Five Budget-Saving Tips for Air Travel

November 6, 2013

My friend Becky is back with some more fabulous packing tips! This week, she’s sharing her best tips for flying on a budget. Take it away, Becky!

I have been fortunate enough to take a few weekend trips recently.  While I love to travel, it is important for me to do it within a college gal budget.  Here are my top five tips to traveling on a dime:

5 Budget-Saving Tips for Air Travel from

  1. Pack a carry-on instead of checking a bag.  If you can fit everything in a carry-on, then this is the way to go! You will save roughly $50 round trip, which we all know is a nice amount of money! Don’t feel like carrying your bag around the airport? Every flight I have taken practically begs people to check their bags at the gate due to lack of space.  In other words, they will check your bag for free to your final destination!
  2. Bring food with you.  Did you know you can take food through security? I did not know this until my spring trip to California.  The man next to me on my plane was eating sliced strawberries.  Upon doing some research, I realized that this is a feasible option for me! As long as it’s not liquid, it is A-okay to bring food through security.  My favorite snack to bring with me on my endeavors is a Starbucks’ Fruit and Cheese plate. Yum!
  3. Buy a neck pillow/blanket before leaving.  This may not seem relevant, but on long travels I usually begin to wish I had a neck pillow.  I would often wander into the airport shops and price the neck pillows — at at least $20 that luxury item was just not in this college gal’s budget, so I never purchased one.  When I was preparing for my most recent trip, I did some shopping at T.J. Maxx and was able to find a memory foam neck pillow for the low price of $9.99! Not only did I save at least $10, but I love my neck pillow! Another tip along the same line is this: Make sure you pack a jacket so you’re not forced to buy an airport hoodie out of necessity.  I always dress in layers when I travel to accommodate for this!
  4. Bring a water bottle.  Instead of paying for a beverage in the airport, simply put an empty water bottle in your carry-on. Once through security, you now have free, unlimited drinks! Don’t like water? Throw some kind of drink packet in your bag! I am a big fan of Crystal Light. An added bonus is that several airlines are installing water bottle filling stations into their water fountains. I was excited to see this in San Diego, Charlotte, Denver, and Washington D.C. recently.
    5 Budget-Saving Tips for Air Travel from
  5. Although it may not be as fun, forego alcoholic beverages on the plane and at the airport.  I know that to a lot of people, vacation time means time to relax and time to enjoy a beverage or two. However, by avoiding airport bars on your layover, you will save a serious amount of money that will allow for you to enjoy your final destination more.  So when you’re stuck in an airport on a long layover, dive into a good book, not an overpriced margarita!

I hope that these tips help you on your adventures! What are some money saving tips that you have discovered during your travels?



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