Airline Finance: How to Save Money When Flying

Airfare isn’t cheap these days. No matter if you encounter a sale or use a sight like Orbits, you may end up paying several hundred dollars for a round-trip flight. Throw in a spouse and a few kids and the price to fly instead of drive can reach $1000 or more. It almost makes the head of a young family feel like canceling a vacation and looking for local attractions. How can you save money is a situation like this? Well, you have to think of the items and events that surround the flight. Things like transportation and toiletries, for example — theseĀ are where you get back some of the money you invested on airline tickets. Here are a few examples of what we mean.

Transportation — The first question is how are you going to get to the airport? Some people would rather have a company like SuperShuttle drive them instead of taking their own vehicle. This does save money on gas and parking fees; however, using these shuttle services aren’t cheap. A round-trip drive to the airport can cost an individual around $100 depending on where they are in the route. A family of four can cost as much as one airline ticket. In this situation it’s best to shop around your area for other shuttle services that drive to the airport. Look for those with coupons and discounts for multiple passengers.

Parking — Should you decide to drive to the airport you want to take careful consideration of where you park. Sure, the garage connected to the terminal is the most convenient, but it is also the most expensive, ranging anywhere from $13 to $24 each day. For a one or two day trip this may not be bad. For a week or more it can be pricey. Do some research beforehand to find out what types of economy lots the airport offers, even if they are outside. In addition, look to see if there are any independent lots in the area that offer lower rates.

Food — You’re pretty much a prisoner of the airport once you pass through the security checkpoint, and if you didn’t bring any food to eat during your flight, you may end up paying much more at the terminal outlets. Best bet is to head to the Wal-Mart or local supermarket beforehand and stock up on meals and snacks you can nosh on waiting for the flight and while in the air. Just don’t by any beverages since they’ll be confiscated at security. You save money in the end because water and soft drinks are still free. Well, for most airlines.

Toiletries — There are two options here. First, pack toiletries from home in clear plastic bags and check to see if the measurement requirements have changed. This permits utilization of products you already have at home. The second option is to use the toiletries provided at the hotel or resort where you stay. Of course, if you’re camping or canoing, you’ll want to go with the first option.

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