These 10 Simple Steps can Significantly cut Down the Budget of Your Next Trip

These 10 Simple Steps can Significantly cut Down the Budget of Your Next Trip
A scenic view of aircraft flying overhead photographed | Getty Images | Photo by Bruce Bennett

A guide to travel on a budget

Man with his duffel bag leaving for the Airport  | (representative image) | Photo by Nappy
Man with his duffel bag leaving for the Airport | (representative image) | Photo by Nappy

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From avoiding overpriced airport purchases to navigating the complexities of currency exchange, each piece of advice is tailored to help you optimize your travel budget and enhance your overall experience. Discover how simple adjustments, such as freezing liquids or planning your meals, can lead to significant savings and a more enjoyable journey. Whether you're a frequent flyer or a novice traveler, unlock the secrets to smarter spending and make every trip a seamless and budget-friendly adventure.

1. Save money by skipping overpriced airport water

Airplane Window while Travelling | Unsplash | Photo by Eva Darron
Airplane Window while Travelling (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Eva Darron

 

One way to trim unnecessary costs at airports is by avoiding overpriced bottled water at the airport. A smart traveler can bring an empty bottle through security and tap into the numerous water fountains available in most terminals. Many airports are equipped with special pumps designed for quick and easy bottle refills. This cost-effective strategy not only helps quench your thirst but also prevents your hard-earned money from trickling away on bottled beverages.

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2. Bypass pricey airport food

A Man Travelling (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Jesshoots
A Man Travelling (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Jesshoots

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Despite common misconceptions, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows solid, non-liquid items like sandwiches through security, providing a budget-friendly solution to expensive airport meals. Some travelers hesitate, fearing potential issues at security, but with proper packing, this can be a stress-free process. Pre-planning your meals can lead to substantial savings, especially considering the inflated prices at airport eateries. For international flights, it's advisable to consume any perishable items before landing, as some countries have restrictions on bringing fresh foods through customs.

3. Freeze your liquids

A man with his bag during Travel | Unsplash | Photo by Mantas Hesthaven
A man with his bag during Travel | Unsplash | Photo by Mantas Hesthaven

 

For travelers aiming to dodge baggage check fees without sacrificing essential liquids, freezing becomes a strategic solution. If you possess liquids exceeding the 3-ounce limit, transforming them into solid form allows you to navigate security screenings without incurring additional costs for checking in a bag. Freezing the liquids before your journey ensures they pass through the security scanner hassle-free. Even if some thawing occurs during transit, proper storage minimizes any inconvenience. This clever travel tip not only saves you money on baggage fees but also streamlines the security process, offering a practical workaround for those with liquids exceeding standard limits.

4. Opt for online deals at duty-free shops

Window of an Airplane | (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by xx liu
Window of an Airplane | (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by xx liu

 

While duty-free shops at airports may lure travelers with promises of savings, the reality may not live up to the hype. Contrary to expectations, the deals offered at duty-free outlets might not be as enticing as they seem. Surprisingly, in-flight duty-free catalogs provided by certain airlines present an even less favorable shopping scenario. By opting for virtual platforms, passengers have the opportunity to discover more competitive prices, ensuring that their shopping endeavors result in genuine savings.

5. Unveiling the best days for budget-friendly flights

Person wearing beige sweater holding map inside vehicle | Pexels | Photo by Dominika Roseclay
Person wearing beige sweater holding map inside vehicle | Pexels | Photo by Dominika Roseclay

 

Travelers seeking economical options should pay attention to the timing of their ticket purchases. Tuesdays and Wednesdays emerge as optimal days for booking, with prices tending to decrease after the weekend. Flexibility becomes a valuable asset in the quest for savings, prompting travelers to explore various dates on the calendar instead of fixating on a specific flying day.

6. Avoiding overpriced onboard purchases

An air traveller uses a credit card to pay for items at a John F. Kennedy International Airport | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Nickelsberg
An air traveller uses a credit card to pay for items at a John F. Kennedy International Airport | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Nickelsberg

 

Navigating the new norms of air travel, passengers encounter changes in onboard services, especially amid the pandemic. Airlines, in response to safety measures, may suspend hot food options during flights. This is why it's best to eat before boarding or bringing their snacks. Onboard offerings, often limited and overpriced, might leave passengers craving more substantial meals. By planning and satisfying hunger beforehand, travelers can bypass the need for onboard purchases, ensuring a more satisfying and cost-effective journey.

7. Navigating airport parking costs

Cars are parked in front of the United Airlines building at San Francisco International Airport | Getty Images | Photo by Smith Collection
Cars are parked in front of the United Airlines building at San Francisco International Airport | Getty Images | Photo by Smith Collection

 

For travelers opting to drive to the airport, the convenience may come at a hefty price, especially for longer trips. In bustling cities like New York, daily airport parking rates can soar to $70, making it a significant expense for week-long vacations. While seeking a ride from friends or family is the budget-friendly choice, taking a taxi often proves more economical than shouldering steep parking fees. Booking affordable parking near the airport, coupled with shuttle services, presents a pocket-friendly solution to the parking predicament.

8. The pitfalls of airport money exchange

Exchange rates are advertised outside a Bureau de Change | Getty Images | Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe
Exchange rates are advertised outside a Bureau de Change | Getty Images | Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe

 

Frequent travelers know the sting of realizing they lack the local currency upon landing, but the airport is the least favorable venue for currency exchange. Rates at airport kiosks are notoriously unfavorable. Instead, opt for currency exchange at banks or shopping malls, where more stable rates prevail. Secure just enough currency for initial expenses, like a taxi, and head to a local bank in the city for better rates.

9. Loyalty rewards: The Benefits of Sticking to One Airline

Travellers things on World Map (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Charlotte Noelle
Travellers things on World Map (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Charlotte Noelle

 

When it comes to airline choices, remaining loyal to a single airline or a network of affiliated airlines while obtaining a bonus card proves to be a strategic move. Beyond accumulating valuable miles for future flights, exclusive perks such as complimentary checked bags, upgrades, and access to luxurious lounges with complimentary refreshments await loyal patrons. Simplify your travel experience and maximize benefits by embracing airline loyalty programs, turning each journey into an opportunity for rewards and elevated comfort.

10. Unlock business class savings

The latest Business Class option at the International Terminal during the Singapore Airlines | Getty Images | Photo by James D. Morgan
The latest Business Class option at the International Terminal during the Singapore Airlines | Getty Images | Photo by James D. Morgan

 

For savvy travelers, scoring a business class seat doesn't always start with booking one. The key is to purchase an economy ticket and leverage the potential for significant savings by upgrading at the airport. Rather than succumbing to early email upgrade deals, exercise patience. Upon arrival, approach the counter or gate, where the magic often happens. Even if payment is required, the cost is typically more budget-friendly than pre-purchasing online.

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