Airport car parking is one of those essentials of travelling which often seems to slip the mind as an expense to have to factor-into your travel plans and if not approached properly it can make quite the dent in your pocket, eating away at some of the money you’ve otherwise set aside for your getaway proper.
Not all parking was made equal, which means if you try to get your parking last-minute, you’ll be left with only a few options — the expensive, “premium” options. Book early and you can perhaps go for the cheaper spots which are still available. These spots mostly cost less because they’re a little further away from the busiest entrance, have less cover, etc.
This is simply a matter of planning ahead and planning smart at the same time, with some technical savings in costs coming into play. Think about how much fuel you spend when you’re stuck in traffic, even if it’s on a freeway as you burn fuel while idling and through the constant stop-start motion characteristic of peak-hour traffic. Now, if you try to book and pay for airport parking at the very moment you plan to use that parking, getting the timing wrong can have you waiting in a very long queue and unnecessarily burning fuel in the process, which makes for some indirect costs you may otherwise not associate with the process of getting airport car parking.
Book Through a Travel Agency
Travel agencies and concierge services usually have very close ties with airports and the various sub-contracted companies that work with airports, so in addition to getting lower rates for your airfare and your accommodation, you can get reduced fares for your airport car parking as well.
Check Out Group-Savings Sites
The oldest trick in the book seems to fly in the faces of everybody looking for some airport car parking. Simply buy through the likes of Groupon and you can get some super deals. Even if you don’t have many friends who travel as much as you do — you could perhaps even join savings groups which form dynamically for the sole purpose of taking advantage of major group-savings deals.
Prepare to Walk a Little
This perhaps goes back to booking early in that you can select some parking spots which aren’t considered to be “premium” on the premise of being close to the major entrances. Walk a little and get some exercise and you can save some good money on what can otherwise be very expensive airport car-parking. Also, chances are the “official” parking everybody flocks to isn’t the only airport car parking available, so check for alternatives nearby, some of which would naturally offer complementary services like that of an airport shuttle.
Book Parking for Longer Periods
If you travel a lot then it’ll only make sense to book your parking for longer periods — something akin to buying month-long bus passes. Just do a bit of number-crunching and you’ll probably realise that it’s much cheaper to pay for longer periods, even though you don’t always use the parking, than to pay for single or short parking times.