sit back, relax, complimentary glass of prosecco in hand, and look forward to your holiday with your wallet that much fuller. These tips and tricks on money exchange, luggage, parking and more really will save you a small fortune and your sanity.
By Tegan Groombridge
who is a writer for My Favourite Voucher Codes on voucher code website that donates 20% of its profits to charity every month. In her spare time, she likes to read, play rugby and run. Her goals this year are to write more for her blog online and complete a 5km run in under 30 mins. She lives in the UK with her husband, cat Chui and dog Milo.