Now that you have your vacation or business trip planned, you also need to consider where to park your vehicle. This can be particularly intimidating, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the airport and its surroundings. Choosing a parking lot at the airport (or close by) can entail a lot of factors for you to consider. You may select one location based on its proximity to your gate or the airport in general, but these can often be very expensive. There are also lots at the airport in addition to paid lots that belong to other private companies; depending on the length of your trip, some of these may be better choices for you. It’s important to remember that having the easiest access to your vehicle once you return is also critical and should be factored in when making your decision. With all these things to think about, we’d like to step in to make your life easier. Just read on for some tips for (and alternatives to) parking at the airport before you leave on your next trip.

Research and Understand What Types of Parking Are at Your Airport

Tips for alternatives to parking at the airport: Adult woman smiling sitting near bright window while looking at open laptop computer on table and holding white mug

Most travelers will choose what type of parking they need at the airport based on previous experiences. Some have had long waits for shuttles to paid lots adjacent to or near the airport. Others may have paid high prices for parking onsite at the airport. However, both of these can be safe and budget-friendly options with a bit of research. Make sure you look at safety, proximity, and pricing and do a few comparisons to hone in on the perfect place to park your vehicle. Some airport parking lots may now allow you to book online. This accomplishes a couple of things: First, it assures you a parking spot, which can be important if flying on the weekend or a holiday. Second, it can also, sometimes, save you a few dollars. Researching your options thoroughly is the best place to start when looking for the best spot for your car.

Get Your Car Ready for Parking

tips for and alternatives to parking at the airport: Hand holding car's remote control.

You wouldn’t want to spend the majority of your time on the cheap round trip flights to and from your vacation worrying about if your car’s okay. While focusing on the ideal place for your car’s safety, it’s also important to keep in mind your physical safety as well, both as you are parking the vehicle and returning to retrieve it. While most lots will be carefully monitored so you won’t have to worry about your safety too much, you’ll have to take certain steps to make sure in advance that your vehicle is ready for parking. Taking an objective look at the car both inside and outside will be helpful. Are there valuables, mail, packages, and other items visible from outside? Safely storing them away in the dashboard cubby, under the seat, in the trunk, or back at home will ensure your car doesn’t stick out and maintains a low profile during your absence.

You may also enjoy reading: Tips to Help You Save Time at the Airport

Stay at a Nearby Hotel the Night Before and Leave Your Car There

tips for and alternatives to parking at the airport: Luggage beside parked car outside hotel

Paying to park your vehicle can most definitely eat into your travel budget, so you have to strike the right balance between security and convenience versus cost. Staying at a nearby hotel location to the airport the night before the trip may work for you. Depending on the hotel’s rules about parked vehicles, it may be possible to leave the car there. This is sometimes a service provided to guests who are shuttling to the airport from their hotel location. It’s a good idea to check in advance to see if you’ll be able to take advantage of this parking lot, which is typically the safest. Guests planning a return stay at these hotels are allowed this type of convenient and hassle-free parking access.

Know Where Your Car Is Parked

tips for and alternatives to parking at the airport: girl with bags at airport parking

One trick for finding your car when you return is to take a photo of the exact location or parking space at the lot. For travelers who need that extra assurance they won’t be wasting time looking for their car after their parking packages offered by specific lots can be considered a no-brainer, as these generally come with a shuttle service both to the airport and back to your vehicle. Thanks to technology, you can also rely on a whole host of apps to help locate your car quickly. Apps like Find My Car Smarter and Car Finder AR can come to the rescue to make sure your airport parking location doesn’t keep you from getting home faster.

Got any other tips for stress-free parking at the airport? Share them with us in the comments!

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