Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Travelling for the Holidays?

(Photo courtesy of Näystin on Flickr.)

Do you have to travel for the holidays? Will your plans include driving to the airport to fly across the country? If so, John Van Horn at Parking Today's blog has offered up some airport parking tips:
  1. Take a cab or limo to the airport -- At the cost to park of $20 a day, if you are going more than four days, its probably cheaper to take a cab, both ways.

  2. Have a friend drop them off or pick them up.

  3. Reserve a space on line -- virtually all airports are represented at a number of sites -- Key in "Parking" on Google and see what pops up.

  4. Simply drive to the airport and park in an available space. My spies tell me that at virtually all airports there is parking available. It may not be the most convenient, but its there. Off airport parking is available, too. But its probably important to plan ahead and be sure you can find those little lots around the corner and down the block.

  5. Airport hotels are offering park/sleep/fly packages that let you come a day early, leave your car, stay overnight, and be well rested for your flight.

Of course most won't take this advice, and most main stream media won't print it. All those "one flight a decade" folks will jam the airport at the last minute, have far too much luggage, complain about just about everything, and actually be the cause of most late flights.

Cynic? Nope, just experienced.

The best solution - have Thanksgiving at your house and let the family come there.

Having Thanksgiving come to you can be convenient, though we here at the library understand that some people are going to travel in the next day or so to see relatives and eat lots of food.

There have been many developments in airport parking recently. Susan Shaheen of ITS Davis published a paper in 2005 entitled Smart Parking Management Field Test: A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District Parking Demonstration that explored using smart parking at BART stations and airports to increase efficiency.

Van Horn's list neglects the possible role of transit in getting travelers to their destination. As a recent BTS special report, Making Connections: Intermodal Links in the Public Transportation System, highlights- more and more airports are being serviced by transit agencies. You can avoid the parking lot all together and ride the bus or the train, saving yourself a headache.

Whatever your plans are for this holiday, be safe and have fun!

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