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Happy 2017, my fellow travelers! The year is already turning out to be a great one for travel. Much of that will be air travel completed by folks who will make use of airport parking systems.  I am one such person and am, in fact preparing for a trip where I will park my ride at the airport.  With everything going on, worrying about parking options is not something I want to do.  So, I thought of some things to help me find parking and keep my car secure while I am way. 

If you’re like me, the first thing to consider is the type of parking that’s best for you.  First, there is airport-run parking with short-term, daily, and long-term options.  Located near airport terminals, short-term parking lots and garages are designed for people who won’t be in the airport very long.  These lots tend to be the most expensive; you pay for the convenience of being so close.

Daily parking is generally less expensive and can be located near the airport terminal or a short distance away.  Shuttle service is usually offered for those lots not next to the terminal building. 

An airport’s long term parking is the least expensive option, as the lots are usually located quite a distance away from terminal buildings.  These lots are for travelers who require parking for several days or longer.

Some airports offer valet parking services, particularly through their onsite hotels.  This is extremely convenient, but can be costly, at $6.00 – $10.00 or more for the first two hours.  And, overnight parking may not be available. 

Then, there is off-airport parking not associated with the airport authority.  Lots are often privately owned and generally offer lower rates than airport-operated parking.  Shuttle service to/from airport terminals are offered. 

Once you’ve made your parking lot choice, keep in mind my tips for a hassle-free parking experience.

  • Try paying in advance via an online reservations system.  Doing so will secure your space during peak travel times and often offer discounts on what you would pay at the gate.

  • For obvious reasons, choose covered parking whenever it is an option.

  • Please keep your ticket in a safe place…and remember that place.  No one wants to pay a lost ticket penalty to retrieve his or her vehicle.

  • Oh, and remember where you park your vehicle.  Unless you just like walking through a garage full of cars.

  • Don’t forget the ice scraper and snow shovel if you park outside in winter.  If you’ve ever had your car buried under a mountain of snow, you’ll understand why a shovel can be handy.  Lots use plows to move snow, and being careful not to cover your car is not a great concern. 

  • Remove all of your valuables inside the vehicle and the trunk.  Most lots are secure but, you never know who will look inside your windows. 

  • Get rid of your trash.  Do you really want to return to a hot car smelling like last week’s White Castle burgers because you left the wrappers inside?  Just saying!

  • Know the procedure for calling the shuttle and know where to meet.  Unless you just like standing outside the airport watching other people leave…

  • Especially for long term parking, fully inflate your tires.  You don’t want to return to tires flattened by a slow leak.

  • Likewise, consider unplugging your battery to avoid losing a charge.

  • And, top off your gas tank to prevent moisture build up and your seals from drying out.

  • If you do have a problem with the car, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the lot attendant.  Many airports and private companies offer jump-starts and other minor services to lot patrons.  Unless you like waiting two hours for road service…or Cousin Bob.

I hope these tips help make your airport parking experience a better one.  Safe travels!

The Travel Diva loves helping others experience world travel that engages, empowers, enlightens, and entertains.  Contact her at (313) 808-8018 or traveldiva@starvacations.com

Author: Angela The Travel Diva

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