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How to save money at the airport with large families

`Planning a trip abroad is always exciting but the more people you have on the trip, the busier and more expensive it becomes. If you are thinking about a large family holiday, here are some tips and tricks to help you get back a little extra money at the airport.

 

Sign Up for Travel Schemes

Whether it is an airline frequent flyer loyalty card or a scheme attached to a credit card which earns you potential airmiles every time you shop, there are many ways you can save up enough money to get discounts on your flights.

Don’t forget to sign your children up too. There are often frequent flyer schemes which allow children to become members. If you are particularly devoted to one airline in particular, let your child earn points for you. Before you know it, they could have earned enough points from just small trips here and there to help you afford a bigger, more memorable trip away. Take a look into schemes and see what you can find today!

Pack Light

Checking hold luggage for everyone can quickly rack up the cost of a flight so learning how to pack light is absolutely key. It is entirely possible to have the whole family’s clothing and accessories packed into just carry-on luggage with the right frame of mind.

Think about where you can do laundry at your destination as it will help to cut down on the number of fresh sets of clothes you need to take. If you have children of a similar size, consider only packing clothes which will fit both of them.

Ask each child for their favourite colour and try to find them a suitcase which matches that description. You can also dress them in that colour when it comes to moving through the airport to keep them easy to spot. Make sure they understand the importance of holding on to the suitcase. This will give them a little independence and allow them to feel part of the airport experience.

Pack Water Bottles

Back dry water bottles which you can grab and fill up as soon as you have made it through security. When you are airside, there is no shortage of places where you can fill up the water bottles ready to take on the plane. This will save you having to fork out for water from a shop or the steward’s trolley.

Choose brightly coloured water bottles for each of the children. You can easily find ones with carabiner attachments so they can hang off backpacks without needing to take up any room inside. This can also save you further cost as you won’t have to buy new water every day at your destination. Little tips and tricks like this are everything you need to ensure that your family is kept hydrated at all times.

Think About Shipping

If you are travelling with a baby, you are going to need a lot more supplies than if you are travelling with an older child. From nappies to formula to even just more clothes, there are so many things you need to pack for a baby. Instead of taking up valuable room in that carry-on, consider shipping a package to your hotel with all the bits and bobs you need.

There are many baby supply shipping services which will ensure that everything you need to care for your little one will get from A to B with minimal fuss. This can often work out as much cheaper than if you were to pay for an extra bag or if you were to buy fresh at your destination.

Park at the Airport

Rather than try to find a parking space on the day, why not pre-book? Even parking at Birmingham airport is a doddle thanks to Birmingham Parking. All you do is choose your dates and you can turn up at the airport and get ready to head directly into the terminal.

Sometimes, you can even drive straight up to the door of the departure terminal to hand over the keys to a qualified driver. The car is whisked away to a secure parking compound where it is kept safe until you have returned. Such a luxury enables you to quickly herd your family into the airport without having to navigate the perils of an airport carpark. When you return from the trip, you can arrange to have the car delivered to the arrival gates, again allowing you to simply load up and then drive off.

You might think this would be an expensive option but it all depends on how long you are going away for. A taxi might not always be an option if you live a long way away from the airport and regular parking could be bankrupting. Pre-booking your airport parking is a simple solution to get around this.

Think Up Games for the Long Waits

Whether it is a delay to the plane or just a long stopover between flights, a long wait is a recipe for grumpy kids. While you could placate them with a new toy or a book, it is often easier to save those for the plane and keep their minds working instead.

One classic game that never goes out of style is I-Spy. If you are stuck in a busy departure lounge, nothing will keep the kids entertained like a game of I-Spy. To further adapt this for the airport, you could play “Guess the City”. Someone will pick a city from the departure board and the other players will have to ask questions like “Is the City in the UK?” to try to work out where it is. The person who guesses correctly will get to choose the next round.

Head to a Restaurant

Got hungry kids? You might be tempted to dive into an airport coffee shop or newsagents to grab some snacks to tide them over. However, this cannot just be pricy, it can also not be the best quality food for your kids. Besides, dosing them up on sugar is never going to be a good idea right before you choose to get on a plane. Instead, if you have time, check out one of the airport restaurants.

Not only will they have a selection of reasonably priced kids’ menus, you might also be able to split a couple of adult sized portions between your children. Any food from an airport restaurant is likely to be a lot healthier and a lot more filling than anything you could find in one of the coffee shops. You could also bring some extra snacks like dried fruit or biscuits from home for an extra something if they are very peckish.

The airport is an expensive place, there is no doubt about it. Between the bags, the booking fees, and the tempting treats in duty-free, what could appear to just be a quick trip to the departure gates could turn into a money pit.

Through careful planning, you will be able to negotiate your way around many of the perils which the airport could present you. Plan, plan, plan, and everything is sure to go off without a hitch! Follow these tips and make your next airport trip a stress-free success.

Kate Davis-Holmes
Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.
http://kateonthinice.com

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