Summertime is here and for many that means travel time. And for many air travel is a part of our travel plans. As travelers, we have to spend a considerable amount of down time in airports. This can often tempt us to make unnecessary and even unwanted purchases. The temptation is becoming stronger by the day as modern terminals continue to increase and improve their drinking, dining, and retail options. Fair pricing is scarce and stores knowingly take advantage of travelers with huge markups on everything from parking to vending machine drinks. Flying is expensive enough as it is, so here are three things that you should never buy at the airport if you want to save some cash.
There’s no denying that navigating your way through an airport and air travel itself is thirsty work. However, there’s no justifiable reason to fork out $5 for a bottle of water or any other bottled or canned drink. To put it into a more astronomical figure, back in 2015 a lawsuit was filed against airport retailer Hudson News for selling water 300% more expensive than the street price. Plus, it’s not very eco-friendly, which is why some airports, like San Francisco’s SFO, are banning the sale of plastic water bottles. Fortunately, there’s a very simple way to combat the need for liquid refreshment. Purchase a reusable bottle before arriving at the airport and fill it up inside the departure lounge. There are affordable options to choose from, and more and more airports are installing better water stations for just this purpose.
Eating before a flight is a sensible thing and has many health benefits associated with it such as the ability to combat nausea. Eating well and avoiding fried, greasy and processed food is also important to in-flight wellbeing. While some airports are opening high-quality restaurants, most of the time your culinary options will be limited to fast-food joints and chain restaurants. If you want something bland and overpriced — high operating costs at airports drive up menu prices — then go ahead. Otherwise, fill up before arriving at the airport or bring a packed lunch and snacks with you. Unlike liquids, you won’t be asked to throw away food at the security check. If you’re flying long-haul, then hold out for your in-flight meal.
With smartphones forever in our pockets, we continually check emails, messages, and social media. While many airports offer free WiFi, it is usually for only a limited period. When the time is up, you’ll be asked for your credit card details to continue browsing at an extortionate fee. Resist the need and delight in a forced internet break by reading or people-watching. If you must log on, then search for non-password protected WiFi by sitting outside frequent flyer lounges, hotel lobbies, and restaurants or give one of these airport WiFi hacks a try.