So you’re getting on a plane – great! Maybe you’re headed to a faraway job interview, in which case, good luck. Maybe you’re headed to vacation with the whole family, in which case, have fun. But no matter what reason you have for traveling, you’ll have a few things to get set before you go.

How Are You Getting To The Airport?

Traveling by plane isn’t quite the luxury that it once was. Strict airport regulations have made it a pain to get through security and tough to budget time for getting from the airport’s front door to your plane on the runway. Airport food isn’t great, and you’ll be very limited in terms of what you can bring with you past security. In short, traveling by plane can be stressful.

But the stress of plane travel isn’t limited to what happens when you’re in the airport. What about getting there? There are a few things that you can do to keep stress levels at the minimum when traveling to the airport – just as there are ways to keep stress levels low throughout your big trip.

Getting to the airport

Traveling to the airport can be stressful, because the clock is ticking. You may find yourself rushing in the airport, but the clock doesn’t start ticking when you walk in the airport doors – it’s already going when you leave your home and head for the airport! Traffic on the way to the airport, public transit delays, and other issues can give your trip an unnecessarily stressful start before you even reach airport security.

The best way to avoid this is to plan ahead. Here are a few ways to reach the airport – choose one and plan carefully before you walk out the door!

Public transit

Taking public transit to the airport can be a bit of a chore, but it’s a lot easier when you plan ahead.

Everyone needs to get to the airport once in awhile, so you would think that most big cities would have easy ways to get to the airport on public transit. You would, unfortunately, be wrong. Most locals don’t want their subway or bus line extended to the airport, because that would mean crowded trains and buses and lots of luggage in the way during their commutes. So, in many cases, you’ll find that you’ll have to switch between trains, buses, and even monorails to reach the airport.

In other words, don’t count on being able to sit down on one train or bus and be delivered directly to the airport. Plan ahead, know where to change trains, and budget it in plenty of time for delays and missed connections.

Drive yourself

The most direct route to the airport from your home is almost certainly by car. If you have a car, you may want to make the drive yourself.

Traffic is a concern here (make sure that you budget in some extra time), but the real hidden stress of driving to the airport is parking. Look into airport parking – including private lots near the airport – and make sure that you know where you’ll be headed. Budget in the time it will take to drive past the airport and to the parking, and the time it will take to walk back!

Even if everything goes right, of course, driving to the airport means that you car will be parked in a parking garage (at best) or out in a lot exposed to the elements (at worst), and that you’ll have to pay for the privilege! If you want to avoid this, the solution is simple: drive, but don’t drive yourself.

Take a car service

Yes, the last option here is perhaps the best: take a car service to the airport. Every airport has reliable car services in the area, and this option will protect your car from wear and tear while helping you to avoid public transit. Just call ahead of time to schedule the pick-up, and make sure you budget time for traffic. Car services cost money, but remember that you’ll be saving on airport parking and gas money, which offsets things a bit. In terms of stress reduction, you can’t beat taking a car service to the airport.