How To Save Time And Money At The Airport

Airports are the hub of travel, not just in the world, but for the entire world. Some people may fear flying, but nothing really gets you where you need to go faster than air travel. Even so, things can get a little tedious, or you may just find yourself spending money on unnecessary costs. So, in order to prevent that from happening, here are a few tips to help you out while at the airport.

Bring Your Own Headphones


Pros: No need to pay for extra
What you need: Your own set
Cost: $5+

The obvious reason for bringing your own headphones on a plane is so that you don’t have to buy your own. Some airlines will provide complimentary ones, but they aren’t always top quality. Your own will likely have a better sound quality and fit better anyway.

Ask For A Free Upgrade


Pros: You might get a better seat
What you need: Confidence
Cost: Free

Sometimes all you need to do is ask. It might seem presumptuous to ask for a free upgrade, but some airlines are more than willing to give one for special occasions. It won’t always work, but you don’t have anything to lose from asking!

Head To The Left Checkpoint


Pros: Get through quicker
What you need: To be able to tell right from left
Cost: Free

Waiting in line to get through security can take forever, and it can certainly get annoying. However, try just headed to the left checkpoint instead of the right one. Most people are right-handed, and seem to automatically gravitate towards the right. You’ll get through the left faster simply because there’s less people there.

Bring A Portable Charger


Pros: You’ll never run out of power
What you need: A portable battery charger
Cost: $10-$20

Trying to entertain yourself with your phone or laptop as you go through an airport can be a pretty big battery drain. You might be seated next to a charging point on the plane, but it’s not guaranteed. So, just try bringing a spare battery or portable charger. It’ll at least double the amount of time you can spend on your electronic devices.

Bring Wet Wipes And Hand Sanitizer


Pros: You’ll be protected against germs
What you need: Wet wipes, hand sanitizer
Cost: $3-$5

With the number of people in close proximity to you, the air being filtered through the plane, it’s possible you could catch something if you’re not careful. It can be especially dangerous in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, do be on the safe side, pack some wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Just use them every opportunity to have to keep the things you touch, and your own hands, clean.

Book An Early Morning Flight


Pros: A more relaxing flight
What you need: A morning flight
Cost: Free

Nobody likes turbulence. And for those with a fear of flying, the constant shuddering can make the trip even worse. However, there is a way to avoid at least most of it. Most turbulence occurs in the afternoon, so if you get a morning flight, you can get a smoother ride.

Bring Your Own Ziploc Bags


Pros: Traveling with liquids, keeping stuff safe
What you need: Ziploc bags
Cost: $4

When you’re packing to go away for a trip, it might not occur to you to run into the kitchen and grab the pack of Ziploc bags. That being said, it’s actually a really good idea to make some room for them in your suitcase for a variety of reasons.

Even if you’ve already packed all of your liquids, you might end up buying something last minute at the airport. On the flip side, if you’re planning on going to a beach, putting your tech inside a clear bag can actually protect them while you use it. If you don’t have any at home, you can pick them up at stores like Walmart for a fairly minimal amount.

Check In 24-Hours Before Your Flight


Pros: No waiting in the check-in line
What you need: Online check-in
Cost: Free

Back in the day, online check-in wasn’t even an option. But nowadays checking in online is practically standard. You can check in online as early as 24 hours in advance of your flight. You won’t even need to print out a physical copy, as long as you’ve got your electronic boarding pass on your phone.

Take A Photo Of Your Checked Luggage


Pros: Easier to spot at baggage claim
What you need: A camera phone
Cost: $100+ (free if you already have one)

Have you ever been worried about your luggage making it to your destination in baggage claim? Sometimes you may also mistake someone else’s bag for your own. The easiest way to avoid any stress is to just take a picture of your bag. That way it won’t be any more difficult to identify.

Freeze Your Liquids


Pros: Get your liquid through security
What you need: A frozen bottle of water etc
Cost: $1

Liquids are completely banned from airport security. How might you get around that though? Turn your liquids into solids. It will have to be totally frozen in order to properly make it through checks. If it’s even a little thawed though, you’re going to lose that bottle.

Find The Best Seat When You Check In


Pros: You’ll be super comfortable
What you need: SeatGuru
Cost: Free

Different airlines have different planes, and, as a result, different layouts for their seats. It can be difficult figuring out which seat’s going to be a comfortable one. However, there’s a nice app called SeatGuru to help with this. You can look for reviews of actual seats, so you know what might be more comfortable on the plane. Just remember to leave a review of the seat, yourself, after you disembark.

Fly Red-Eye


Pros: Peace and quiet
What you need: A red-eye flight
Cost: Free

Not a lot of people take red-eye flights. Resting in a comfortable bed just seems to make more sense. But taking a red-eye flight will be a much quieter experience. And it won’t cost you anything extra to take it.

