Travelling overseas is one of the most exciting experiences life has to offer, but the uncertainty can also be a big source of anxiety - particularly when it comes to how you will get to your destination after touching down at the airport. Fortunately, between private taxi services and public transport links, there are more and more options available to those without their own pair of wheels, many of them affordable and hassle-free. Here are our top tips on airport transfers.
When it comes to taxis, book in advance
The absolute worst way to go about getting an airport transfer is to touch down at the airport on the day and hop into the first taxi you find parked outside. Apart from potentially having to wait a couple of hours for one to become available, you're guaranteed to be paying a premium rate.
Instead, consider signing up for a special meet and greet service whereby you already have a professional driver lined up who knows exactly where you need to go, with a nominal price already agreed. This will save you from having to flag down a car, and ensure that your charge is reasonable.If booked in advanced you can be sure you will get the prompt service without wasting your time and will pay a fixed price with no hidden fees.
Vacationing alone is daunting enough as it is without even thinking about having to travel with a complete stranger, but there are big advantages to finding a holiday buddy when it comes to your airport transfer. By sharing a taxi with just one person, you are effectively cutting the costs in two.
It doesn't have to be someone you bumped into on the flight either. If you're worried about having to sit next to a weirdo for a couple of hours, you can always make contact with someone on the internet first and get to know them before agreeing to share a cab. Who knows? You might even make a new friend in the process.
Be wary of scams
Unable to speak the language and completely out of your comfort zone, you're naturally vulnerable when you're in a foreign country, which makes you a prime target for local scammers.
While you shouldn't go around suspecting everyone you encounter of trying to hustle you, it's sensible to take precautions when you jump into a taxi. Make sure that you know the quickest route from the airport to your hotel yourself (drivers in certain destinations have been accused of deliberately taking the long way round) and avoid handing over a big wad of foreign cash without knowing exactly how much it is.
Consider hiring a car
The idea of renting a car on holiday is offputting to some, primarily stemming from fears that they will have difficulty adjusting to road ediquette in another country, or else be ripped off by an unscrupulous hire company.
But think about the upside: you save a huge amount of money on transfer fees, get to leave the airport immediately, and once you've reached your destination you have far more independence and flexibility about how you spend your trip.
Use shuttle transfer
You can use the shared shuttle coach or bus to get to your destination and it will save you some money, but be prepared to wait for all passengers to get on or even collecting passengers from more than one flight. Consider also that usually the shuttle does not go straight to the final destination and will have several stops.
Always read reviews
If you do opt for a private airport transfer, then make sure you do your due diligence before rushing into a raw deal. That means taking a look at some reviews online - not just on the company's official site, but on travel forums too. If they have a sketchy reputation, then there's probably good reason for it.
You may also want to read about: Cheap Airport Parking