Before the Adventure Begins – Getting to the Airport Inexpensively

We love travelling here at Unfinished Man, and we like to think that we’ve shown you guys some  incredible travel spots over the years. It’s always a pleasure exploring a new place, and we hope you’ve had a chance to visit a few of the spots we’ve showcased. But going on an adventure overseas involves more than just picking a spot and booking a ticket.

If you’ve traveled as much as I have, you know that there’s a lot of prep-work involved. Though I don’t like to admit it, creating a travel checklist and yes, even planning your journey to the airport, are important aspects of any trip. What’s going to cost you less, a cab ride, or arranging that dreaded airport parking in advance and taking your own vehicle? And what about public transit, is that an option?

Airport Transportation Questions

I tend to lean towards public transportation whenever possible, because in cities that have well developed transportation, it’s often the least expensive option, and I also dislike driving. Having said that, it’s not always the best option. Sometimes a cab makes more sense (though rarely), and if you’re departing from home, booking airport parking can be the smart move as well. So on that note, here are a few questions I ask myself to help decide how I’m going to get to the airport for the least amount of money, and with the least amount of stress.

1. Does my city have a well developed means of public transportation to the airport? If the answer is yes, and I’m not in a hurry, this is my preferred mode of transportation. Where I live, the bus takes around 30 minutes to reach the airport, costs only a few dollars, and makes frequent trips.

bus-to-airport
Photo by Al Tally

2. Am I in a hurry? Does my city of departure lack decent public transportation? If so, I’m better off shopping around online and booking parking right at the airport. If you’re diligent, you can find excellent deals on airport parking, and often times the companies will even clean and detail your car while you’re on holiday.

airport-parking
Photo by Llee Wu

3. Does my flight leave in a half hour, and I’m yet to even brush my teeth? I try and avoid this at all costs, but sometimes it happens (especially when someone makes you late), and there’s really only one solution: taking a cab. The reason I avoid this like the plague is that, though convenient, cabs often cost a small fortune. That combined with the stress of being late makes for a very poor start to a trip, and that’s why I recommend avoiding this one if you can. Sorry cab drivers, you’re great for when I’m drunk and need a short list back to my home, but that’s about it.

So, if I had to come up with one rule to rule them all, I would say that it’s wise to explore the three main options I suggested above with the end goal of getting to the airport for as little money as needed for a stress free start to your trip. If that means leaving a little early and hopping on a bus, awesome. If that means booking some airport parking because you got a good deal there and feel like driving, that’s great. If you’re in such a hurry that you need a cab, well… just don’t do that, it’s stupid and you’ll probably cry yourself to sleep after.

Updated: February 4th, 2021

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Chad

I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.

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