Getting to the airport is the last thing on my mind when I’m booking my holiday, and I’m pretty sure it’s probably one of the last things any of us think about – that and travel insurance. I guess I’m too caught up in the excitement and planning of what I’m going to do on holiday to consider how I’m going to get to the airport.
Yes, I know we are constantly being encouraged to use public transport more often. Airports want us all to use public transport; it’s in their interest to prevent roads around the airports getting too congested, especially when they’re trying to increase their passenger numbers, or possibly even persuade the Government to let them expand. But have you tried getting on a bus with a suitcase? Have you tried lifting up your suitcase to the baggage holder so that it doesn’t get in anyone’s way? It’s not easy. Train journeys aren’t much better either – my luggage always seems to be in someone’s way!
Public transport is great for commuting, but getting to an airport when you’ve a couple of children in tow and luggage is inconvenient to say the least. Sorry, but it has to be driving for me; driving and parking yourself is preferable to public transport, or driving and getting someone else to park your car for you is event better.
Forgetting convenience for the moment and just focusing on costs, using meet and greet parking – where you drive to the airport and someone else parks your car for you – isn’t that expensive, and it may work out cheaper.
A quick check on the national rail website for a period return for two adults and two children from London Victoria Station to Gatwick Station* offered the following prices:
- Anytime return (travelling at peak or non-peak times): £140.70
- Off peak: £69.80
- First Class: £168
- A week’s parking* (8 days) with Gatwick meet and greet parking company Help Me Park was £62; two weeks parking* (15 days) was £81.
Of course, this is just a quick comparison which only takes into consideration the costs of parking versus the price of a train journey, it doesn’t take into consideration the cost of fuel to drive to Gatwick, however it also doesn’t take into consideration the costs of getting to Victoria Station.
While the price comparisons just focused on travel to Gatwick Airport, it’s a timely reminder to not rule out any transport options.
So whatever airport you’re flying from, it’s worth checking the options available to you when organising your travel to your airport. It’s also worth thinking about them early, possibly as soon as you’ve booked your travel – you’re more likely to get a cheaper price the earlier you book.
How do you plan to get to the airport this summer? Do you prefer public transport or do you drive? Is your travel choice based on price or convenience? Let us know in the comments below.
*Dates chosen for price comparisons were 14/6/13 to 21/6/13, and 14/6/13 to 28/6/13