How To Get Through The Airport (Without Spending A Fortune)
So you're off on your hollibops – here's how NOT to spend three million squids before you've got to your boarding gate. (Just us? Oops)
Air travel is a tricky business – not only do you have to contend with thoughtless fellow passengers (yeah, hi, I’ll be moving your coat from the overhead luggage compartment now, thanks) but snack options are severely limited, air conditioning is at a skin-drying super-max and somehow Dixons has taken on a whole new allure.
Here’s how not to bankrupt yourself on an overnight trip to Manchester.
- Bring your headphones. Hands down our #1 most purchased item on trips through the airport is headphones. We just keep forgetting ’em – slippery little suckers – and can’t face the idea of a long Tube journey without the soothing sounds of Fleetwood Mac. So double, triple, quadruple check you’ve packed those bad boys.
- Eat first. If you don’t, you’ll be sorry when you’re chowing down on some overpriced, sad-looking sushi in the terminal building. Make the time to have a snack before you set off, or bring a banana for a pre-boarding potassium boost.
- Eat SMART. If you don’t have time to get your munch on, weigh up your options – and whatever you do, don’t impulse eat. Urban Fruit bags, available at WH Smith, are yummy (and satisfying); Butlers Chocolate Cafe will always win brownie points for free-choc-with-coffee; and Wrights of Howth does a delish shrimp salad you probably won’t get change from a tenner for, but at least you’ll be filled up with all the right kinds of foods.
- Bring a book. We can’t count on both hands the number of times we’ve ended up buying a book (and several magazines), when really we should be conserving those pennies for the holiday ahead. If you have a Kindle, load it up with one or two decent reads you’re dying to sink your teeth in. Gone Girl (if the movie hasn’t ruined it for you already) and The Sisters Brothers are two of our recent literary loves.
- Don’t even think about exchanging moolah in the airport. If you’re lucky enough to be going outside the euro zone – and stupid enough to have forgotten to get some foreign currency – the last thing you need is to give tonnes of money in the form of commission to the airport bureau de change. Just use your bank card to withdraw cash once you get there – but withdraw in bulk, because you get charged on each foreign-currency transaction.
And, because sometimes airport spending is half the fun…
It is totally, totally worth stocking up on beauty booty in the airport duty free – and, if you’re going outside the EU, alcohol (but drink responsibly, kids). Everything you buy in the Loop in Dublin and Cork Airports is guaranteed cheaper than what they term ‘downtown’ prices (essentially, regular high-street shops), and there are decent savings to be made on beauty and fragrance, no matter where you’re travelling to.
So go forth and shop – for cosmetics only. You have our blessing! Just don’t go near Dixons and, if you must have a hot meal, for the love of all things tasty do it before you step foot in that aluminium flying machine.
Featured pic credit: @comeraghphoto on Instagram