Why you should try smaller airports

They often work with low-cost carriers

It can be difficult for smaller airlines to secure space at large airports. Regional airports often provide opportunities for lower-cost carriers to set up hubs, which means companies such as Spirit, Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier and others can offer cost savings to passengers.

There are a number of smaller airports that have service on low-cost carriers. 

Parking is cheaper (or free)

Forking over hundreds of dollars for parking when you get back from a trip can be a gut punch, especially if you’re still on a vacation high. 

Another perk of smaller airports is that the parking is often much cheaper, if not free. At Trenton, for example, I paid just $8 per day, which meant I didn’t have to budget tons of money for parking or rely on Uber to get me there on time.

TPG reader Kelly Weaver Goley likes Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in North Carolina for its free short-term parking and cost savings. “Park for free at the door,” she said. (Long-term parking starts at $8 a day.) “And though you have to connect in CLT most of the time, it’s usually hundreds of dollars cheaper than CLT!”

Ellen Jackson tossed her vote to Shenandoah Valley (SHD) in Virginia, where flyers can park their cars completely free of charge.

They could be closer to home
They could be closer to home

Since a long drive to reach an airport can start the entire trip off on a sour note, finding a smaller local airport that’s closer to where you live can go a long way to relieve additional pre-and post-travel stress.

Plus, if it’s close enough to home, you can Uber instead of driving, which could be cheaper than paying to park if you’ll be gone for a while. 

The routes are convenient
The routes are convenient

Low-cost carriers that do fly from smaller airports often fly specific routes and connections are not always an option. 

Sometimes, those specific routes aren’t the most popular. 

However, if you just so happen to live near a small airport with a route exactly where you want to go, it’s worth its weight in gold.

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