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How to land big savings in the airport: maximising your budget before take-off

Booked it, packed it and ready for take off? Read our top tips to make sure that you don’t spend your holiday money before you’ve even got out of the UK.

  1. Pack Your Own Snacks and Water Bottles Airport prices can be eyewatering, and you don’t want to blow the holiday budget before boarding! Pack enough snacks for the family to avoid having to shop in the terminal. Choose items that don’t need to be chilled like granola bars, dried fruit, crisps and rice-cakes. Take a refillable water bottle but double check that this can be taken through security before you fill it up at home. An empty bottle can be taken through security and filled up at the airport. Wateratairports.com is a great community forum that shows where free water refills are available at airports in the UK and across the globe.

  2. Weigh your luggage at home Airlines are real sticklers for baggage limits so make sure that you have weighed your suitcases before heading to the airport to avoid fees. You can pick up luggage scales for a couple of pounds and they are worth the investment compared to what you could be charged for going over your baggage allowance. Keep some space available in your hand luggage in case you need to do a quick repack and stuff some undies into your carry-on case!

  3. Bring Entertainment for the Kids Airport shops are specially designed to lure kids in with shiny gadgets and toys on display, but there’s nothing fun about the prices. Pack a couple of their favourite books, colouring supplies, and small toys to keep them entertained. Download games and TV shows onto their tablets at home to avoid having to pay for WiFi in the airport and make sure they are fully charged the night before. If you’ve got a pack of cards or travel versions of any boardgames, slip those into your hand luggage too.

  4. Pre-book Airport Parking If you're driving to the airport, booking parking ahead of time can save you up to 50% of the cost of paying on the day. Last-minute parking decisions not only lead to premium prices – but can add extra stress if there’s no space when you arrive. Off-site parking is often cheaper than the parking provided by the airport, so do shop around to find the best deal. Once you’ve arrived at your chosen carpark, a shuttle bus will take you and your luggage to the correct terminal. This can add some extra time before check-in, so make sure to plan for this.

  5. Use public transport to get to the airport With drop-off charges costing up to £7 for 15 minutes at some major airports, it could work out more cost-effective to get the bus or train to the airport. There are shuttle services to local airports from central depots and stations that run throughout the day and often late into the night. Younger children are often more excited by trains and double-decker busses so plan it right and it could become part of the adventure, starting the excitement of the holiday a little earlier.

It can be easy to overlook the extra spending around a holiday once the package has been booked but with these top tips you can get your budgeted break off to a flying start. Now, don’t forget your passport!

Posted in Budgeting, Personal Finance on Aug 25, 2023.

Representative Example: Borrowing £3,000 over 24 months at an interest rate of 71.3% p.a. (fixed), you will repay 24 monthly payments of £238 per month. Interest Payable £2,706. Total Repayable £5,706. Representative 99.9% APR.

Jason Bovington - COO

Jason BovingtonJason became Chief Operating Officer in July 2022. He joined Everyday Loans initially in 2006 as part of the start up team implementing the credit risk strategy and building the analytical capability as Head of Credit Risk and Analytics. In his time with Everyday Loans he has also held the roles of Chief Risk Officer and Chief Credit Officer. Prior to joining Everyday Loans Jason spent 10 years at HFC Bank with his last role there being Credit Risk Director and prior to that he was part of the Credit Risk team at Lloyds TSB.