5 Savvy ways you can cut costs in airports

To help those planning a trip, travel experts at eShores have spoken to airport workers to reveal the ultimate insider hacks. 

With the holiday season here and many Brits preparing to fly this summer, airport workers are revealing savvy tips that will help you save money during your travels. 

From food and drink to parking woes, airports can be expensive places. However, frequent flyers and airport staff know the tricks to bypass the most significant strains on your wallet.  

To help those planning a trip, travel experts at eShores have spoken to airport workers to reveal the ultimate insider hacks. 

Here are five ways you can cut costs in airports: 

1.    Don’t get carried away at Duty-Free 

Whilst Duty-Free shopping can be exciting with the allure of free samples and tax breaks, airport workers caution that the deals aren’t always as good as they seem. The reductions shown are often based on marked-up RRPs. Take a moment to compare costs to the high street or the internet – often, the ‘deal’ isn’t that great. To avoid overspending before you’ve even begun your holiday, resist impulse Duty-Free buys unless you’re confident you’re getting real savings. 

2.    Be aware of the inflated cost of miniatures – downsize at your own risk 

Despite looking mini and cute, miniature travel bottles of shampoo, sunscreen and toiletries are extremely marked up per ml. To get more product for your money, buy full-sized products and decant them into reusable mini containers. 

You can also consider buying shampoos, suncreams and toiletries once you’ve passed security. Airport workers explain that there’s a common misconception that shops such as Boots are more expensive at the airport, when realistically, most of the prices and deals align with the high street. Most airlines allow you to take a shopping bag alongside your hand luggage, so stock up on essentials before you board to get more bang for your buck. To save time, you can even pre-order for Click and Collect at many airport stores in the terminal.  

3.    BYOB (bring your own bottle!) 

Food and drink are usually the items with the most inflated costs at airports. Most people don’t think to take their own lunch and can end up paying over the odds for an uninspiring dry sandwich at the terminal. One airport worker explains that it wasn’t until they started working post-security that they realised they were missing a trick by not taking a packed lunch.  

Check the rules at security at your airport – while liquids over a certain size aren’t allowed, solid food items in hand luggage are usually acceptable. Bringing sandwiches, fruit, crisps and snacks from home will save you money in airport shops and even on your flight. Many airports also have water taps and stations, allowing you to fill a bottle for free. While you can’t take your own bottled water through security, take an empty bottle and fill it up once you’re gate-side. 

4.    Retreat from overpriced chaos in the Airport Lounge 

If you don’t want to pack your own food, consider booking a lounge. Whilst paying for a lounge may seem counterintuitive, if you’re waiting a while for your flight and are planning on having food and alcoholic drinks at the airport, it could ultimately save you money.  

Pre-booking the lounge at Manchester Airport, for example, is £40.99 per adult, and includes freshly prepared food, unlimited tea, coffee and soft drinks, and a selection of wine, beers and spirits, including fizz! When you compare that to the price of a coffee, a couple of drinks, and a meal at an airport restaurant, the lounge is often of better value for money. Check online before booking, too, as there are usually discount codes for lounges or early booking reductions to give even better savings. 

5.    Earn on parking and shopping with loyalty schemes  

If you can’t resist the shops, look at loyalty schemes. Some airports have loyalty schemes allowing members to save and spend points when shopping around the terminal. For example, the Heathrow Rewards scheme rewards shoppers with points when shopping in participating shops, when parking or when exchanging money at Bureaux de Change. These points can then be redeemed against future airport purchases. If you’re a frequent flyer, it’s well worth exploring loyalty options at your local airport. 

Many airports also offer special offers such as competitions and airport discounts through their newsletters, so sign up to your local airport’s newsletters to take full advantage of any cost savings. 

By considering a few savvy strategies from airport insiders, travellers can reduce overinflated travel costs and save money for the experiences that matter most. For more information on eShores, and how they can help you plan and book your dream holiday, visit    

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