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Travel Tips For Going Places                        By: Richard C. Ross

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The specifics (details actually) with regards to travel, revolve around one's ability to know exactly what one is wanting to do, where one wants to go and how best to get there -- and back home again -- with the least possible expense and hassle.  The reason is what can be referred to as compensatory spending: The less time and money one spends on things like limos and parking, the more one has to spend on one's actual vacation...

Our trip was by rail one way to Boston and then we were flying home to O'Hare.  The limo rates for O'Hare to Batavia have become quite pricey in recent years so here is an alternative that we tried:

  • Use an airport parking website to make a reservation to park your car near O'Hare so you have access to your car on your return flight.  We used the parking lot at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont.  They offer free shuttle service to the airport every 20-30 minutes.
  • Drive to the hotel and park your car.  Since we were heading downtown, we had a couple of options (see maps below).
    • Walk to the blue line stop on River Road near the hotel and avoid the shuttle trip to O'Hare.  This works well assuming the weather is decent for walking.
    • Take the shuttle to the airport and exit at Terminal 2.  Just follow the signs that read "Trains to City."  (Shuttle drivers will often help you load and unload your baggage from the shuttle.  Remember that is customary to tip $1/bag.)
  • The entrance to the blue line train is on the lower level of the airport.  You'll need to purchase tickets via the kiosks.  Full fare with cash is $2.25/person.  In case you need some help, there are CTA employees ready to answer your questions.
  • Once on the blue line, just watch for the Clinton Street stop.  From there it's a few blocks walk to Union Station (see map at left).  Note:  The Clinton Street stop has a number of stairs to get to street level.  If you're carrying a lot of luggage, this may not be the best option.



Traditional Limo Transport


Economy Travel

Getting to Union Station Take Metra from suburbs to downtown Chicago $12 Park car at hotel near airport, take shuttle to airport $2 tip
      Take Blue Line train to downtown Chicago $4.50
Returning home from aiport Have a limo service pick you up at the airport. $70+tip Hop on the shuttle, back to the hotel and pay parking fees $15
$2 tip
    $82 +tip   $23.50
* Assuming a trip of 2 persons for 2 days







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