Check Which Restaurants Are In The Airport


Pros: You’ll be organized
What you need: The internet and a good sense of direction
Cost: Free

Sometimes you may just think that you’ll stop and get dinner at the airport. But not all airports have good restaurants. At best, there will be several fast food joints, which are bigger money sinks and have poorer food quality. Just check what’s in the airport ahead of time. It’ll help you prepare and be ready to eat before you arrive in the terminal.

Bring An Empty Water Bottle


Pros: Free water
What you need: Empty water bottle
Cost: $1/Free

Freezing your water is one way to get water into the terminal, but there’s a much simpler one. Just bring an empty water bottle and fill it up after you get through security. There are always water fountains in the terminal, and it’ll certainly save you some cash.

Check Your Flight Status Before You Go To The Airport


Pros: You won’t be waiting forever
What you need: Internet
Cost: Free

It’s a fact of life that sometimes your flight will just be late. Sometimes it might even be cancelled. That’s why it’s a good idea to check to see if your flight is on time before headed to the airport. That way you’ll at least have some more free time to lounge around before you have to head to the airport.

Keep Hotel Toiletries


Pros: No need to buy travel size
What you need: Hotel toiletries
Cost: Free

Hotels often have small, travel-sized toiletries for you to use. So, you should use them. Take them with you and keep a stock for when you head through airport security again. They’ll just replace them after you check out anyway, so you might as well put them to good use.

Sign Up For The VIP Airport Lounge


Pros: Comfortable VIP lounge experiences
What you need: Frequent flyer miles/a spare $40-$50
Cost: As above

The more often you fly, the more perks you seem to unlock. The frequent flier miles you may gain from this can be exchanged for things like VIP lounge memberships. They’re very luxurious, with comfortable seating, free drinks, and other forms of entertainment. If you don’t have frequent flier miles though, then you can probably get a day pass for around $50. Not the cheapest offer, but it can help you relax if you hate traveling.

Avoid Lines


Pros: You won’t have to wait in line
What you need: A phone
Cost: Free

Sometimes, when a flight is cancelled, the immediate reaction is for people to rush to the desk to rebook. Avoid the line and just call the airline directly. Even if you need to rebook, they both have the same power, and will be able to take care of your issues as well.

Take A Nap At The Airport


Pros: You’ll be refreshed
What you need: A quiet place/a sleep pod
Cost: Free

When your flight gets delayed, sometimes the best thing to do is to take a nap. Some airports actually have sleeping pods for you to rent. Trying to deal with a delayed flight can be annoying, but a nap can help you feel refreshed. Just set a timer to make sure you don’t accidentally sleep through your new time.

Store Your Laptop In An Easy To Reach Place


Pros: You can reach it at any time
What you need: A laptop case, a big bag
Cost: $10

Seriously, just buy a laptop case. People struggle to take out packed electronics on their flight all the time. This will just make your laptop more easy to get to. Not to mention, you can use it out of the airport as well. They’re not even that expensive.

Take A Photo Of Your Parking Space


Pros: You’ll never get lost again
What you need: A camera phone
Cost: $100+ (Free if you already have one)

When you drive yourself to the airport, you’ll be gone for days, maybe even weeks depending on the nature of your trip. That’s plenty of time to forget where you parked your car. But if you take a picture of your parking spot in the lot or garage, then you’ll never have to worry about forgetting where it is.

Wear Your Extra Luggage


Pros: More space in your suitcase
What you need: Extra clothes
Cost: Free

Sometimes, even when traveling light, you’ll end up having to check an extra bag. And no one like spending that little extra bit of money if they don’t have to. The easiest way to avoid this is to take out your bulkiest items and where them through the airport. It might be a little uncomfortable, but it’ll save you money, and you can take them off after you get through security. This also helps lower the weight of hand luggage to ensure you can still take it on the plane as a carry-on.

Tie A Scarf On Your Bag Handle


Pros: No more standing at baggage claim wondering what’s yours
What you need: A bright scarf/tie
Cost: $5/Free if you already own one

Even if you’ve taken a photo of your luggage, your luggage may be on the more generic side of things. It still may be hard to spot. But, there’s a simple thing you can do to help identify it. Just wrap a brightly colored tie or scarf on the handle. It’ll help you pick it out among the bunch no problem.

Sign Up For TSA Prescreening


Pros: Quicker entry
What you need: To meet the criteria and apply
Cost: $100

TSA prescreening or Global Entry is a way you can basically get pre-approved to go through the TSA. It’ll save you time in line and you’ll get through the airport much faster. However, not everyone can meet the criteria to prescreen in the first place, so make sure to check the requirements before trying to purchase it.

Check For Free WiFi


Pros: You don’t use your own data/incur hefty charges
What you need: A phone
Cost: Free

When you’re not connected to WiFi, that can incur some pretty hefty data usage, especially when you’re out all day like when you travel through an airport. The data costs can get even more expensive when you visit another country. However, there’s a simple way to avoid these data charges in the airport, and it’s quite simple. Just check for free WiFi. You can connect very quickly and then you won’t have to worry about those data charges.