Getting to and from airports is something I have got used to as a long term traveller but there is something that still annoys me to be honest. That is that most people I have met simply get off a flight, hop in the first taxi they see and head to their hotel. It makes me cringe. These travellers don’t even bargain the price of the taxi, which makes it worse for fellow travellers, knowing taxi drivers are used to a high rate. In my attempts to get to and from airports in the last few years, I have stuck mostly to the below four methods, before resorting to taxis. When I have resorted to taxis, I’ve bargained them down and taken the piss. This is because airport taxi idiots themselves are rip off merchants. Rant over, my tips on getting to and from airports.
1. Public Transport
This is the cheapest and easiest way to go. It’s normally by bus be honest. Last week I flew to Tbilisi in Georgia and the bus cost just 20 cents to the city. Other public transport includes metro lines and train stations. Do your research in advance and take public transport.
2. Hostel Pick Ups
I love this option! There are a load of hostels who include a pick up in the price of your stay. One recent one was Motherland Two in Yangon, Myanmar. If the hostel offers a pick up, take it. It’s also usually a hell of a lot cheaper than taxis, you meet some travel buddies and won’t get lost. Take heed.
3. Parking Your Car/Renting A Car
If you’re travelling in a group, as I often did in my European backpacking days, this option is te way to go. I remember parking at Gatwick Airport a few years back on a Germany trip from the UK, I shared the parking costs with a few mates, as well as the petrol. Renting a car direct from the airport is another option.
4. Your Mates Pick You Up
What can I say? I’ve been blessed with decent mates through the years picking me up. Buy them a beer or two and they’ll be happy. This doubles up with staying with mates too. Thank you my friends!
So sometimes yes, I have to resort to the dreaded option 5…
5. Bargain the hell out of a taxi drver
I arrived in Chongqing late at night earlier in the year. Taxi was the only option to the city, so I bargained it and bit the bullet. Travelling in a group you can also bargain the prices down easily. But honestly, try and avoid it.
Don’t be that idiot who spends $30 US on a taxi. Are you kidding me? That’s a week in Taiwan for me 😉
2 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Travel Essentials: Getting To and From Airports”
#5 is my favourite option! Though, I do love it when there’s local public transport to and from the airport. Recently, we were told there was no public transport to Lima airport, which I just couldn’t believe. How do all the people who work there get there? Do they take a taxi every day?! I doubt it. In the end, we took public transport as close as we could manage and then haggled for a taxi for the remaining part, which worked out OK. I especially love it though when the airport is on a metro line, like in many European cities…at least the proper airports, and not the Ryanair ones which are 100km from the city they are named after. Hate that!
By the way, there’s a great website for finding out all the options in advance, which I only recently discovered:
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Nice site Sam thanks – I must admit I hate taxis and theyre always last resort for me. The tight ass part of me just doesnt want to pay these guys money. I hate taxis so much I often stay at airports until the first bus/metro leaves just to save money and get my authentic local transport experience. Safe travels. Jonny