It is always tricky to get to the airport, heftily laden with luggage and suitcases, with little or no stress. And this confusion and hassle will only be heightened when you find yourself in a foreign land. In my case, it was Venice. See here, I thought I know how to get to the airport, I only need to hail a cab that will take me there. Sounds like a plan to me.
But I was dead wrong. If you take away the smooth leveled roads and replace it with waterways, bridges, and uneven cobblestone walks, not to mention the few pounds of luggage you have with you, then you can do nothing but toughen it out, brave the waters, and get into the plane heading home. With that said, here’s how I survived Venice with my Prada wedges and Ralph Lauren luggage.
It was already there. Before I even stepped into that cab that will take me to the airport, I have had that nagging feeling, that worry of what if’s. Heck, I already sensed that niggling worry right from the time I planned the itinerary for my very first Italian escapade. I attempted to obtain information that would at least diminish the burden that I was feeling, but said search proved fruitless. I even asked my travel agent how to get to Venice airport from the hotel where I will be staying. No answer. It appears that no one could elucidate me how to navigate and traverse the route from the hotel (situated across the waterway) to the airport (with all my luggage present accounted for).
To be honest, I had this idea of spending the night in the airport just to assure myself that I will be able to get there on time. Thoughts flung back and forth in my head. Hotel. Body of water. Airport. What if the travel time between the two landmarks renders me unable to reach the airport and entirely miss the flight? That’s not good.
A backpacker is probably more equipped, so to speak. They can simply use the usual public transit called vaporetto. However, for a tourist who carries a few more (heavy) bags, this is not the best way to go. Trust me, with the crowd always on their feet moving up and about, maneuvering with such baggage is not conducive---it is not even advisable.
I have to admit, Venice is awesome. The sights are awesome. The food there is awesome. Heck, getting lost in Venice is awesome (if you are not catching a flight that is). And yes, I was able to get in the flight. Here’s how:
First advise, a night before your flight, ask your hotel to pre-book or make a reservation for your water taxi. Almost every hotel in the city of Venice offers such service. Make certain you have at least 150 Euros in your disposal. And that is only for the trip from and to the airport. And the cost of the water taxi will set you back roughly between 60 to 125, local currency of course. It should be noted that the cost would highly depend on where you are exactly staying in Venice. Oh, and leave early, like before 7 AM early. Because after said time, expect a spike on the cost of your water taxi bill. And one more thing, they don’t accept Visa or MasterCard, so pay cash. Remember to tip the driver.
Second, get up early. Make your way down the lobby with all your luggage. Or if fate favors you, you may find a bellhop who will help you load the same in the cart. If not, I suggest you pack light. Because you will need to drag those heavy bags traversing the ups and downs of Venice and its famous cobblestone walks. Now, go ahead and make your way to the canal where your reserved water transpo is waiting for you. Again, tip the bellhop. The ride can either be smooth and dry or bumpy and wet. The latter usually occurs during the rainy season (of course). And weirdly, most people would pay sums of money for this kind of thrill. Oh, yea. We actually did, about 100 Euros.
Third, get off the taxi carefully, particularly if it’s raining. You don’t want to accidentally slip and experience the cold waters of Venice. Nonetheless, there are a lot of locals who will be more than willing help you. Of course, these will also be the same men who will offer you porter services. It will cost you around 25 Euros. I have to warn you, the distance from the dock to the airport is quite far. I suggest you hire a porter.
Forth, assuming that you did hire the services of one of the porters, you have made the right decision. They will take care of everything from dock to the airport.
Fifth, as the porters take your luggage to the terminal, simply follow their lead. They will give you instructions on how to go about on your next step---in Italian. I reckon, if you are like me, you will have no idea what the heck the porter said. Though you will fall in love with his accent. Anyway, look closely to the places the porter keeps on pointing; the carts will be one of those things you want to locate ASAP. Pay and tip. Do the latter if you still have change.
Sixth, airport check in. Do the routine. Check the departure boards. Look for your flight number as well as the wicket number. Go through the usual security. Hop in the plane and wave Venice ciao.
Now that you have bits and pieces of advice, relax. Enjoy that gelato. You will be aboard your plane in no time. Just remember to fill your wallet with Euros.