Let’s be real, cars can be expensive! But so are Uber, Lyft, trains, and buses! When relocating to a new domicile and staying in a Crashpad, you may even wonder if bringing your car is worth it. When deciding whether or not to drive your car across the country, there are many factors that come into play! The most important thing to research is where your Crashpad will be located! You could be living in a large city with access to public transportation nearby, or you could be miles away from your airport and need a car to get there!
Some common questions you should be considering include:
- Does my Crashpad have parking spaces?
- If so, do they charge to park, and how much?
- Are there always empty spaces?
- Is it open parking or reserved parking?
- Do you have to parallel park?
- How far is the Crashpad from the airport?
- If I keep my car at the airport, is it easy to get there to pick it up when I need it?
- What is the least expensive way to get to the airport if I don’t bring my car?
- Is my Crashpad near a shuttle?
As a new hire coming out of training, you may not be making a lot of money!
This is especially if you are at a regional carrier – unfortunately, this is the reality of starting off in the industry. It is a smart idea to create a list of expenses you will encounter, and prioritize which costs are more important! If you bring your car, airlines offer free employee parking at the airport, and will often reimburse you for parking costs in general parking. However, bringing your car could be a big expense. With your car note, car insurance, gas, and maintenance, bringing your car could quickly add up! As a pilot or flight attendant, you will learn your primary form of transportation will be flying! While there are many perks of bringing a vehicle, there is a hefty list of cons as well!
Getting to the airport on time is obviously the biggest perk to bringing your car, especially if you are based at a coterminal where you will be working out of multiple airports in the area! For example, if you are based in New York City, you could be servicing LGA, JFK, and EWR! They are all in different parts of the city, however, New York City does have an extensive public transportation system that can help getting to your assigned airport on time before your trip starts.
The distance between your crashpad and places to grab food
There is also grocery shopping to factor in! An important thing to consider is how close your Crashpad is to a supermarket! Eating out adds up quickly, especially when you’re sitting reserve or grabbing food from overpriced vendors at the airport. When you’re at your Crashpad, it’s a good idea to cook and meal prep, and you need to figure out how easy it will be to get the necessities you need! While buying groceries in bulk may sound easy, you will be sharing your space with other cabin crew members, so you may need to make multiple trips to the grocery store!
If you do choose to eat out, factor in how close your Crashpad is to restaurants and other establishments! Sometimes, you will be able to walk right out your front door and be surrounded by food chains and other vendors. However, you may end up in a Crashpad where you will have to go miles before finding a place to eat! In these cases, a car could become very useful!
Another big thing to consider is if your Crashpad offers a washer and drier!
Laundry is huge when you live in a Crashpad, and if there is no washer or drier, you will have to carry your laundry to a local laundromat to get it done! If there is no laundry facilities in your Crashpad, having a car is a huge plus since you can simply drive to a local laundromat to finish your dirty clothes as opposed to walking or even using Uber or Lyft. Using rideshare apps can add up quickly, especially when using them on a weekly basis to finish your laundry. Clean clothes are a necessity, and this is a dealbreaker for almost every Crashpad.
If your Crashpad is in a larger city, there could be many alternative forms of transportation as to bringing your car. Many cities now have electric scooters you can rent using an App on your phone, or you can rent a bike for as little as dollars a day. Obviously, when you are carrying your luggage with you, this is not a viable option but, with a backpack you can easily get to grocery stores or other parts of the city you are in! Cutting edge technology provides many alternative ways of getting around your city, however, this is not ideal when trying to get to the airport.
Still can’t decide whether or not to bring your car?
Check if Cars2Go or ZipCar are in your city! These apps allow you to locate a car and rent it, based on availability! These cars are peppered around the city and can be rented and driven on a first come, first serve basis!
If you decide not to bring your car and need groceries, another option would be the app Instacart! This app allows you to pick out groceries and get them delivered right to your door! It’s a major convenience, especially if you decide not to bring your car. Amazon Prime is also a great tool to use when ordering necessities – shipping is fast and easy!
Although there many ways to get around not bringing your car and saving money, there are some circumstances when bringing your car could be incredibly useful!
Even if you are in a city that offers extensive public transportation, it may not always be 24-hours!
This is the case for cities such as Washington, D.C., where the public metrorail closes around 11:30PM on weekdays. When getting off a late trip or enjoying a night out in the city, this could be an issue! Hiring a taxi cab can add up, and ridesharing apps at night use surge pricing due to lack of drivers out in the area! If you plan accordingly, you can easily determine if it would be a good fit!
If you’re on reserve, a car can be incredibly useful since you have little to no say with your schedule.
When you’re on call, you are required to drop everything and head directly to the airport, and having a car can be incredibly useful. If you’re not being used often, you can earn a little extra money on the side by becoming a ridesharing app driver! This can put a extra money in your pocket and can allow you to learn the area you are based in!
All in all, it is best to create a list for yourself and see what works best for you! Every person’s situation is unique and different, and only you can decide whether or not this is a smart decision to bring your car. There is no right or wrong answer here – you can always try the Crashpad life without a car first and bring your car later, or vice versa! Everybody has different lifestyles and methods to figuring out the Crashpad life, so each situation is unique and different!
Nonetheless, it’s important to get your employee parking pass at the airport! Talk to your instructor or base manager for information on how to get your parking pass! If they do require you to purchase a parking pass, save your receipt! Airlines will often reimburse you for the parking price!