Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hack your airport transportation

One of the worst parts about traveling happens before you even arrive at the airport. It's how you get to the airport. If you aren't lucky enough to have someone take you or pick you up from the airport, then you need to find an option that is going to cost you. Most of the time those shared van shuttles are really inconvenient because they want to pick you up like 4 hours before your flight. Who wants to do that? They aren't cheap either especially when you have more than one person. From where I live to LAX would cost over $50+tip for one person and over $75 for 2 people. I have found that the cheapest option to LAX is also the most convenient, but it takes some planning and patience.

So for my transportation to LAX I always do a one-way car rental from a non-airport Avis location. The rate is regularly around $40. I have to pick up the car the day before but some neighborhood locations will pick you up if you call them and ask. The one near me is close so I can usually find someone to drop me off. Once I have my car I can leave my house when I need to and then return the car to the LAX Avis location. Then I take their shuttle to the terminal. Super simple. 

Getting home from the airport can be a little more tricky, but it is still cheaper than the shuttles. The problem is that if you rent a car from LAX you will have to pay a ton of airport taxes. I found that Budget is usually the cheapest, but still can be around $50. My newest find is an Avis location that is not the official LAX branch, but is next door to Dollar. So you take the Dollar rental bus from the terminal and then when you arrive at Dollar you walk about 100 yards to a "neighborhood" Avis location. Because it is considered a neighborhood location, you don't pay the ridiculous airport fees. I recently paid $41(the LAX Avis would've been $80) for a much more convenient and inexpensive ride home from LAX.