One of the irritating features of taking a flight abroad is that the cost of the flight itself is not normally anywhere near as high as the amount you’ve paid by the time you take off. Additional costs are plentiful, from taxes and travel insurance to the luxury of an aisle seat and the hefty extra you pay if your baggage is too large. In addition to this is airport parking, which can be so dear that you may wish to look for alternatives.
How expensive is airport parking?
This depends on a few things, including which airport you’ve chosen, how near you’ve parked to the terminal (or to the bus that takes you to the terminal), and how far in advance you’ve booked. But if you’re away for a lengthy period costs will mount up.
Gatwick Airport, for instance, is one of the most expensive. If you roll up and pay at its long stay car park, then it’ll cost you £25 for the first day and £20 for subsequent days. This amounts to a whopping £285 over two weeks, though this can drop to below £100 if booked in good time.
Other airports around the capital were also found to be similarly expensive, according to research by Admiral insurance, with Luton Airport apparently having the most expensive parking rates.
Is there an alternative?
Indeed there is. If the numbers and hassle associated with parking your car at the airport make your eyes water, then opting to travel via train may save you both time and money, especially if you book in advance.
Obviously, the less distance you have to travel will keep rail fares lower still, though even if you live a long way from the airport, remember to add to car park fees the cost of fuel in getting to and from the airport, when comparing prices.
On top of that, travelling by rail will be far more relaxing than negotiating the likes of the M25 and potentially being held up in traffic en-route.
Other alternatives include travelling by coach, which can also save money, but perhaps not time, as this form of transport is also prone to getting held up in traffic jams. Your other options would be to walk or head there by bike, but this wouldn’t be a practical mode of transport for most people, especially if you live 50 miles away and are planning to take a suitcase with you!
Like most things in life that are perhaps more expensive than they ought to be, there’s normally a way around paying for airport parking. And it might just be that the alternative is far more pleasurable than you thought, adding a bit of unexpected relaxation to your holiday.