Need Another Holiday | travel blog for trip-takers and holiday-makers

Airport Money Saving Tips for Your Next Holiday

Going somewhere? You’ll need to run the gauntlet of airport shops before you get anywhere near this baby.

I used to convince myself that airports were pockets of the world where you only spent holiday money, which, as everyone knows, is not the same as real money.

But then I woke up.

Because, you see, the more I travel, the more I weigh up purchases in terms of flight ticket prices. And frankly, I’d sooner go somewhere than buy something I don’t need. But it’s not always easy and it can take restraint not to indulge in airport shopping. Especially when your trip is a proper holiday, and you’re all giddy and excited about it.

Recently, the people at Purple Parking told me they’d been compiling their own page of money saving advice for travellers, and they asked me for my top tips on how holiday-makers can save their pennies in the airport. So I got to thinking about how I avoid the danger zone when the usual airport spending quandaries arise.

And here’s what came to mind:

When you want to hit the duty-free…

Make a list of what it is you want, and use the target shopping strategy. Need perfume? Buy it, by all means. Just don’t deviate from your plan and DO NOT under any circumstances get seduced by the Siren like call of the words “Travel Exclusive”.

You’ve been warned.

Kid in a sweet shop? No. It’s just me in the duty free.

When you wouldn’t mind a new wardrobe addition…

Consider both these statements:

“Oh this? I found it in a random little boutique somewhere up a side street in Seville.”


“Oh this? I got it from (insert standard chain-store name) at Manchester Airport.”

Which will sound better when your friend asks you where you bought your new top? Exactly. So save your money and the space in your case for when you get to where you’re going and just walk right past the airport shops.

When you fancy a glass of wine and feel peckish…

Pre-book an airport lounge. Cheaper than paying at the door, you’ll get a peaceful, retail outlet (and thus temptation) free place to chill as well as snacks and beverages aplenty. Remember, food and drink in one of the terminal eateries won’t be cheap, so this is definitely a smart spending move that will start your holiday in style.

Pre-book a lounge. You deserve it.

When you think you’ll take the car…

Never, ever just turn up in your motor. It will cost you a fortune. Pre-book for peace of mind and more money in your purse for actual holiday spends. Or better still, sweet talk someone into giving you a lift. It’s worth a try.

When you need some holiday reads…

If you can, load up an e-book or your tablet with the books and magazines you want during the week before you go away. It will save you carrying extra weight, and stop you impulse buying and leaving the airport shop with random stuff that was lurking near the till.

Impulse buying is for holiday amateurs. Don’t do it.

At the end of the day, when I’m excited, I tend to overspend, and I’m always excited when there’s a plane to board!

As long as I remember that I’ve calculated my spends based on what I need for my holiday, not for the airport shops, I know I won’t go too far wrong. And neither will you.

But if you do buy a Chanel “travel exclusive” you later regret? Send it my way. I’ll gladly take it off your hands.

What are your airport money saving tips? Share them in the comments.

Tags: Airport, Holidays, Money, packing, shopping, Tips, travel tips

About the Author

A part-time traveller with a penchant for European city breaks, I adore good food, good wine and good company. I love visiting new places, and I love seeing the familiar through new eyes. Wherever I go, I hunt for five star luxury and do my best to get as close to it as possible – with a three star price tag.