15 Thrifty Airport Tips Every Smart Traveler Should Know

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Robert Sihler

This shouldn’t be news: airports are expensive places to spend money. Since you can be there for hours at a time with no buying alternatives, vendors can charge people twice as much or more than they’d pay elsewhere, and they can get away with it. You can’t get the vendors to lower their prices, but you can beat them by planning ahead.


1. Pack Your Own Snacks

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Large airports have a lot of restaurants and shops with snacks, but the prices are painful. Snacking on your own bag of pretzels or beef jerky might not be as satisfying as getting a burger and fries, but it will save you a lot of money.

2. Bring an Empty Water Bottle

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The drinks at airports are also insanely expensive. Pack an empty water bottle or tumbler and fill it for free at a water fountain.

3. Have Plenty of Entertainment

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Download movies and shows, pack books and magazines and games, and so on. Have more entertainment than you’ll need. When you don’t have enough to keep yourself occupied, you’re tempted to go to a shop and overpay for something to entertain yourself.

4. Avoid Shopping

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It’s easy to kill time at the airport by browsing the shops, and airports have come a long way in providing a variety of high-quality goods to purchase. The problem is that they’re way more expensive than they are elsewhere.

5. Pack Your Own Toiletries and Similar Items

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Sometimes, you need to freshen up a bit at the airport. Or maybe you get a headache. You can buy products for that at the airport, but they’ll be expensive. It’s better to go to the grocery store beforehand and buy travel-size sanitizer, toothpaste, ibuprofen, etc.

6. Don’t Check Bags

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Most airlines now charge a fee per checked bag. Supposedly, that’s to keep ticket prices down, but it sounds more like a way to wring money out of travelers. If you can get by with a carry-on only, you’ll save money.

7. Weigh Bags That You Do Check

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If you do have to check bags, weigh them before you leave. 50 pounds is a pretty standard limit, and if you go over it, you get hit with an expensive surcharge.

8. Give up Your Seat

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Are you flexible with your travel plans? Confoundingly, airlines often intentionally overbook flights. When that happens, they’ll usually offer incentives for people to give up their seats. That can be flight vouchers, cash, meals, or other offers.

9. Know the Rules and the Size Limits

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Find out ahead of time the size limits for personal items and what you can’t bring on board. If you run afoul of them, you’ll have to give them up at security, which is like throwing money away. Then you might have to pay airport prices to replace them, which wastes even more money.

10. Don’t Pay for Wi-Fi

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Most airports have free wi-fi now. If one doesn’t, use your mobile data or hotspot your phone instead of paying too much for what often isn’t very good wi-fi. Also, avoid paying for upgrades from free wi-fi services.

11. Make a Transportation Plan

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Figure out how you’ll get to and from the airport ahead of time. This will allow you to find economical options, as last-minute ones often cost a lot more.

12. Park at a Hotel Close By

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Some hotels near airports let people park there for a small fee and use their shuttle services. It’s cheaper than airport parking. Just make sure this is okay in advance so you don’t get your car towed.

13. Exchange Currency Somewhere Else

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For international travel, you’ll usually save money if you exchange money somewhere other than an airport. At airports, you’ll likely encounter higher rates and/or extra fees.

14. Skip the Gift Wrap

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If your wrapped gifts get flagged for extra screening, TSA will remove the wrapping paper, probably ruining it. That’s lost money. Reusable gift bags are better, and you can always wrap the gifts later if you want to.

15. Skip Starbucks

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Have you ever noticed that the Starbucks line is really long? Is it worth waiting all that time to be overcharged for coffee that’s already overpriced?

The 20 Most Spectacular Waterfalls in the U.S.

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Waterfalls are among the top outdoor attractions people like to visit. Their effects range from soothing to inspiring to awe-inducing, and although they’re most common in mountainous areas, there are waterfalls in every U.S. state.

With more than 17,000 documented waterfalls in the country, any list of the best is going to be subjective, but you won’t be disappointed by the ones here.

The 20 Most Spectacular Waterfalls in the U.S.

20 U.S. National Parks Everyone Should Visit At Least Once

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Our National Park System is one of the country’s greatest treasures, and it’s often been called “America’s Best Idea.” Currently, there are 63 national parks from the Pacific (American Samoa) to the ocean south of Florida (Dry Tortugas) and from the Arctic to the tropics.

Most people won’t get a chance to visit them all, so if you could only visit 20 and just one time each, which ones should they be? Here are our recommendations:

20 U.S. National Parks Everyone Should Visit At Least Once

The 15 Most-Visited Countries in the World

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The world is big, and there are countless places to explore. Some countries attract many more visitors than others. Countries that are popular with tourists often have a lot to see and do, as well as friendly people and great food.

According to Insider Monkey, these countries have the most visitors every year.

The 15 Most-Visited Countries in the World

The 5 States With the Best Roads (And the 5 That Are Just the Absolute Worst)

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The state of the roads is important to everyone who travels over them. Virtually everyone notices when the roads are bad. The journey becomes bumpy and shaky and may even damage your vehicle.

Some states are doing a better job with their road quality than others. According to USAFacts, these are the states that have the best roads and the ones that do the worst job on their roads.

The 5 States With the Best Roads (And the 5 That Are Just the Absolute Worst)

The 30 Most Beautiful Places People Must Visit


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There’s no way you could ever come up with a definitive list of the world’s most beautiful places. However, if you ask around, some places come up a lot more frequently than others do.

Not in any particular order, the following are some of those places that people mention over and over again.

The 30 Most Beautiful Places People Must Visit

Author: Robert Sihler


Robert Sihler is an educator, freelance writer, and rock climbing guide and instructor living with his family in Driftwood, Texas. In his spare time, he enjoys reading fiction, streaming films, completing crossword puzzles, and rock climbing. When he goes on vacation, he likes to visit the mountains of the West and climb remote, obscure peaks that have seen few or no prior ascents.

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