5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Drive 2 to 3 Hours for Lower Airfare

Last Updated on March 15, 2011 by

Flights

Though I live within 30 minutes of our state’s “international” airport I find myself traveling out of state to catch a flight more and more often.  Fewer flights out of my local airport means that costs are up rather significantly and, often, it costs less to drive, stay in a hotel and catch my flight elsewhere.  Especially when taking the family.

Since the airports I fly out of are two to three hours away I have a few criteria that must be met to make the drive worth my time- and money.

1)      How much am I saving per ticket? If I am shopping for four or more tickets the price per ticket must be at least $150 less per ticket.  This translates to $600- more than enough to cover a night or two in an hotel, gas and food.  If I am shopping for a single ticket the difference needs to be about $250.

2)      How much will I pay for airport parking? Is it significantly more than I would pay at my airport?  Sometimes the cost of parking will completely negate any flight savings; be sure to know your airport parking options.

3)      What are the flight times? When would I have to leave my house?  And when would I return?  If you don’t choose to stay in a hotel this is a big question.  Do you really want to drive 2 hours or more at 2 am?

4)      Do any hotels offer airport parking if I stay the night before my flight?  Is it secure?  What are the requirements?

5)      How will I get to the airport? If I stay at a hotel do they charge for an airport shuttle or is it complimentary?  If I use a parking service do they offer complimentary shuttle?

Always do the math before you buy those cheap flights from a distant airport- it may not be the bargain you think it is!

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4 Comments

  1. It would have to be a lot for me to drive that far for a cheaper ticket. It seems like too many variables that could make it not worthwhile financially and emotionally.

    1. There are a lot of variables that we take into account- but a savings of $500 or more is worth a couple hours in the car. Then again, we’re also very good at road trips so a couple of hours is nothing…

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