Sure, it’s great if you’re able to find ways to save on flights. But that’s only part of the battle. You’re also facing costs of getting to and from the airport and to your destination once you land. Here’s a guide to dealing with the the costs of ground transportation and how to save:
Visit your airport’s website
The first step to navigating your transportation is checking out the website of the airport you’re flying out of and into. Chances are, it has a “Getting To & From” tab to help you see your options. For example, O’Hare International Airport offers great information on various forms of public transportation, parking, taxi and limo services, rental cars, shuttles and even information about how to bike to and from the airport. Besides letting you see the options, you’ll also learn what taxi service is affiliated with the airport and if there are any types of taxis to avoid (since some aren’t as trustworthy as others).
Stay at a hotel that offers shuttle service
When booking a hotel, keep transportation costs in mind when determining which is the most budget-friendly hotel to book your stay. Many hotels offer a free shuttle to pick you up at the airport and drop you at the front door. Check the hotel’s website or call them directly to see if it’s available and how it works.
Rent your car and park for free
Avoid parking fees at the airport and park for free using Flightcar. The new, innovative site lets pre-screened, fully-insured travelers rent your car while you’re away which saves you the cost of parking. You’ll get your car back with the gas returned to the original amount and a free carwash when you return. Currently, the service is available at San Francisco International Airport and Boston Logan International, but it is expected to grow.
Use public transportation
Public transportation is an affordable option for getting to and from the airport, and often that information can be found on your airport’s website, like mentioned above. Prior to landing in a new city, be sure to check out how the public transportation system works by visiting their website.
For example, the Transit Chicago website offers train and bus schedules, maps and allows you to type in your destinations to find exact directions. While taking trains, buses and other forms of public transportation are affordable, they may not always be reliable. Check to see if the city offers a free app to help you track your train or bus. Another great way to follow delays or closures with public transportation is to check out the city’s news websites, which often post about these types of happenings.
Look for deals
Just like you look for deals at restaurants and hotels prior to travel, keep an eye out for transportation deals. You can find deals and coupons for public transportation, taxis, town cars and more. Check out the Groupon and Living Social for the city you’re traveling to. Another great resource for finding ways to save on transportation is requesting a guide (or just checking it out online) from the official tourism website for the city and state you’re traveling to. Since many people looking at this guide book are flying into a nearby airport, you can expect to find coupons and advice and tips on navigating to and from the airport.
Choose the best taxi
If your hotel doesn’t offer shuttle service and public transportation isn’t an option, the next step is to find an affordable cab. Use Taxi Fare Finder to estimate how much it will cost you so you know what to expect. To choose a reputable company, see if the airport recommends any cabs. To save on the fare, try to avoid traveling during rush hour or other high traffic times. To see how traffic is, download the free Beat the Traffic App that allows you to see how the roads are based on your current location.
Share the ride
If you’re traveling for business or with a group, split the costs. TransferWithMe.com allows you to post when and where you’re headed to find others who are making the same journey. With this service, you can split the cost of the taxi.
How do you get to and from the airport while staying on your trip budget?