Going on holiday can be an expensive business, so the last thing you want to do is spend a fortune at the airport. Here are some ideas for saving money before you fly.

book a first-class lounge

It might sound counter-intuitive, but paying for a first-class lounge may well save you money in the long run. Prices vary between airports, but for adults it’s usually £20 or under, £15 or under for children, and free for infants. This covers the cost of a comfy room to wait in as well as food and drinks. If you were planning on eating at the airport anyway, this way could work out cheaper. Plus it keeps you away from the shops—so you’re not tempted to buy something that you don’t really want or need.

book ahead for parking

Turning up on the day to park will mean paying the maximum price. To save money, you should book well in advance and shop around to find the best price. Good websites include aph.com, holidayextras.co.uk and gosimply.com. Once you’ve got your quotes, check with baa.com, who provide the official airport parking at many of the UK’s biggest airports. 

Also visit justpark.com, where people who live near airports offer their driveways at low prices. This can work out much cheaper than the usual car parks, and many driveway owners offer a collect service as well.

take an empty water bottle

Fill it up at a water fountain in the airport—this will keep you hydrated without having splash out on over-priced drinks.  Water at airports in developed countries should be safe to drink, but if you’re going somewhere exotic, do a little research to make sure the water is safe when you arrive. You can get collapsible water bottles that can be used over and again, and that fit neatly in your bag at nigelsecostore.co.uk 

take advantage of airport discount codes

Many airports have special offers and deals on products and meals, so remember to check the website of the airport you’re travelling from to see what’s available. 

orientate yourself

If you’re going to a new airport, find out where everything is before you arrive. Look up your airport’s website and see what information they have about the buildings, shops, amenities and transport.  Book ahead for taxis if possible or, even better, see if you can find a coach that will take you where you need to go. Some airports run cheap or free shuttles in and out of town. The more prepared you are, the less likely you’ll need to spend money unnecessarily.

don’t use express train services

Express-train services generally charge a lot more than the cost of a normal train, as they go straight to the station without calling points. It’s often worth just getting an ordinary train and saving yourself the extra money. This doesn’t always mean adding more time to your journey—in some cases, a regular train service may only add a few more minutes to your journey. You can compare fares and journey times on nationalrail.co.uk 

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