Getting to and from the Airport

Although getting to and from the airport is a fairly routine ordeal, it is an ordeal nonetheless.  For some, it can be an absolute nightmare; particularly when traffic jams and other setbacks occur.  On the return journey, these headaches can be compounded due to language barriers and any number of unexpected obstacles. 

Below we outline the 3 most popular transportation options while pointing out the relative pros and cons of each. 

Asking a Friend or Relative to Drive You

Consider asking a close friend or relative who can take you there and pick you up (this is our preferred method).  That way, you never have to worry about parking or fines.  The downside is that you need to pick people who are reliable and dependable.  You might also be obliged to return the favor at some later date (yikes). 

Here are just a few considerations to keep in mind. 

  • Will they arrive at your home or office early enough to get to you to the airport on time?
  • Do they typically keep their cell phones on in case you need to reach them due to delayed or canceled flights?
  • Do they have enough change for any tolls or highway fees?
  • Is the gas tank full?
  • Do they know the best route?
  • You can’t always rely on a friend or family member to get you to the airport on the way back home.  It’s better to make travel arrangements with a taxi service or through your hotel.

Hiring a Service

You can rely on shuttle buses and taxis to handle all of the logistics.  Sites like ” are geared more towards the US, but there are shuttle services in other countries that follow the same general format.  You call ahead and give them your departure time and address, and they come to pick you up for a fee.   

While shuttle services and taxis offer tremendous convenience, they can often be expensive (especially with rising gas prices).  And even the most professional services can sometimes arrive late.  For the flight over, it’s best to fudge on your departure time and add an extra 45-60 minutes in order to make sure that you arrive with plenty of time to spare.  For the flight back, it’s best to add at least 60-90 minutes.  “, “, for example, has notorious “, and you don’t want to miss your flight for any reason. You should also remain cognizant of ” delays.  Even if your taxi or shuttle service gets you to the airport “on time” you might spend a couple of hours going through check-points.  This is becoming increasingly common in the post 9-11 world.

Driving Yourself

If you can’t find someone to drop you off at the airport or you don’t feel like shelling out the extra money for a shuttle service or taxi, you can always drive yourself to the airport.  However, parking can be nightmarish, especially during the holidays or high travel seasons.  But with a little planning, you can make your ” online with minimal hassle.  However, keep in mind that airport parking only really makes sense for short-term trips.  If you plan on traveling for more than a week, you’ll end up paying a hefty sum on the back end when it’s time to pick up your car. 

If you rent a car while abroad, it is possible to drive yourself to the airport (assuming that the car rental service is in the airport complex).  Even so, make sure you leave plenty of time to handle all of the miscellaneous inspections and bills.  Having an extra 2 hour cushion is not a bad idea.  Don’t forget to fill up the tank either.  Many car rental agencies charge ridiculous prices for returning a partially empty vehicle.  Until very recently, “were even charging twice the normal price for gas.
 

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