¨All human life can be found in an airport.
Quick, Trouble-Free Tips for Getting to the Airport Easily
After a while, many Fifty-Plus Nomads may find that they get tired of getting to and from airports. Here are eight simple getting to the airport tips to reduce your frustration:
3 Tips for Getting Long-Term Parking at Faraway Airports
- If you need to park your car at the airport for several days, consider renting a room for the night and asking the hotel if they will let you park your car until you come home. Usually, they will charge you more for the night’s accommodation than you would pay otherwise, but it still may be less than it costs to park your car at a lot near the airport. Parking a car near the airport usually costs $15-30 a day for a lot next to the airport and $6-15 a day for a lot two to five miles away from the airport. (Note: you can make parking reservations online. You will be shuttled to the airport from the parking lots that are away from the airport.) A hotel room, with parking included, usually costs $100-150 a night. Sometimes, however, the free parking is only available for a limited period (most commonly, one week). If you park for more time, you may have to pay extra (usually less than you would pay at an airport parking lot). Generally, inexpensive hotels charge less for parking and will allow you to park for a more extended time for no additional charge. (It is rare that you can park a car for more than two weeks without paying an extra fee). For more information on these parking/room specials, check out www.parksleepfly.com.
- If you are planning to travel for less than a couple of days, you may be able to park your car at a suburban train station or a park-and-ride lot for free (or low cost) and take the train or bus to the airport and, thus, save the high parking costs. Check websites or call the station for details. Be careful since this option is not available from every station/park and ride lot and you could come home to a hefty ticket if it is prohibited.
- If you need to travel to an airport that is far from home to pick up a flight, you may want to consider renting a car and driving it to the airport rather than taking a shuttle. Usually, there is no drop-off fee (drop-off fees typically occur when you rent a car from one location and drop it off at another location) for bringing a vehicle to a major airport. Sometimes if you are leaving from a more off-the-beaten-path destination, the rental fees can be very reasonable.
4 Ways to Get to and From the Airport Tips
- You can travel by public transportation to the airport and bypass paying parking fees altogether. Yes, in many suburban and rural communities, it may take several hours. However, there is almost no home in the US that is completely inaccessible by public transport, and even if you have to make many transfers, you will eventually get to the airport. (Public transportation is available easily between most large central city and the airport. Buses, for example, go from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Los Angeles (LAX) every thirty minutes and from Seattle’s airport (Sea-Tac) to downtown Seattle every 10-20 minutes. Subway trains serve San Francisco airport (SFO), O’Hare in Chicago (ORD), Washington-National (DCA), Logan Airport in Boston (BOS), etc.
- Trains and buses also provide connections from downtown to most major airports in Europe and Asia. I have never had trouble getting to the airport in Europe and Asia by public transportation even when I needed to get an early morning flight.
- After a long flight, I consider taking a taxi or Uber from the airport to wherever I am staying to be a wonderful luxury. For many years, I tried to save money by using public transportation to get from the airport to somewhere near my hotel and then either walking or taking a taxi to my destination. Sure, I used to save $20 to $30 this way and, as I used to tell myself, I got right away into spirit of the destination. But, about eight years ago, I realized that all I really did was arrive at my destination tired and frustrated. (Just buying a train ticket often felt like work after a long flight). Nowadays, I am more than happy to pay for a taxi. (For some reason, in about 75% of all cases, I spend around $40-$50 for the taxi from the airport to my hotel).
- If you are going to Europe and want to getting to the airport tips, consult Rick Steves’ guides for excellent advice. (Here is a link to useful information from Rick Steves about European airports),
Make Sure You Know Your Correct Flight Terminal Before Getting to the Airport Tips
Before leaving for the airport, ensure that you know the correct terminal the airline check-in counter location.
I learned this lesson the hard way on a flight from Barcelona to Montreal on Air Transat.
I asked the cab driver to take me to the international terminal, which he did. However, when I got there, I discovered that it was the wrong terminal, and no one seemed to know where was the correct terminal. (Note: AirTransat only flies this route once a week).
I waited for a shuttle to another terminal in the rain. (Note: Some airports like Cancun have no scheduled shuttles between terminals, and many other airports, like Barcelona, lack adequate signage between terminals).
The shuttle was extremely crowded. When I got to what I thought was the correct terminal, I had to walk to another nearby terminal.
I was soaked by the time I got to the correct check-in counter. Fortunately, I arrived at the airport early enough to make the flight, and however, I wasted forty-five frustrating minutes just getting to the correct terminal.
Additional Getting to the Airport Tips
Tips on what to do if you get to the airport late.
15 great before getting to the airport tips from Wander Her Way
Getting to the airport tips for ground transportation
Want Additional Air Travel-Related Information?
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