When traveling, there are many methods that you can use to get from the airport to your hotel, and vice-versa. However, there’s one that’s easy to forget, but that can keep that cash in our pockets. I’m talking about hotel shuttle service.
What It Is
Hotel shuttle service consists of little buses that hotels either have in-house or contracted out, and which go back and forth between the hotel and the airport. They usually have space for around 10 guests, plus their luggage. They come in different varieties:
- Some run back and forth 24 hours per day.
- Some run part of the day, but not all of it.
- Some have to be pre-booked in advance.
- Some are on-demand. You call the hotel, and they’ll have someone get the shuttle out and come to you.
- Some are shared between several hotels, and make multiple stops.
I’ve never come across one that is not free, although it’s nice to tip the driver (at least in the US). Of the ones that make regular rounds (as opposed to being pre-booked or on-demand), expect to see them at the airport around every 30-45 minutes or so.
Bear in mind that not all hotels have these; they tend to be most common at properties near the airport. Check hotel websites or call ahead for details. (And make sure to take a hotel shuttle, not for-hire ones that cost money).
How to Find the Shuttle Service
Most of these shuttles are reliable and work well, though it can be annoying to wait for them outdoors at the airport, especially if it’s really hot or cold. Once in a while, you’ll get one that will take a really long time to get to you, but that’s in about 10% of occasions (in my experience).
Most every airport has a designated area for hotel shuttles. Just follow the signs until you find the place, which will usually have a good number of grumpy-looking passengers standing next to their bags, waiting for you to join them. The shuttle itself will normally have the name of the hotel written on the side.
Hotel shuttles are nothing special, but they’re free! I recommend you take advantage of them and of other free and cheap hotel services.