So, you’ve booked the holiday and you can’t wait to get away. You’ve figured out all the logistics and you’ve enjoyed making up an itinerary for your trip. Everyone is excited, you’ve checked the whole family has up-to-date passports and you’ve even sorted your travel insurance.
All is well until…you wake up in a sweat suddenly realising you’ve not even considered HOW you are all going to get to the airport!
What to do? You know a friend who used Parkos recently, so perhaps that’s a possibility? Let’s take a look at all the options.
Take a taxi
You could look at getting a taxi to the airport. There are many companies who specialise in airport transfers. The advantage of this is that you don’t need to think about parking, you don’t need to worry about having to drive when you are tired and if you get a minibus taxi, you can ensure you’ve plenty of space for your luggage.
The downside is that the prices of airport taxis have rocketed recently, since the price of fuel began going up. There are always those cases where taxi’s just don’t turn up too – do you really want to have to be worrying about the taxi remembering to collect you?
If you do decide on this option, make sure you shop around, don’t just go for the first quote you get. Also, this might sound obvious but don’t forget to also book a taxi for your return and factor that into the cost when comparing with other options.
Take the train
If you live fairly near to a train station you could consider taking the train to the airport. This is likely to be cheaper than a taxi, even if you are a fairly large family as under 5’s will be free of charge and older children cheaper than adults. The problem with this is it only really works well if you are walking distance from a train station, otherwise you’ll need to take a taxi or a bus to the station first.
The other issue is reliability – trains are frequently cancelled or something goes wrong on the line. You really don’t want that to happen the day you are trying to get away for that much needed holiday do you?
Timings could also be an issue. If you are flying early in the morning for example and need to be checking in during the early hours, the train probably isn’t the best option for you.
Get a friend or family member to help
Lots of people keep costs down by asking a family member to help out and get them to and from the airport. Whilst this has massive cost benefits, if you are a large family you might well not all fit in with the extra person and luggage as well. Also, you’ll need a back up in case the person is ill or sleeps in! Is it worth the risk?
Take a bus
Probably a safer option than a train and possibly more reliable in the current climate, a bus could be a reasonable option. This is also another cost effective option if you are trying to keep costs as low as possible.
The downside is, finding the exact bus to get you to the airport and then probably having to leave well before you need to due to the route the bus will take!
Self-drive and park at the airport
This is the option we always take. For us, it is always the most practical, convenient and cost-effective option with a large family and lots of luggage. We always shop around for the best deal and consider a range of parking options.
There are always a number of different parking options at the airport, but we always make sure to book in advance.
There are a number of off site car parks, which offer a bus shuttle service to the terminals. We have done this in the past on a number of occasions. Not only is off-site parking cheaper, it often offers more quality services too. For example a private shuttle to the airport, valet parking, car wash, car check-ups, luggage help, electrical charging of vehicles, and even heated/air conditioned waiting area with toiletry facilities.
Alternatively, there are usually car parks on site that you can park in, so these are basically find a space, park up and then walk to the terminal. Then there is normally the option for meet & greet, which is basically a valet service. This can be quite expensive but we found it well worth it when the children were younger simply from an ease point of view. Finally, if you are planning on staying in an airport hotel overnight before you fly, you might find an option to include parking with that. Watch out with this one as it can be more expensive.
Whatever you decide, make sure to shop around on a good comparison site before you book. The whole process of flying can be very stressful, especially when travelling with children. From arriving on time to checking-in, going through security and finding the right gate. Think about your travel plans carefully, so you don’t add to the stress on the day. You’re going on holiday remember!