The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A question on departing from a distant airport.

In response to your comments/questions on my multiple air departure gateways post:

Thanks for your response and yes I always do the math. I calculate travel time plus expenses to determine if it is cost effective. It costs me roughly a tank of gas roundtrip to get to the airports that I mentioned so that’s my yard stick.

If it’s just me traveling then a savings of twenty or thirty bucks is probably not worth the road trip. But for a family of four or 2 couples it may be worthwhile to travel to distant gateway airport.

Another cost saving strategy of mine is to check out the stay-park and fly packages that many airport area hotels offer. I’ve discovered that many properties offer 5 to 7 days free parking plus complimentary airport shuttle service so this can be a major saving.

Using this tactic on a recent early morning departure out of Columbus I calculated that my hotel stay was basically free. Based on the daily rate of long term parking compared to my lodging costs (with free parking) I saved about $12.00. The difficult part of this plan was to explain the cost savings benefits to my accounting folks. I guess they’d rather pay $95.00 for parking instead of $83.00 for lodging and parking.
Yes you can browse the corporate hotel or on line web sites but it has been my experience that when you contact the hotel directly and ask about their stay, park & fly packages you broker the best deal. The front desk agent at the hotel should have much more factual and up to date info than www.whatever .com.

Happy travels!