As if your airline tickets weren't expensive enough, the airport is absolutely terrible for your wallet. Hungry for a slice of pizza? That'll cost you $7.50. Want to bring your own drinks for the kids? Sorry, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) says that you can't bring more than a few ounces of liquid on the plane. (Airplane travel used to come with perks. Learn more in 7 Air Travel Perks That Used To Be Free.)

TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics

While you wait for your flight, you're surrounded by cafes, magazines, souvenirs, and beautiful shops that are screaming your name. It's tough to resist, but you absolutely should - airport shopping is less than cost-effective. Here are six tips to help you save:

1. Don't Buy the Food
To the best extent possible, eat your meals before and after you're at the airport. Try to avoid snacking because at the airport, a $3.00 coffee cup will cost $5+, and a $3 slice of pizza will cost at least double. If you can, bring your own food. Make sure that it's non-liquid, and stay up to date with the TSA's safety regulations to make sure that food is okay. For snacks, you could bring nuts and crackers. You could also bring instant soups and cereals.

2. Bring Your Own Entertainment
When you're waiting for a flight, magazine and bookstores are incredibly tempting. Before you leave for a long trip, plane entertainment is usually at the bottom of your packing list, and then once you get to the airport, you're bored out of your mind. Avoid this dilemma, and remember to bring a few books and magazines for everyone. That way, you won't be wasting money at the magazine stand. If you have an iPad or tablet, put as many magazines as you can on the device. You'll be plenty entertained for your flight.

3. Don't Pay for WiFi
Especially if you're on vacation, take the opportunity to get unplugged. Your email can wait, or if you absolutely need to, check it on your smartphone. If you're a regular traveler with many airport options, consider visiting the airports with free WiFi. Unless you need the Internet to work, you should be able to forego Internet for the time being. (If you're out and about and need to be online, make sure you've checked out 7 Places To Find Free WiFi.)

4. Always, Always, Always Pack Lightly
Weigh your check-in bags at home to make sure that they fit within the weight restrictions. Otherwise, you may be surprised with a fee. Leave room in your bags and carry-ons for souvenirs and shopping. No matter where you're going, you never know, and you don't want to need to invest in a new bag. (Find out more ways to keep your travel costs low in Best Frequent Flyer Credit Cards For (Almost) Free Travel.)

5. Buy Souvenirs Somewhere Else
If you absolutely need to buy souvenirs on your trip, make sure that you take care of everything that you need before you go to the airport. Make a list of who needs what presents before you actually go on vacation, and make sure that you designate enough time for shopping. For small souvenirs, you may be able to find what you need at a local drugstore.

6. Bring an Empty Water Bottle
While you can't bring water, you can bring a bottle. Bring enough for the entire family to stay hydrated. If you're traveling in the United States, water from the drinking fountain is completely safe; however, you may want to do some research to avoid any risks when traveling abroad. Instead of buying pricey water bottles and drinks, stay hydrated for free.

The Bottom Line
Control your impulses and plan ahead stay as practical as possible when you visit the airport for your next trip. Airfare is expensive enough, so don't waste your money on more than you need.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Seven U.S. Destinations You’d Swear Were Overseas

    If you can't stop thinking about safety (or your budget) as you plan your vacation, try these seven very-exotic-feeling places right here in the U.S.
  2. Personal Finance

    Oil Prices Are Down, Airfares Aren't. What's Up?

    Oil is down to $30 a barrel. But consumers are still hit with fuel surcharges on airline tickets.
  3. Investing

    7 Creative Ways to Save for an Early Retirement

    Take note of these out of the box steps you can take towards securing yourself an earlier, more comfortable retirement.
  4. Personal Finance

    5 Places Where Your Travel Dollar Goes Furthest

    The dollar is pretty strong right now, but where is it strongest? Canada? South Africa? Europe? Here are five places to travel to right now on a budget.
  5. Retirement

    Birch Box Review: Is It Worth It?

    Learn more about the convenience of the subscription beauty box industry, and discover why the Birchbox company in particular has become so popular.
  6. Savings

    Solution to Stingy Airline Awards: Cash Back Cards

    Many frequent flyer program members are having trouble redeeming flights. A sensible alternative is to use a cash back card to accrue money for travel.
  7. Personal Wealth & Private Banking

    Women, Invest In Your Financial Literacy

    Becoming financially literate should be on the to-do list of anyone who is not.
  8. Savings

    How to Save Your First $100,000

    Saving your first $100,000 requires the discipline to put money away and control your spending. But just remember – the savings get bigger as you go.
  9. Retirement

    7 Fun Spring-Break Family Vacations for Retirees

    Now's the time to plan a spring-break vacation and bond with the grandkids. Here are seven great family-friendly vacation ideas.
  10. Retirement

    3 Reasons Why This Is the Perfect Time To Visit Greece

    Discover three reasons why now is the best time to visit Greece, including the favorable exchange rate and the country's unrivaled hospitality.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why are most airplane tickets nonrefundable?

    Airplane tickets are generally nonrefundable, because the majority of tickets sold are discount tickets. In exchange for ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How often do financial advisors have to travel?

    The frequency with which a financial advisor needs to travel varies according to numerous factors, such as the size and location ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the range of deductibles offered with various health insurance plans?

    A wide range of possible deductibles are available with health insurance plans, starting as low as a few hundred dollars ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I know how much of my income should be discretionary?

    While there is no hard rule for how much of a person's income should be discretionary, Inc. magazine points out that it would ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What proportion of my income should I put into my demand deposit account?

    Generally speaking, aim to keep between two months and six months worth of your fixed expenses in your demand deposit accounts. ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Short Selling

    Short selling is the sale of a security that is not owned by the seller, or that the seller has borrowed. Short selling is ...
  2. Harry Potter Stock Index

    A collection of stocks from companies related to the "Harry Potter" series franchise. Created by StockPickr, this index seeks ...
  3. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  4. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  5. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  6. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
Trading Center