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Traveling on a Budget: The Hidden Cost of Choosing the Wrong Airport

Cheap flights? Score! Or maybe not? Don’t be fooled by the enticing numbers on your screen. Sure, the flight might seem wallet-friendly, but have you considered what comes after you land? Many tourists traveling on a budget overlook that choosing the wrong airport can burn a massive hole in their budget, especially for remote destinations. It’s time to get smart and see the bigger picture. Below, you’ll find a quick 3-step guide to help you choose the right airport without breaking the bank.

Step 1: Research the Distance and transit availability From Each Airport

Let’s say you’ve just seen a great flight deal for a city you’ve been eyeing. Have you taken the time to research if the city has more than one airport? Did you also see how far the airports are from the city center or where you want to be? Beware that not all airports provide the same accessibility to transportation options. Although some airports may look like a similar distance away from your destination, other factors may add to the inaccessibility of one airport over the other.

Step 2: Map Out Whether You’re Taking Public Transit or a Car

Traveling on a budget requires that you pause and plan before purchasing anything. Think, “After I land, how will I get there?” Will you rent a car, use a rideshare app, or take public transit? Each option has its own costs and convenience factors.

  • Public transit is most likely your best bet if traveling on a budget. Try researching whether major public transit lines are available at that location before blowing the budget on a taxi.

  • If you plan to take a car service, you may also want to confirm that taxis and rideshares are available. This may be a factor in driving up the price when you land. Don’t be scared to check out local car rental companies, too, like AutoEurope. 

  • If you’re renting a car, look at the type of inventory available at the airport. Please also pay attention to if your vehicle is manual! Manual cars tend to be cheaper, but if you don’t know how to drive a manual car… you may be in a tough spot. You may not need to spend as much if you know which airport provides the necessary resources. Psst: The landscape also matters more than you might think when renting a car! You will not catch us taking winding roads through steep mountains in pitch darkness. Yikes! If your route resembles a roller coaster, it’s wise to reconsider driving at night.

For more information on traveling on a budget, you should check out our Travel Budget Planner Template.

Step 3: Consider When You Are Traveling

Are you landing your flight at night? Your landing time might change the whole transit game. Public transportation schedules can vary significantly outside regular business hours and on weekends, potentially leaving you in a bind or unsafe location. Factor in whether you’ll need to splurge on a taxi or ridesharing service if you arrive when the city’s asleep.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Before snagging that “unbelievable” flight deal, weigh the costs after touchdown. Your wallet will thank you for making an informed choice.


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