For many travelers, figuring out where to park their car is one of the more stressful parts of the trip. There are multiple factors to consider like location, pricing, and timing.
Put your mind at ease with these simple tips for effectively parking your vehicle at the airport.
The Different Parking Locations
When it comes to where you can park, you have a few options. Here are some of the common ones.
These spots are owned and operated by the airport itself. They are also located closest to the terminal, and many airports provide shuttle services for lots that are farther back. The convenient location is perfect for travelers with heavy luggage.
However, one downside is this type of parking is the most expensive option. The airport authority or state airport commissioner determines the cost. The parking fees are structured based on hourly, short-term, or long-term rates. Hourly rates are usually intended for people picking up or dropping off passengers.
The system to park in this lot is pretty simple. When you arrive, you receive a ticket, park your car and head to the terminal. Once you return from your trip, you turn in your ticket and pay the requested amount. This is usually based on the number of days you parked your vehicle. Keep in mind this type of parking doesn’t accept reservations, so consider arriving early.
Some airports may even offer electric car charging stations or valet services. Although valet services are a more convenient option, they can be costly. On-site lots are typically more secure than off-site locations. However, since they are busy with activity, lots further away may be less safe.
Privately owned spaces are off-site and located around the perimeter of the airport. Third-party companies operate them and set the prices. While the costs may vary, expect to pay a tax. However, their rates are still more affordable than other options, although they typically offer only daily rates with discount opportunities.
Similar to on-site parking, you take a ticket when you arrive. Unlike airport parking, you can reserve spots in advance. This is perfect for traveling during busier times, like on holidays. Also, with fewer crowds, security is more manageable. These lots have cameras and a single entrance to ensure quality security.
Off-site parking also offers a variety of amenities, such as covered areas. This can help protect your car from the elements while you’re away.
These lots are located at hotels a few miles from the airport. You can reserve a space by using an online parking service, which typically charges a fee. Costs may vary depending on the site. If you’re staying for an extended period, this is the most affordable option. When you arrive at the lot, park in your designated spot. The hotel shuttle will then take you to the airport.
Keep in mind the wait times can be longer, so plan accordingly. Another thing to consider is that these parking areas tend to be the least secure option. This is why you should research the hotel’s security measures and the surrounding area. However, if you prefer to be away from the airport’s hustle and bustle, this is a suitable choice. It’s also good for any travelers who have an early morning flight.
Short-Term vs. Long-Term Parking
Short-term parking spaces are located closest to the terminal. They are priced by the hour, and you can typically stay for multiple days. If you will be away for an extended period, this may not be the most cost-effective option. For example, Boston Logan Airport charges $8 for the first hour for short-term parking. Consider this option when picking up or dropping off family or if you’re planning a day trip.
Long-term parking is priced by the day. This is a more affordable option when you park for multiple days. You may even be offered a lower rate for staying longer. However, check your airport’s policy since some places may limit the number of days you can park. Consider this option when taking your summer vacation.
To help keep your car safe during your trip, remember to take out any valuable items and lock all your doors. Also, try to find a spot located near a security camera for extra peace of mind.
Tips for Parking Stress-Free
Once you figure out where to park, you still have to navigate the busy lot. Here are a few tips for successfully parking your car:
- Leave your house early
- Book parking at your hotel
- Bring rolling luggage
- Review the airport’s map beforehand
- Prepare for any unannounced security measures or construction
How to Efficiently Park at the Airport
Parking at the airport can often be a hassle. With so much going on, it can be hard to find the perfect spot. Keep these tips in mind to help you determine the best place to leave your car.
Martin Banks is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Modded. He covers the world of cars, driving, tech, and more.