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How to Save on Getting to and From the Airport


Flickr.Taxi.SaraMunozHermosoSure, 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?

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About Kristen Kuchar

Kristen Kuchar, author of Mac n' Cheese to the Rescue, is a food and travel writer working with numerous notable publications on both print and online. A firm believer that traveling and great food don't have to compromise finances, she's always finding great ways to save. She is currently living in Chicago with her husband Mark. You can follow her on Twitter @KristenKuchar.

Comments

  1. For Boston travelers, the silver line OUT OF Logan is now free. Which is great if you live on the T, or if you want a cheaper cab ride.

    Getting in can take an hour or so in the worst of traffic, but only $2.50 if you’re near a T stop, and no more than $10 if you’re near a commuter line. Compared to the parking fees and $50 cab rides, this is a no brainer.

    The ultimate ride, however, will always be a generous friend with some time on their hands.

  2. Natan Ovadia says:

    If your city has any Sidecar or Lyft drivers this can be a much cheaper yet still comfortable and easy alternative to taxis.

  3. In Houston, we have a service called Super Shuttle. It is a shared van pool to / from the airport. You sign up 24 hrs+ in advance and then a shuttle bus comes to your house and then picks 2-4 others up. The service finds people who are coming from the same part of town, and groups you together. The bus has a professional driver who picks you and the others up, and then shuttles you to the airport. They do the same for rides home.

    It costs $10-20 depending on how far you live from the airport & is cheaper if you have more people with you. Definitely cheaper than a cab. It’s really convenient and you get dropped off curbside. If you are lucky, you will be the last stop before the airport, but even if you are picked up first, you usually only make 1 or 2 stops on the way.

    I’m pretty sure this service is offered in other cities as well.

  4. Thanks so much for this article! I’ve got a trip coming up from Logan and had no idea how I was going to get to and from. Flightcar is perfect! What an awesome idea.

  5. The Phroogal Jason says:

    Great tips. I really love the FlightCar idea and have talked about it frequently as well. I have to check out Transferwithme next time around.

  6. I’ve never heard of FlightCar but it sounds like an incredible service. It’s too bad that its available in such limited cities at the moment — I hope that it expands so that more people can take advantage of it. (Why do so many cool new technologies have to unveil in San Francisco while the rest of us wait, wait, wait for them to come to our towns?)