It’s time to confess… whenever you gather up the troops and head out for a long flight, your ancient parental instincts suddenly flare up: foraging, hoarding and chocolate pretzel cravings. Here are some practical money-saving tips that will end up adding up to a surprising sum.
One always feels as if they’re saving themselves trouble by calling a “professional”. Unfortunately, if a service has an advertising budget that includes paying someone to write a jingle for their company, then it’s already clear that there is bound to be a cheaper option somewhere. The most obvious solution for cutting corners when getting a ride would be hitching along with a trusted friend or relative. However, depending on how large your family happens to be (and how permitting your friends’ schedules may be) this may or may not be a feasible decision. Some other overlooked choices would be shuttles and local buses. If you investigate their routes, you may find that they offer the cheapest option. In New York City, for example, some very accessible subway lines end up taking you directly away from JFK meaning your cheap flight to New York doesn’t end up costing more than you think it will.
Whatever you do, a golden rule towards saving money on food when traveling is to think ahead. In airports, they prey on a simple dynamic: lack of planning coupled with stress-induced cravings. Don’t fall victim to this. Especially, if you’re in command of a large family then that wave of food-court triggered hunger-pangs battering your frail spirit and forcing you to shell out precious travel funds can be out right crippling! ALWAYS plan ahead. Head down to a local market and find some nice fresh fruits mixed up with some economical brand of hazelnut spread. Buy some fresh rolls, sandwich meat and cheese. Add in a few bags of healthy, baked crispy morsels. If you’re going to buy beverages for the entire family, always remember that individual 12 oz packs of drinks tend to offer less value than a 2 litter or gallon of juice or diet soda. If you want something a bit more extravagant that requires less effort, prepared-meals offered at supermarkets tend to be much more economical than anything found at an airport.
Chances are that nearly every time your family walks into an airport consumer-center they eventually end up perusing the magazines, cheap novels and word-games; the combination amounts to a trifecta of weakness inducing consumption mania as your thoughts drift to the anticipated boredom of a long flight. The best way to vaccinate yourself against the grip of an expenditure virus is to remember to bring the portable DVD player, old books, and magazines that no one has read in a while. Also, keep the kids preoccupied with whatever portable entertainment devices they already have in order to keep their gazes averted from the lures that airport convenience stores set up. Also remember… there is bound to be a ton of free visual entertainment available on the flight.
Follow these simple, golden rules and you might just be surprised at how fat your wallet (or purse) feelings at the end of the trip.