Airport parking tips to save money and time

When you need to fly out and use your personal car to get to the airport it means you have to make some decisions about airport parking. There are several options for parking your car before your flight. First, you need to decide between parking your car at the airport or at one of the car parking companies with facilities next to it. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, choosing a parking garage at the airport means spending time searching not only for an empty space but also for a better price.

The whole experience can be extremely stressful, especially when you’re in a hurry to catch your flight. That is why The Travel Bunny has come up with this article that should help you choose between airport parking options easier.

underground airport parking
Garage parking at the airport

What you should know about airport parking

  • It’s best to leave home early and plan to arrive at the airport at least one hour earlier than reporting time. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a free spot in airport parking facilities and you may have to drive around looking for parking availability.
  • You may realize that all parking lots at the airport are full and you may need to use private parking facilities. Not only do they have higher prices, but this can delay your arrival at the gate in time, too.
  • Check out the airport’s map before you leave home. Familiarize yourself with the location of terminals and gates. This will help you avoid car parks that are located opposite to where you need to be inside the airport.
  • Before you settle on a parking spot, remember that you will have to carry your luggage from the car to the airport or to the airport’s shuttle service. To be less restricted about the distance, try to take rolling luggage with you. And when you’re looking for a trolley for several suitcases, remember that some of them only work with coins. So make sure you have some in one of your pockets.
  • An airport parking lot can get pretty expensive, so make sure to budget for your short or long term stay. Lots of airports practice dynamic parking rates that change not only from low to high season but also from one day to the next. Economy parking is very difficult to find and you could end up in one of the expensive lots. And in those parking lots. you may end up spending as much as $150 on parking fees for five days.
  • Keep in mind that valet parking is not free. You will have to pay to have your car parked and save time.
  • During the holiday season, rush hour, and high travel seasons, there may be traffic jams formed by arriving and/or departing vehicles. This also comes with huge lines at the security check and airport gates, which means you’ll be short on time while dragging your luggage on long distances.
  • When there are lots of passengers, this also means that the airport shuttle services are slow and overcrowded, packed with people and their luggage.
  • Unannounced security measures can ruin your schedule and it’s difficult to prepare for them. You may come across a new rule saying there’s no parking within a distance of 300 meters, making you search for parking at the airport way farther. There can also be some random security checks on all entering cars due to safety alerts. Not only can these mishappenings slow down traffic, but they can also shut down many of the closer short-term parking spots.
  • Unannounced maintenance and construction work can mean detours that you will have to take in order to get to your parking spot at the airport.

airport parking meter save money
Save money with cheap airport parking

How to save money on airport parking

Book your airport parking in advance. However, make sure you shop around first and compare the prices to get the best deal. Lots of parking companies use dynamic price systems, with costs rising the closer you get to your departure date. If you don’t make parking reservations in advance, you can end up paying a small fortune on the day.

Another advantage of booking your parking place at the airport in advance is that you’ll have your parking spot secured. During high season travel, most car parks are full. It would be a pity to lose your flight while you’re driving around searching for parking. So book make airport parking reservations in advance to secure your spot!

You could always opt for short term parking at the airport, too. In that case, be ready to spend a lot of money on parking, perhaps even more than you did on your plane tickets!

airport meet greet parking

Airport parking FAQs answered

How does meet and greet parking work?

Meet and Greet parking is a chauffeur/valet parking facility. Though, as mentioned before, this isn’t a free service, it’s a pretty convenient way to park your car. Someone from the parking company will meet you at the terminal to take your car and park it for you. They usually also bring you a trolley to easily carry your luggage.

When you come back from your trip, your car gets delivered to you by the terminal and you can be on your way home in no time. And though they are few, there are some airport parking companies that offer a money-back guarantee if they keep you waiting.

What are the main benefits of meet and greet parking?

You don’t:
• Spend time searching for an empty parking spot
• Have to drag your heavy luggage on long distances
• Need to get your children on buses
• Have to use the airport shuttle service to get to and from the airport.

Why book meet and greet parking instead of cheaper long-term parking?

When you book meet and greet parking, you get the most stress-free parking facilities out there.

Regular long-term covered parking at the airport wastes more of your precious time and it’s sometimes pretty difficult to obtain. It implies finding the car park with an available place, parking your car, and then getting to the shuttle bus to get from the parking area to the airport. And during all this, you’ll need to drag your heavy luggage on long distances on both ends of your trip. This experience at a regular long term parking can be even more difficult if it’s raining/snowing or you’re traveling with children.

At busy times of the year, economy parking lots get jammed with traffic, and shuttle buses near your parking space are more crowded. You may end up waiting for the second bus or the third one to get on with your journey. It’s unpleasant, especially when you return home after a long flight. But you can avoid all this hassle with meet and greet airport parking.

Now that you know everything about airport parking, head to the Internet. Book your parking in advance and avoid a stressful start to your next holiday while you also save money!

About the author

Mirela Letailleur The Travel Bunny

Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.

Read more about Mirela Letailleur

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