Airport Budget Tips for Large Family Travel
If you have a large family like I do, travelling by plane is not always an option due to cost. The flights alone are out of the budget, unless you plan far in advance and have a savings available. I personally live an hour from an international airport but because my airport is less populated, we almost always need a connector or two to get where we’re going. With a little planning and research, there are ways to save on flights and at the airport.
Airport Budget Tips for Large Families
- Sign up for travel points – Aeroplan and Air Miles are two great ones to earn travel points on every day purchases to use later when you’re ready to book flights. You can also sign up for a travel credit card that earns you points per dollar spent; use it year round and on purchases at the airport. We have a great credit card that we pay our bills, buy groceries or gas and we have a portion of our flights paid for one trip per year, depending where we go.
- Research Flight Sales – Sign up for your airlines newsletter and you’ll be alerted of any sales. If you can, take advantage of the flight sales and plan your travel around that. For us, with a blended family, we need a lot more planning which means flight sales are a limited option. We often use Flight Network to search for flights because it pulls in all airlines from Canada and the US to give you the cheapest flight options to and from your destination. You could also consider flying out of a higher traffic airport, within driving distance, to save money.
- Plan Ahead – Make sure you have activities, snack and anything else your kids might need so you won’t have to purchase something you forgot at the airport where prices are always higher. You don’t need the added expense.
- Pack Carry-On Only – Check airport carry-on regulations prior to packing but normally you are allowed 1 small luggage and 1 purse/laptop or backpack bag or a diaper bag, if you are travelling with an infant. Because there are now costs associated with checking bags under the plane, this can rack up a lot of cost with a large family.
- Take Snacks – You can take snacks through airport security. Check regulations ahead to make sure the perishables you are taking, such as meat or fruit, are allowed into the country you are flying. I would suggest leaving nuts products at home to be courteous for travellers with allergies.
- Take Refillable Beverage Containers – Once you are past security, you can fill your drink containers and take them on the plane with you. With a long layover, this can save you some money and keep your family hydrated. Just remember to empty those containers before going through security or you will have those bottles taken before you can go through.
- Choose a Restaurant – When it’s time to eat at the airport, opt for a restaurant over an airport coffee shop. Airport restaurants usually offer a kids menu or you can buy a few appetizers to split between the family members. You can usually find a veggie and dip platter, a healthier option at the airport. Airport coffee shops are higher in price on individual items and offer more pastry sweets than healthy options.
Do you have any airport travel tips for large families to save money?