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Transportation from Airport to Hotel: Public or Private

©istockphoto/Chalabala

©istockphoto/Chalabala

It doesn’t matter if you land in a major metropolitan area, with trains, buses and cabs, or in a foreign land with rickshaws and bicycles, you need to get to your hotel and you don’t care to mess around.

The Train
Some cities have had the foresight to build trains to and from their airports. That doesn’t mean you want to use them, but they are available. New York’s JFK has a train as does Philly’s Philadelphia International Airport. Denver’s DIA is building one, due to open in 2016 and Chicago’s Midway and O’Hara airports both have train service available.

Taxis
This is most common option, though sometimes the most expensive. Some cities like New York City have set rates from the airport to downtown so you don’t get cheated. As long as you use the official taxi stand and don’t just jump into any car, you should be okay. When in a foreign land without set rates or meters, you should always negotiate the price before you even get in.

Buses
No one cares to stand around at a bus stop, but if you are traveling to resort towns in say, Mexico or Jamaica, there are tour companies that will provide you transportation to your hotel, even if you didn’t book your trip through them. These are usually hired in advance through the internet and are one of the cheaper options. The buses are usually quite nice, air-conditioned tour buses and very comfortable. You will make stops at other people’s destinations but if you’re not in too much of a hurry, you do get to see some of the other resorts, or at least their lobbies.

Private Shuttles
Private shuttles are the way to go if there are at least three or four of you. You get a van with a driver and you don’t have to make stops at any other hotels; they take you directly to your destination. We’ve used Happy Shuttle in Cancun; they picked us up right on time and got us straight to our hotel. In Costa Rica we used Anywhere Costa Rica to pick us up at the little airport in Liberia and drive us for 3-4 hours to the the Arenal Volcano town of La Fortuna. We also booked them to pick us up three days later and take us to our next spot, then pick us up for the airport 5 days later. They were there waiting each time, friendly, informative and got us there right away.

Rental Cars
This is the way to go if you like to do everything on your own. It depends on what your plans are for the week though because it doesn’t make much sense to have a rental car sitting in the hotel parking lot all week. If you plan on getting out and exploring on your own, this way be the way for you. Check with your credit card company before renting as they may already offer insurance. Rental car companies make a lot of their money off insurance and a lot of folks don’t need it if their card offers protection. Just be careful out there and make sure you have the clerk note any and all damage before you leave the lot.

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