Travel To And From The Airport

Travel To And From The Airport

Now that you’ve booked your vacation, you can relax and start counting down the days, but there is still something to consider: How are you getting to the airport? Of course depending on your departure and return times you may find your options limited, so make sure you plan in advance for the safest, quickest and best option available for you.

As you would expect, there are a variety of options available, so here are the main ones summed up to give you an idea of whats on offer:

A friend - The old classic of ‘can you get a friend or neighbour to drop you off and pick you up for free’ or in exchange for you doing the same for them. Sounds ok on paper, but make sure that your flight times are not so ridiculous that you are asking too much, for example if you land at 6am (out by 7am) how early are you expecting them to get up? If you leave or get back in rush hour, will they be late? What if your return flight is delayed - can they still collect you? All very friendship stretching possibilities……

A taxi - Most companies offer a set rate for a single or return journey to your specific airport. They will arrive on time - as they do this for a living - and they will have checked any delays or problems with the return flights before leaving to collect you. They will usually park in the airport and greet you at the arrivals gate with a card displaying your name. All very simple.

A limo - These will do everything a taxi does, but more professionally, with a better vehicle (usually airconditioned) and for a higher price tag, of course.

A train - These will take you right into the terminal and run very frequently throught the day, including early morning and late night (when most long haul flights are active). You will have to get to the nearest station to your home though, and may well have to change trains depending on your location. They have plenty of room on board for your luggage and offer a faster service as they are not affected by road traffic. You may not be able to get a return ticket though, as you will not be back for some time, so check their policies on returns over 14 days.

A coach - Many national coach companies offer airport runs from several locations on each route. As with trains, you will need to first travel to their pickup point, but these tend to run less frequently in the early hours. You may also need to travel to a larger town or city to get these at your required time. Coaches are inevitably affected by road traffic so you could experience delays either way. Coaches usually do offer a return of as long as you want because they specifically do the airport runs, so know this is what people expect.

Your own car - Better than a friend in terms of trustworthyness as it is you who does the driving! However parking at the airport for a week or two can be very expensive. There are however a variety of parking facilities outside of the airport which can be cheaper yet just as accessable, known as long term airport carparks.

These are normally just outside of the airport itself, or as far away as a 20 minutes drive, but this is nothing to worry about. All these car parks offer a free coach transfer direct to your terminal, and can be more than half the price of parking on-site. You do not have to book these in advance, but they will be a lot cheaper if you do. Basically these firms take the keys to your car and give you a token in return. They park your car in a secure environment for the whole time you are gone, then have it ready for you to collect when you return.

There are several options with these facilities most expensive first:

Airport Drop Off: You drive your car to the airport and leave it with a driver who takes your car away. The driver is waiting with your name board when you return and you take your car straight from there.

Hotel & Drop Off: You stay in a local (and often luxury) hotel overnight. The following morning you drop your car off at the long term car park then get a courtesy coach to the airport terminal. On your return you catch the free coach back and collect your car.

CarPark Drop Off: You drive your car to the car park yourself on the day of your flight and catch the courtesy coach to the terminal. On return you catch the coach back and collect your car.

Additionally, you could find yourself a hotel to stay in overnight, then leave your car in their car park, getting a transfer to the terminal arranged by them. This option is not usually much cheaper than the Hotel & Drop Off, and your car will not be secure the whole time, it will just be sitting in a space in that hotels car park rather than tucked away safely in a fenced environment with camera security the whole time.

Whichever you choose, always make sure that no one else has access to your packed luggage at any time as this could pose a security risk. Make sure you keep all your important documents with you at all times and that they are easy to access.