If you are flying during peak holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Holiday weekends), book your airport transportation in advance. Rides from friends and family are usually the best, but not always available. Depending on how far you live from the airport, there is a trade off between shuttles, cabs, cars/limos and just parking at the airport.
My first choice is a car/limo due to the convenience, but we currently live far enough from the airport to make it expensive. For trips over 10 days, a shuttle is the best value, but for shorter trips, airport parking is cheaper. In reading Budget Travel’s “Holiday Travelers’ Survival Guide 2008,” they listed three websites where you could reserve your parking online:
See the name of the third? Park, Sleep, Fly. It turns out many airport hotels offer deals where if you stay one night before or after your trip, you can also park at the hotel for a certain number of days. Well parking alone was $85-$150 and the hotel and parking was $119-350 (all without tax). With an 8am flight and an hour drive to the airport, the hotel option was lucrative.
I looked beyond the hotels on Park Sleep Fly and found the Larkspur Landing South San Francisco’s Park and Fly package for $119 plus tax for one night hotel plus 7 days parking. Larkspur Landing is a small chain of upscale suite hotels, currently on the west coast. The hotel includes – down bedding, a pillow menu, full kitchen, continental breakfast, spa (by exercise room), in room DVD player and DVD library, plus cookies and coffee in the lobby. Right now, they are offering 20% off a stay if you make a donation to Toys for Tots. While we gave a stroller full of toys through our fire department, I happily gave $10 and saved $35 including tax. (Another great place to donate $10 to get something great is Passports with Purpose, which I am participating in.)
Full cost of our regular discount parking lot: $94.46
Full cost of hotel, parking & donation : $107.25
Cost of a couple of extra hours of sleep: $12.79
Yeah!!! We are going to check in as early as we can to enjoy a lazy dinner in the room, time in the spa and a movie in bed. Think of if it as a vacation to prepare us for our trip.
Family visits at Christmas: planning travel with a toddler
Family visits at Christmas: planning travel with a toddler – Hotels
Family visits at Christmas: UPDATE – Illness, Playtime, Restaurants & Snacks and Packing
Passports with Purpose – a Fundraiser for Heifer International (cooler than collecting quarters in rice bowls)
Passports with Purpose –Learn about the Barefoot Books Prize