By Sharon Hurley, Guest Blogger
Fact – one of the biggest costs of any journey can be the airport parking. A recent report by the UK’s Which? Travel found that many travelers turn up at the airport, only to have to pay high fees. But airport parking doesn’t have to be that huge a cost. There are things you can do to keep it affordable. Here are some tips.
Don’t Just Turn Up
Driving to the airport in search of a parking space is practically asking to get shafted. If you are planning to park at the airport, then booking in advance is the best way to cut your costs. Like airline tickets, you may be able to make big savings.
In most cases, your best bet for finding a decent rate for airport parking is to go off-airport, but don’t just take any old parking lot. A quick search will show you which off airport parking lot has the best rates and since you’re looking to save money, that’s a major consideration.
Of course, it’s not the only consideration, as you will want to compare the amenities on offer by the airport parking provider. Some may offer winter warm ups and summer cool downs – to turn on your heating or air conditioning (depending on the season) before you pick up your car on your return. Some may offer valet service while you’re away. Almost all will offer a free shuttle to and from the airport and help with your cases. Those are the things that can separate the great airport parking providers from those that are merely good.
Coupons and Rewards
Like many other services, you can save on airport parking by booking online – and it’s also worth looking out for any coupons available. These may be visible on site or you may have to look for deals sites, but with 10-15% savings available from some providers, it’s definitely worth the time you spend searching.
Some airport parking providers also offer loyalty schemes for regular users – and if you are a frequent flier from the same airport this could be worth it. These commonly offer additional discounts or free parking days – and who doesn’t like getting something for free?
Finally, look out for opportunities to double dip. Some airport parking providers have tie-ups with other organizations (like the AARP, for example) and businesses (such as local supermarkets and gas stations) and travel professionals so you can earn additional reward points or discounts for doing something you would be doing anyway.
Put these all together and you have the perfect recipe for a better trip with affordable airport parking.
Sharon Hurley Hall runs the Taking Off Travel Blog for off airport parking provider Park Ride Fly USA. See their site for the latest discount airport parking coupon.