If you’re reading this story on RD.com, you must be using the Internet, and if you’re anything like us, you probably sometimes feel fairly dependent on all that connectivity. No judgment! However, just say no to paying for Wi-Fi in the airport. “Airports take advantage of the fact that once you’re past those security gates, you’re a captive audience,” explains Coleman Collins, former full-time traveler and author of the forthcoming: The Road Warrior: A Practical Guide to Maintaining Your Health, Productivity, and Sanity While Traveling for Work. First off, the Wi-Fi is “slow and horrifically overpriced,” he points out. But more importantly, “travel provides the perfect forced Internet break. Your emails can wait!” Instead of checking your handheld device, how about reading, engaging in a craft, or sitting quietly. Check out what you can get for free at the airport.
If you’ve decided you can pass up the airport Wi-Fi, then perhaps you’ll be open to passing up the opportunity to impulse-purchase electronics from those overpriced airport kiosks, even those little items like chargers and headsets you may have forgot to pack. “Electronics purchased at the airport will cost you significantly more than if you had bought them ahead of time,” says Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with DealNews, a shopping comparison website. “Our research shows that electronics are, on average, 34 percent more expensive at the airport than what they would find online. For some of the smaller items, that could mean a difference of $10 to $15. For some of the more advanced technology digital cameras, you could be overpaying anywhere from $50 to $200. And that charger? It could be up to 50 percent more at the airport.” Collins notes specifically that headphones tend to be ridiculously overpriced at the airport. “If you must buy them, whether for an important call or just to survive a six-hour flight, you’ll get prices closest to retail at those Best Buy kiosks.”
It’s always a good idea to eat a good meal before you fly to avoid getting sick on a plane, but whatever you do, don’t buy your food in the airport. “It’s almost universally overpriced, not very tasty, not very good for you, or some combination of the three,” Collins says. “Besides, most travelers eat at the airport solely as a way to kill time, and not because they’re actually hungry.” Make sure you never, ever buy these foods from the airport.