If you need to leave your vehicle at the airport, finding a great parking spot and doing it wisely is key to a good experience.
Unfortunately, mistakes happen – which can lead you to feel frustrated and overwhelmed.
Read on for a list of six common airport parking mistakes and how you can avoid them for a pleasant flight.
1. Parking Too Far From the Gate
Parking at airports can be quite confusing, especially if you’re departing from a major hub that has a larger parking area. One of the most common airport parking mistakes is choosing a spot that’s too far from your gate.
When you park far away, you’ll either need to get there extremely early or use a shuttle service to get inside fast. Otherwise, you’ll be left walking (or sprinting) to get to the airport so you can check-in and get ready for your flight.
The best way to avoid this mistake is by checking out the airport’s parking lot map before you arrive. Locate your airline’s departure gate, and do your best to park as close to it as possible so you’re not left scrambling to make your flight.
2. You End Up Stuck at Security Checkpoints
Not all airports use security checkpoints for vehicles, but many large ones do. If you end up stuck in a security checkpoint line, the wait can feel like hours.
Check your airport to confirm that there are or aren’t these types of checkpoints for vehicles. If there are, it’s a good idea to leave early just in case you get stuck in the line.
The best rule of thumb when parking at the airport is to leave at least an hour and a half early. The sooner you’re there, the more time you’ll have to park and get situated before takeoff.
3. Airport Parking Mistakes: You Don’t Know the Rates
If you’re going to be leaving your vehicle in the parking lot for a long time, it’s crucial to know the cost. Check the long-term airport parking rates to confirm how much leaving your vehicle there will cost you.
Many drivers get “sticker shock” when they come back to retrieve their cars and find out how much it costs them. Always know that the longer you park your car there, the more it tends to cost.
Most airports should have their long-term parking rates clearly posted on their website. Check the site to confirm, then remember to save some money for your parking fee when it’s time to head home.
4. You Don’t Explore Your Options
People heading out on business trips or long vacations tend to prefer to leave their cars in the airport’s lot long-term. However, this can lead to a completely full parking lot by the time you arrive.
Consider a few other options and alternatives so you don’t end up stuck without a place to park. An offsite airport parking service is a great way to guarantee you have a safe place to park your car.
Look for parking services near you that will give you security and peace of mind while you’re away. These services can be invaluable when you’re planning to park your vehicle long-term and can give you a safe, secure place to leave your vehicle until you return.
5. You Don’t Reserve a Spot in Advance
Small airports tend to have plenty of parking, but major hubs can become a battleground between cars to find a decent space. If you don’t make parking reservations in advance, there’s a good chance you could be left out in the cold on the day of your flight.
Contact the airport well ahead of your flight to confirm that you’re able to make reservations for parking. If the day is already booked solid, it’s time to look for an airport parking service so that you can still park your vehicle within close proximity to the airport.
The cheaper airport lots will fill up the fastest, which is why it’s crucial that you do your best to snag your parking space ahead of time. If you can’t get a spot, make sure you plan ahead with another service so you can park your vehicle safely.
6. Your Vehicle Isn’t Secure
Any time you park your vehicle, you should take the appropriate steps to secure the items inside. This is especially true when it comes to long-term parking at the airport.
Never leave anything valuable in clear view, and always make sure that your trunk and car are locked. Use a sunshade to protect your dashboard, which can also be a great way to hide the interior, too.
Properly securing your vehicle while you’re gone is one of the most important things you can do when you park at the airport. Avoid leaving anything that’s valuable to you in your car if you can help it so that you don’t return to a broken-in car and missing items.
Avoid these common airport parking mistakes so that you’ll have a great trip without all of the extra stress. By planning ahead, leaving early, and checking out alternatives like our airport parking service, you can safely leave your vehicle and your cares behind.
Remember to check with your airport to find out about their long-term parking rates and availability ahead of your trip.
For more information about our services and how we can help make your next trip and your parking experience better, contact us today.