Tips for Parents
How will my student get to the airport?
It’s not always easy or obvious for students (and their parents!) to figure out how to get from campus to the nearest airport, train station, or bus depot.
Big, small, urban, rural — every college has its own approach to the airport shuttle conundrum. Some have convenient, affordable options while others leave students pretty much on their own.
Your student’s options for getting to the airport will vary and may include:
- College-operated shuttle services
- Independent (private) shuttles (cost more but offer door-to-door service)
- Regional transportation (public bus) — students may ride free with ID
- Light rail or Amtrak (Student Discount Available)
- UBER or Lyft
- National bus companies like Greyhound
- Car share, such as Zipcar (one-way service available). Find a Zipcar near campus.
- Students asking students (Facebook, ride boards?) Try posting in our College Parents Facebook Group.
Here’s advice about where to look for more information:
Parent newsletter — If you receive a print or e-newsletter from the college, holiday transportation information should be included well in advance.
College website — Information about how to get to and from campus is usually found in the “Visit Campus” section (sometimes under “Admissions”) and/or under “Student Life” (“Housing and Residential Communities” is where I found “Airport Shuttle” for one large public university).
Student Center — Your student can visit the Student Center and ask for transportation information, or you can call the Center yourself. If there’s an old-fashioned Ride Board (where students can offer and find rides), it would be located at the Student Center. A phone call to the Office of Student Life might also yield results.
Your student’s campus email — Even if the university doesn’t operate a regular airport shuttle, they may provide one for vacations, and would email this information to the campus community. Remind your student to check email regularly, dump out-of-date messages, and create email folders to save important messages for future reference.
Google it! Search the name of the school and “airport shuttle” or “shuttle service” and you may get exactly what you’re looking for!
UniversityParent’s top holiday travel tips!
- Remind your student to check with professors about exam/paper due dates before making end-of-semester reservations.
- Book your flights asap!
- Reserve a ride to the airport as far in advance as possible. Some campus shuttles only require one day notice, but others will fill up fast. They may need to be paid for in advance, and don’t forget a tip. Book a round-trip fare if needed.
- Encourage your student to check in online the day before a flight, and plan to arrive at the airport 1.5-2 hours early.
- If winter weather might be a factor (and especially if your student is making a connection), talk ahead of time about what to do in case of cancelled or delayed flights.
- Advise your student to pack lightly so that it’s easy to manage belongings, and keep that cell phone charged.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter and purchase the Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year for additional tips, insight, and to help your college student succeed. You may also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our Community Forum and College Parents’ Facebook group.