As frequent travelers, we often find ourselves having to wait for extended periods of time at airports. During these waiting periods, we may feel tempted to make unnecessary and undesired purchases. The temptation to do so is becoming more prevalent each day, as modern terminals provide a wide range of options for food, drinks, and shopping. Unfortunately, finding fair prices can be a challenge, as stores in airports are well aware of this and take advantage of travelers by significantly hiking up prices on everything, from parking fees to vending machine beverages. Since flying already comes with a hefty price tag, it's smart to avoid purchasing certain items at the airport if you want to save some money. Let's take a closer look at this issue to prevent making such a mistake!
What are some things that you should avoid purchasing at the airport?
Source: Volodymyr Hryshchenko/Unsplash
Sometimes, there may be no other option but to purchase medicine at the airport. However, if possible, it's advisable to avoid doing so. Shops in airports are aware that travelers often experience headaches or nausea during flights, so they tend to increase the prices of over-the-counter medicines. Moreover, the medicine available at airports is usually sold in small packages meant for travel, which may not offer the best value for your money. To ensure you get the most out of your purchase, it's better to buy your preferred medications like Tylenol or Dramamine from a local grocery store or pharmacy before your flight. This way, you will also have extra medication to carry with you on your trip and for use on the return flight.
2. Bottled Water
Source: Brian Yurasits/Unsplash
It's undeniable that going through an airport and traveling by air can be quite tiring. However, there is no valid reason to spend $5 on a bottle of water or any other packaged drink. To illustrate the extent of this issue, in 2015, an airport retailer, Hudson News, was sued for selling water at a price that was 300% higher than its street value. Not only is this financially unfair, but it also has negative environmental consequences. That's why certain airports, like San Francisco's SFO, have decided to prohibit the sale of plastic water bottles. Thankfully, there is a simple solution to quench your thirst. Before you reach the airport, buy a reusable bottle and fill it up once you're inside the departure lounge. There are affordable options available, and numerous airports are now improving their water stations to cater to this specific need.
Source: Tamara Malaniy/Unsplash
Even though you may want to grab some last-minute souvenirs at the airport, it's actually not the best place to purchase them. Not only are they usually priced much higher, but they are also likely to be fake or inauthentic. It's better to wait until you're in town to buy your souvenirs, as you'll save money and get better quality items. In addition, searching for unique souvenirs adds to the excitement, and you'll feel proud knowing you're supporting the local community.
4. Electronic Goods
It can be difficult to resist the temptation of high-tech cameras, headphones, laptops, and smartphones when you have time to kill before your flight. However, buying electronic goods and accessories on impulse can have a negative impact on your budget. According to PriceSpy, a price comparison website, duty-free goods sold at major English airports were found to be around $130 more expensive than online prices. Even basic items like replacement cables and chargers, which can be bought for just a dollar or two elsewhere, are overpriced. If you happen to forget your charger, it's better to look for free charge points and buy a new one after you reach your destination.
5. Neck Pillows
Neck pillows are in high demand at the airport. The price of buying a neck pillow at the airport is twice, if not three times, the cost of purchasing one online or at a local store. If you have concerns about germs, remember that these pillows likely have been experimented on by other tired travelers. If you regret not bringing a neck pillow, you can try using a scarf or a cozy sweater instead. In addition, there is a possibility that the airline will offer a small pillow, depending on the duration of your flight.
Source: American Green Travel/Unsplash
It's strongly advised to avoid paying for extra luggage at the airport. The charges for last-minute luggage additions can be extremely high, both for the additional bags and for any excess weight. If possible, make sure to plan ahead and purchase your checked (or carry-on) luggage online to avoid any fees for exceeding the baggage limit. You can usually do this even a few hours before your flight, although some airlines may close this option 24 hours before departure.
Source: Jimi Filipovski/Unsplash
It's advisable to eat before a flight as it offers various health benefits, including the ability to alleviate nausea. It's important to consume nutritious food and avoid fried, greasy, and processed options for better well-being during the flight. Although some airports are introducing top-notch restaurants, most of the time, you will have limited choices like fast-food places and chain restaurants. If you are fine with tasteless and expensive meals (as airport expenses contribute to inflated prices), then go ahead. Otherwise, it's recommended to eat a satisfying meal before reaching the airport or bring your own packed lunch and snacks. Unlike liquids, food is not required to be discarded during the security check. If you are flying long-haul, it's better to wait for the in-flight meal.
For many travelers, it has become a customary practice to purchase a pre-flight celebratory drink at the airport. However, these alcoholic beverages are often exorbitantly priced, making it an expensive indulgence. A glass of wine typically costs between $15 and $20, while a beer can easily surpass $8 (or even more for craft brews). Mixed drinks are even more shockingly expensive. In addition, drinking before a flight has been found to increase anxiety and worsen jet lag in the long term. It would be wiser to save your money and enjoy a well-deserved margarita upon arriving at your destination instead.
9. Foreign Currency
Source: Jason Leung/Unsplash
One of the things that people often overlook when planning a vacation is the need for foreign currency. If you happen to forget it, avoid the hasty decision of exchanging money at foreign exchange booths like Travelex. These places charge high transaction fees and offer less favorable exchange rates. Nowadays, debit and credit cards are widely accepted even in remote areas, making cash unnecessary at times. However, it's still practical to have some bills on hand for tips, taxis, and public transportation. Instead of succumbing to the airport exchange booths, it's recommended to use a local ATM upon arrival. You will be pleasantly surprised by the more advantageous rates.
Source: Dreamlike Street/Unsplash
In this modern era, we constantly use our smartphones to check emails, messages, and social media, as they are always within reach. Although some airports provide complimentary Wi-Fi, it's typically only for a limited time. Once the time limit is reached, you will be prompted to enter your credit card details to continue browsing, often at a high cost. Instead of succumbing to this temptation, why not embrace a mandatory break from the internet by engaging in activities like reading or people-watching? However, if you really need to connect online, you can try looking for Wi-Fi networks that don't require a password by positioning yourself near frequent flier lounges, hotel lobbies, or restaurants. Alternatively, you can also attempt some of these airport Wi-Fi tricks.
No scams, just smiles: enjoy transparent rates and exceptional service with us – ParkingNearAirports.io!
Source: JJ Jordan/Pexels
In addition to our ultimate travel guide, we would also like to provide you with some more useful information on traveling, which will be handy for those who prefer doing this by air.
If you use your own car to reach the airport, you know it's critical to park it safely for the duration of your trip. Almost every airport has special on-site parking for this purpose. However, travelers aren't ready to spend a lot of money at the beginning of their trip, as this option is pretty costly. So what should we do then?
Our booking platform, ParkingNearAirports.io, offers travelers online reservations for parking just outside airports that are affordable and convenient. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing travelers parking options at over 100 airports in the US and Canada. The app allows customers to search and compare parking rates at up to 70 percent savings compared to the cost of on-site parking at all major airports.
What is actually off-site parking, and which advantages has this parking type, you may ask? So let's take a closer look at this question.
First of all, off-site parking is much cheaper. So you can save money and then spend the most considerable amount on the things you really want to try or see while traveling.
Secondly, off-site parking services are faster. It might seem that it's faster to park your car at the airport, but that's not always the case. Off-site parking offers you the following convenience: when you drive directly up to the entrance, a staff member pulls your luggage out of your vehicle and loads it into the shuttle. Then they park your car for you. After your baggage is loaded, you can take your seat in the shuttle, which will bring you and your bags to the airport. It's a hassle-free option that is usually faster.
Source: Steven Coffey/Unsplash
Thirdly, it's much more convenient. People are always stressed before the trip, as there are many things you should keep in mind. Not to be late when taking off, fighting traffic, finding a parking place, wondering how long the shuttle service will take, and more can leave you annoyed before you step foot inside the airport. If you choose off-site parking, you are using the assistance of a private company that caters to travelers' needs. Such services can make your trip much more comfortable when you arrive at the airport and return home.
With ParkingNearAirports.io, it takes just a few clicks within the application to reserve a parking spot. Upon arrival at off-airport parking, customers receive a booking confirmation and a guaranteed parking spot. The app helps customers find the most convenient airport parking lots. If plans change, cancellations are hassle-free and refundable.
We also offer you services for top cruise ports in Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas.
Let's look at an example. Imagine that you live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. If you're planning a trip to Europe, you can choose cheap parking near YYC Airport. If you're coming from Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, the situation is the same – you can use affordable Charlotte long-term parking. So it depends just on where you are flying from.
On our official website, you can find the best deals, airport parking prices, and other information connected with parking near US and Canadian airports.