Before the pandemic hit, in 2019, there were 926 million passengers on US airlines! The majority of these people were Americans who were traveling for leisure, business, and even relocations.
There’s a very good chance you’ll be jetting away soon too. Many choose to drive themselves to the airport since it’s most convenient. But then you’ll have to deal with airport parking!
So is it even worth driving your own car? Are there better alternatives?
In this article, we’ll answer the question, “how much is airport parking?” Also, because it can end up being quite expensive, we’ll also explore some cheap airport parking alternatives so you can save some money!
How Much Is Airport Parking?
It’s tough to put a number on airport parking costs since Every garage will charge its own prices, especially when you look at airports from all around the world. But do know that because travelers are a captive audience, prices will tend to be sky-high.
In general, expect to pay around $20 per day for airport parking. However, there are some airport parking garages right here in the US that charge up to $60 per day!
How to Save on Airport Parking
The prices we’ve just listed about might’ve made your eyes water a little bit. Of course, there are some alternatives you can choose instead of driving yourself to the airport (more on this later). But what if you have no choice and have to rely on yourself for transportation?
Here are some tips to save so your bank account is a little bit happier.
Avoid Short-Term Parking
Most (if not all) airports charge an extremely high fee for short-term parking. These are intended for people who are only parking for a few hours at a time.
Even if you need to park your car for just 1 night, turn to other solutions below. They might be more inconvenient, but at least your wallet won’t be bled dry!
Book in Advance
Many airport parking garages offer discounts if you book in advance. This can help especially if you’re traveling during holiday seasons.
Not only can you save a little money, but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you already have a parking space reserved. You won’t have to go through anxiety, searching for a parking space right before you depart.
There are tons of coupons floating around online, so before you book your parking space, take a look around. Some good sites to check include Offers.com, Groupon, and Retailmenot.
Many of the codes won’t work, so it might take a few tries to get a valid one. But give it a try before paying the full amount, as you might just be able to save a bit more!
Check Your Memberships
You probably have several credit cards, insurance policies, and other memberships. And chances are, you aren’t even sure what benefits they come with!
So take a moment to go through all your memberships and read the fine print. You might just have one that offers discounts on airport parking!
Even if you don’t, you might learn that you can save on other aspects of your daily life, so it’s still worth it to check your memberships.
Park in a Long-Term Parking Lot
These are satellite parking lots that are quite far away from the airport terminals. The closer ones are reserved for short-term parking, as most people are dropping off loved ones and staying for a few hours, and then leaving.
It’s true that you’ll have to walk a bit or even take a shuttle to get to and from your vehicle to the terminals. However, the money you’ll save will be completely worth it!
Use Offsite Airport Parking
Offsite airport parking lots are even further away than long-term parking lots. However, the prices are even lower!
Here, you’re almost sure to get a shuttle ride to the airport. The good news is, they’re usually free! Just make sure you plan the transit time so you’re not late for your flights.
Look for Parking Lots Nearby
If offsite airport parking is full, or you just want to save even more money, you should look for nearby parking lots. Thankfully, there are apps you can download to find these easily. They can even tell you what amenities they have, such as free shuttles or car washes.
All you’ll have to do is book the parking spot and drive over!
Check Nearby Hotels
Some nearby hotels to airports will rent out their spaces for prices lower than airport parking. An added perk is you can often use their amenities too! So if you need somewhere to shower, for example, you can easily do so at the hotel.
Sometimes, if you have a long layover, you can even book a room so you have somewhere to rest up. It’s a win-win situation!
How to Avoid Airport Parking Altogether
Let’s say you don’t want to deal with the hassle of driving to the airport and getting a parking spot. How else can you get to and from the airport?
Get a Friend or Family Member to Drive You
If there’s ever a time to call in a favor, it’s now! Ask your friends or family to see if anyone’s free to drop you off and/or pick you up from the airport. There’s bound to be someone who’s more than happy to provide transportation, especially since they’ll get to spend some quality time with you in the car.
Of course, they’ll probably refuse to take any payment. If this happens, make sure you bring back something nice for them or treat them out to dinner when you’re next in town!
Call a Taxi
If you don’t have anyone in your social network that’s available to drive you, the next best thing is calling a taxi. These drivers will come at any time you want, so you won’t have to waste much time waiting around.
The only downside is that taxis are usually quite expensive when compared to other modes of transportation. But in general, there should be plenty of taxi drivers around so you won’t have to worry about not finding someone.
Use a Rideshare App
Something that’s risen in popularity is rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. This is similar to using a taxi but the people driving you are just your average Joes.
Ridesharing is a lot cheaper than booking a taxi, especially if you use the ride splitting feature that many apps have. However, depending on where you live, you might not find many drivers available.
Because they’re not on a fixed work schedule, there might even be 0 drivers for the time you desire. And the time for the nearest driver to reach you can vary, so you might want to search for a rideshare hours in advance.
Take Public Transportation
This can be one of the cheapest options for airport travel, besides asking a friend or family member to take you. However, it can be quite a hassle to get to your nearest bus, tram, or train station. This is especially true if you’re taking multiple pieces of luggage with you.
Also, public transportation can be quite unreliable. Not only are they often late, but some lines can be canceled at the last minute.
This can leave you stranded and stressed out. Not to mention, you’ll also have to sort out another way to get to the airport.
Take Advantage of Your Hotel’s Free Shuttle
This tip only works for one-half of your trip, but it’s better than nothing!
When you’re booking a hotel to stay at, double-check that they offer complimentary shuttle services. When you arrive at your destination, you can then get to the hotel and then back to the airport at no extra cost.
Travel Without Spending a Fortune
Now that we’ve answered the questions, “how much is airport parking,” you know that it can be very expensive to park your car at an airport. This is especially true if you’ll be gone for an extended time, as each day adds to your bill!
If there’s no way around it and you must drive yourself, at least we’ve given you some tips to save a little bit. But in general, you should use the alternatives that we’ve suggested so you can save a huge chunk of cash. That way, you can spend that money on better things instead, like souvenirs on your trip!
If you’d like to get more travel tips, then explore our blog further!