At Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP), we understand how day-to-day commuting can be stressful and challenging and we are your go-to source for an easier commute. We also know that holiday travel can be hectic, but it can be a piece of cake if you know your options. Below are some tips to avoid parking fees at the airport, beat the traffic on your way to your flight, or enhance your travel experience by using the many regional transportation options available.
1. Take Transit to the Airport or Station
Anyone who has parked their car at an airport or station for an extended period of time knows how that can be exceedingly expensive. At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), parking costs $19 a day at a minimum. That can add up quickly when you're away for a week or two over the holidays.
An easier and cheaper way to travel to DCA is by Metro on the Yellow Line or Blue Line. Below are some options to get to the region's three major airports via public transit.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
- Take the Penn Line MARC train in the direction of Baltimore Penn Station
- Exit the train at BWI Airport Station
- Board the free shuttle bus that will transport you to the BWI Marshall Terminal Building, the shuttle runs on a set schedule based on the time of day
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
- Both the Yellow and Blue Lines travel to DCA
- Both terminal B and C are directly adjacent to the Metro’s exit
- Traveling to terminal A from the Metro is either a 10-15 minute walk through the airport or you can opt to take the free shuttle between the terminals if your bags are a bit heavy
- Pro Tip: You can now also take Capital Bikeshare to DCA!
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
- It used to be a bit difficult to ride to IAD, but not anymore! Take the Silver Line in the direction of Ashburn and exit at the airport!
2. Take the Train this Holiday Season
We're all familiar with how delays and cancellations that can occur at airports during the holidays, not to mention running into bad weather (snow, ice, etc.) Think about taking the train to your destination even if it adds a bit more time to your travel time, but it can be fast, reliable, and save you the hassle of going through security at airport, or driving in hazardous conditions.
If you plan far enough in advance you can even save extra money by booking early through Amtrak.
3. Carpool with Friends or Colleagues to the Airport or Your Destination
Many people in Arlington and the DC region as a whole are transplants from other areas. For some, the option might present itself to carpool with some of your friends or colleagues to your final destination—or even drop off some passengers along the way. It’s a great way to save money and reduce traffic on the highways during the holiday season.
Carpool to the Airport
Parking at IAD starts at $14 per day, so you could consider carpooling with friends or colleagues who are also leaving for the holidays. It will require a bit of coordination, but booking flights around the same day/time could make it possible for you to reduce the cost of getting to the airport and leaving your car behind when you split the costs amongst a group.
What If I Am Visiting the DC Metro Region?
If you're planning on visiting Arlington County or DC during the holidays, all you have to do is reverse the tips above to arrive at your hotel or final destination. You can also check out ATP's regional transportation guide for more information.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners