Affordable long-term parking can be a tough thing to find if you’re looking to travel for an extended period of time. You want to find a parking lot that will keep your car safe at all hours of the day while you are away and but won’t break the bank. Here are some general tips to utilize when trying to find the perfect long-term parking lot for your vehicle during your traveling.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, it is not recommended to park your vehicle at the airport you are leaving from. These terminals normally charge an extremely outrageous amount of money per day and are generally only considered “short-term” parking, meaning that if you leave your vehicle there for more than a week’s time, there may be problems (thought to be abandoned, etc.). Of course, each policy depends on the airport.
One of the best places to park your vehicle for an extended period of time is at a lot right outside the airport. While you may be thinking that many of these are just as expensive as within an airport, most are significantly cheaper. The added benefit of many of these lots is that they offer 24-hour security, so you know that your vehicle will always be kept an eye on. Rates are typically as low as $3 a day and get as high as $15, but this will fluctuate significantly depending on the area that you are in and in some locations, the day of the week or time of year.
While the signs may advertise similar rates, some parking lots may include hidden fees in their terms (such as payments for transportation to the terminal or after-hour premiums) and if you don’t read them carefully enough, you may get overcharged. Look for deals on different parking lots by visiting their websites. Many offer special first-day rates as well as weekly and monthly specials. Some even allow for the ability for you to print a coupon that can be used to compound the discount. Search around online instead of just picking the first listing out of a phone book.
Make sure you are aware of their transit policies (i.e. how often they shuttle people back and forth between the lot and the terminal as well as how late, or early, the shuttle runs). As anyone who has done it can tell you, hiking a mile after a long flight at nine o’clock at night because you can’t get ahold of the shuttle is arguably not worth the savings from not parking at the terminal. You may also want to consider the transit accommodations. While it may not be a big deal in Los Angeles, if you’re using a Seattle airport parking service, you may not want to be waiting in the rain for the shuttle to take you to the airport.
The next major consideration is safety, both for you and your vehicle. A well-lit lot, full-fencing, and a 24-hour security presence is great, however depending on your situation, you may not need it. Are you a single man with a low-value car who travels during daylight hours? If so, you may not find value in all of the security. If you are a family with small children, own a high-value vehicle and are expecting to fly a red-eye, obviously you may have an alternate opinion.
To save the most money when needing to park your vehicle, consider parking it at a friend’s house or simply leaving it at your home. Depending on where you live, this may be the most reasonable solution.
By utilizing the tips listed above, you can easily find the perfect long-term parking lot for your vehicle while you are traveling.