I'm traveling, from an EU country in the Schengen area, to the Canary Islands, transferring flights at Luton Airport. This is going to be my first trip alone, not to mention my first flight and I'm pretty nervous.

I'll be waiting for my flight for 6 hours when traveling to the Canary Islands and 16 hours on my way home.

How much money in GBP will I be needing to survive these treacherous hours?

I don't really want to spend like crazy, only for food and bottled water I guess. Also can you advise me on what to do to keep myself occupied. I won't be having a laptop but I will have my phone with an external battery.

  • 2
    Do you have a debit card? If so, just bung it in. For keeping yourself occupied, you load up a 64 gig ultra dual flash with your ebooks and videos and keep a few extra battery packs. You'll be fine.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jan 13, 2017 at 10:41
  • Yes I do have a debit MasterCard but aren't there crazy exchange rates or something? Jan 13, 2017 at 10:47
  • 1
    @DeividasVysniauskas There are crazy exchange rates for changing cash at airports, but I have never noticed using a debit card in foreign currency at an airport POS (or ATM) costs any more than outside.
    – gerrit
    Jan 13, 2017 at 10:48
  • @DeividasVysniauskas I just checked. The retail spread for INR/GBP is slightly over INR 8. That's cashpoints or retail purchase. You can decide if that's worth the convenience or not.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jan 13, 2017 at 11:08
  • 1
    You can probably use Euro in the terminal as well as GBP. this thread is about Heathrow, I guess Luton's the same.
    – ugoren
    Jan 13, 2017 at 17:39

2 Answers 2



  • A 500ml bottled water to cost £1 - £1.50.
  • A fast food meal / sandwiches to cost £5 - £8.
  • A nicer sit-down meal will be £10 - £20.

My advice would be to pay on the card, unless there is a heavy per-transaction charge, as it will be much more convenient, unlikely to cost much more (and may be cheaper) and will not leave you with small change that you can't use.

Bring reading matter.

  • 1
    The other advantage to paying by card is the 5p and 10p you get in change when you pay cash. Since these coins are hardly ever recoverable at face value, they have to be factored in to the transaction cost and this can be hefty.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jan 13, 2017 at 14:47
  • 1
    @GayotFow on the other hand, the absolute value of a few coins is generally negligible, and its usually fairly easy to find a charity box to drop them into.
    – phoog
    Jan 13, 2017 at 18:43
  • 3
    @phoog if you are happy to purchase Sterling at retail rates and then give it to charity, then it's all academic :)
    – Gayot Fow
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:14

You do not need any money. Assuming you are travelling from within EU/EFTA, you can take sandwiches, fruit, chocolate, and other food in your hand-luggage, and many airports have water fountains to refill a water bottle (you should check for the terminal you will be at). For entertainment, you can bring books, magazines, e-books, etc.

Food expenses at airports are just a convenience for people who were unwilling or unable to bring their own food. Other expenses are for entertainment, but again you can bring your own. Otherwise, it's a tradeoff between convenience, preparation, and cost. Personally, I rarely spend any money at airports.

  • I'm traveling without additional luggage, only the hand-luggage, and I won't be able to take a lot with me. Jan 13, 2017 at 10:48
  • You will only have access to hand-luggage anyway when transiting. If you have one of those "maximum size for hand-luggage" suitcases you should be able to stuff a book, a couple of magazines, some fruit and sandwiches. It doesn't take much space.
    – gerrit
    Jan 13, 2017 at 10:50
  • I'm gonna be using a regular backpack, which isn't really that big. Though I also wont be taking a lot of stuff. I'll consider packing some fruit when I check out how much stuff I can fit into it, and how much I'll be needing. Thanks. Jan 13, 2017 at 10:51
  • @DeividasVysniauskas you could also bring your food in a small plastic or paper food shopping bag. I've often carried these in addition to my carry-on bag and personal item, without any trouble.
    – phoog
    Jan 13, 2017 at 18:41
  • @gerrit not directly relevant in this case, but at Luton, you probably would have access to your luggage for a while - I think basically everyone who flies there is a low-cost airline that won't transfer baggage through between flights, so you'd need to claim it and recheck. Jan 13, 2017 at 20:04

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