I’m writing this while waiting to board my flight from NYC to Charlotte, NC. I just finished eating a delicious all-natural peanut butter and banana sandwich on wheat which I made earlier today. It’s cheaper (and not to mention healthier) than eating airport food. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to take your own food through security if it’s for eating during the trip. Don’t expect to get a massive bag of groceries through security. I also brought a bag of mixed dried fruit, dried and pitted dates, wheat thins, unsalted peanuts, and almonds. Airport travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Bringing your own food is just one of many ways for how to save money on air travel.

Before coming to the airport, I booked my flight about 50 days in advance. That’s ideal.  For doing this, I went to a flight comparison website. I prefer Kayak. It took me a good 30 minutes but I was able to configure a smokin’ deal. You could do it faster but my flight is 2,000 miles and I had fun choosing my layover destination and picking the travel times.

Some travel sites and credit cards offer price watch. That means that if a lower price is offered for your flight, the site or credit card will refund the difference. It’s pretty amazing. If you can get this perk, book your flight as far in advance as possible. That will give you the most time for the price to drop. You should be able to snag the lowest price no matter what. But watch out. Some credit cards only price watch for 30 days.

A third way you can save on air travel is by having someone drop you off at the airport. Ask a close friend. Do them a favor in return. This will save you from paying parking. Parking is so expensive at airports. It’s free to pickup and drop-off.

Checked-bag? What’s that? Many airlines offer generous carry-on options. Delta, for instance, allows you to take a backpack and a rolling carry-on. That’s quite a bit of space! Other airlines offer to check one bag for free.

This sounds small but it may make a significant difference. Consider choosing layover locations that offers free Wi-Fi. I’m at LaGuardia right now. They offer 30 minutes of free internet and after that, it gets expensive. Charlotte’s airport where I’m going to next offers free Wi-Fi for 45 minutes. I kind of wish I would have opted for a layover location with free airport. I could get a lot more work done. Time is money. Make no mistake.

You probably use Groupon quite a lot. But have you considered using it while you travel? Choose your restaurants based on if they come with a Groupon. This could easily shave 30% off your travel food budget. You can’t eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches all the time. Even consider getting a massage or haircut while on the road. This opens you up to many money-saving opportunities you may not have at home. After all, most services only accept one Groupon per customer. You may have gotten discounted massages from all the places near your home.

How do you save money when leaving the airport? You could use rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. You should be able to snag your first ride for free. If ridesharing isn’t your thing, look at bus options. I’m heading to a large hotel downtown. Turns out Charlotte has a hybrid bus system that goes from the airport to the hotel every 20 minutes. And it only costs $2! Taxis are expensive. But if you can’t help but get a cab, try to split it with someone else.

Combine all these tips together and you’ll save hundreds on your next big outing. It may even be enough to extend your trip! Enjoy the flight!


This article was originally posted on September 18, 2015 and can be found here: