Hurray, you're going on holiday! First stop is the airport and while they may be the gateway to your dream getaway, they also can be harbingers of doom for your hard-earned cash.
According to Netflights, the average person spends almost £60 at the airport, with 53% going on food, 44% on hot drinks and 28% on booze. That's a pretty significant dent in your holiday money before you've even boarded your flight. Fortunately, we at Flexicover are experts when it comes to making funds go further.
From baggage check-in to duty-free shopping, read on for the Flexicover team’s top tips on how to save money next time you're at the airport.
Changing money? Do it in advance (or not at all)
What with all that last-minute shopping and packing, it's easy to forget about changing your travel money - but it pays to be prepared. Research by the Post Office found that changing the average value transaction of £268 into euros at the airport buys you £12.68 less bang for your buck. So make sure you get your cash before you head to the airport or alternatively, don't change your money at all. Plenty of digital banks such as Monzo and Revolut offer charge-free card transactions in overseas destinations, as well as fee-free withdrawals up to a certain limit. Magic.
Love a pre-flight meal or drink? Consider a premium lounge pass
Eating and drinking at the airport really adds up. But if you don't fancy relying on in-flight meals (we don't blame you) you'll almost certainly need refreshments before you board. With that in mind, it's worth considering a premium lounge pass. Prices vary from airport to airport, but some cost as little as £15, and all offer complimentary food and drink. What's more, they're pretty much guaranteed to be quieter than the regular airport restaurants and bars, so you can look forward to a bit of pre-flight peace. If you're a frequent flier, it might even be worth buying an annual lounge membership.
Don't forget to weigh your bags!
Excess baggage charges are perhaps the most frustrating way to waste money at the airport. Regardless of who you're flying with, these fees are notoriously expensive. For instance, despite its excellent reputation, Emirates charges as much as £117 for every 5kg above your allocated amount. Do yourself a favour and make sure your bags don't exceed your allowance before you make your way to the airport. It'll save you forking out extra money or, almost as bad, having to go through that embarrassing scene where you root around in your hold luggage for the extra pair of shoes that tipped you over the weight limit.
Avoid impulse purchases
Duty-free shopping just seems so tempting, doesn't it? You don't necessarily need a huge bar of Toblerone, an oversized M&M's plush toy or a £300 pair of designer sunglasses, but with huge savings on offer, how can you resist? Hard as it may seem, being disciplined when it comes to walking through the duty-free aisles is a sure-fire way to save money. That’s especially the case because many items aren’t actually cheaper than the high street at all, and some products like cigarettes and alcohol might be cheaper in your destination. So do yourself a favour and keep your money in your pocket, unless you’re sure you’ve got a bargain that you need.
Bring an empty water bottle and nibbles
This is such a simple tip, you'll be infuriated you've never thought of it before. Save yourself having to shell out £2 for a tiny bottle of water by bringing an empty bottle to the airport. You'll be allowed to bring it through security, then you can fill it up at a water fountain found at the vast majority of UK airports. Want two tips for the price of one? Pack easily transportable meals like homemade wraps, scones and chocolate to stop another large spend at the airport. The savings could easily buy you an extra round of cocktails and mocktails on a faraway beach.
Wherever you plan on heading to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.