Getting to The Airport on a Budget

I’m sure we’ve all had that moment leading up to an exciting holiday when you wonder, how on earth will I get to the airport?

For some of us we have family or friends who are happy to drop us at the terminal.  To you I say hoorah!

For the rest of us we’re left with few options.  There are trains, buses, taxis and airport transport companies, or the dreaded car park.

If you live nice and close to the airport most of these options are cheap and convenient.  If you’re further out in the suburbs or not even in the city where the airport is these services can be super expensive.

Parking Options

Personally I prefer to park at the airport.  I have plenty of time to get there without worrying about delayed services and don’t have to wait on my return for a train or taxi stand to get home.

Different car parks at the airport charge different rates especially for extended stays, while some offer deals over quieter periods such as the weekend.

Be sure to check out the airport website for deals.  You can even prepay for parking to save some more cash.

Another option is offsite car parks.  Many larger airports have car parking services located in the surrounding suburbs that for a fraction of the cost will park your car and give you a ride to and from the airport.

Parking can cost as little as $8 per day (after the first day) depending on the location.  Be sure to shop around.

A quick Google search found Discount AIrport Parking in Wolli Creek that offers transfers to the terminal.  For a fee they’ll even wash or service your car while it’s in their care.  Try finding that at P1 at the International Terminal.

Taxis

After a recent trip to Singapore I found I was running late and didn’t have time to arrange car parking at the airport.  I opted to get a taxi.  After doing a few trips to the airport over the last couple of years I have found some tips to lower the fare.

While most drivers will suggest you avoid the tolls roads cause well you have to pay those tolls they opt for the backroads.  On my last trip I managed to save nearly $30 by taking the toll roads rather than the more congested main roads through the suburbs.

Research the trip and determine the quickest route.  Google Maps will show you the most frequent routes between 2 points and offer you the quickest route.  They even take into consideration traffic etc.  Be sure to check the toll costs between home and the airport to include these in your estimated budget.

Example: Epping to Sydney Intl Airport costs roughly $110 if you go via Victoria Road with no tolls.  The same route via the Lane Cove Tunnel and M2 is approx $90.

If you’re game to trust other taxi options you can always check out Uber which is much cheaper but not considered legal in much of Australia which has caused quite a lot of frustration around the taxi industry.

Airport Transport

There are many airport services running around the major cities.  You’ll see the minivans all the time around the CBD with AIrport written all over them.

These services will pick you up from your door, load your luggage and drop you off at the terminal.  They are often cheaper than a taxi but you may have to share with other people going the same way.

Again, be sure to spend some time on Google researching these services before you book one.  From Hornsby in Sydney’s North to Sydney Airport I have found about 4-5 services that range between $50 per person up to $100.  Some charge more for kids and some charge less.

What’s Your Preferred Method?

While air travel is great and saves us a lot of time when traveling, sometimes you have to wonder is it worth it?

I have always thought about flying back to my home town of Port Macquarie.  However when you weigh up the fact I live in Sydney’s north, it is a 3.5-4 hour drive from here to Port Macquarie.  It’s at least a good hour to the airport, then around 60 minutes before you even get on your plane.  Is it really worth the flight?

I’d love if you shared your preferred method of transport to the airport in the comments below.

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Posted in General Interest, Travel, Travel Talk.