Who wants to worry about finding cheap airport parking when traveling can already be stressful…even if the trip is that long-awaited & well-deserved vacation!
You’re already running through a mental travel checklist
Did I pack everything I need? Do I have the flight & hotel info confirmed? What time is the flight again? What’s the weather forecast? And on and on.
The last thing you should be worrying about is airport long term parking and how much it’s going to add to your travel costs!
So, in this guide, you’ll find what you need to know to quickly and easily reserve the cheapest airport parking for your travel dates.
This post is sponsored by Airport Parking Reservations.
How to Find the Cheapest Airport Parking
Before getting started, let’s get the obvious out of the way.
Of course, the best way to save money on airport car parking is not to drive to the airport. We can all agree that “free airport parking (a.k.a. Not needing to park) is better than cheap airport parking any day of the week!
If you’ve got a friend or a family member willing to drop you off and pick you up at the airport, they’re clearly a saint. You should thank them again and again.
But, what happens when you’re headed to the Caribbean for a week and your flight is at 7 a.m? You may suddenly realize you’re short on friends and family members when you need a ride to the airport at 4 am.
All kidding aside, it just might not be practical for you to get a ride. And in a lot of the U.S, public transportation to and from the airport is nonexistent.
You might be able to take a taxi or book a car service, but maybe they’re not readily available in your area. What’s more, these options get pricey!
You also have to think about doubling the cost for your return trip from the airport at the end of your trip, plus all the extras like tips, tolls, and fuel surcharges. And, if you’re trying to stick to a travel budget, it could just be cheaper to drive yourself and park at or near the airport compared to a round-trip taxi or car service ride.
Not to mention, if you or someone you’re traveling with has travel anxiety, it can be reassuring and just plain comfy to be in your own wheels headed to the airport.
So, in the absence of free parking, the trick is finding the best airport parking deals possible. And there are 2 essential things you need to know to crack the code!
1. Book Long Term Airport Parking in Advance to Save Money.
Seems sensible enough, right? We book flights and hotels in advance to save money. There’s early-bird pricing for concert and event tickets. Heck, we even buy pantry grocery items in advance to take advantage of lower prices.
Airport parking rates work the same way. By showing up without an airport parking reservation on the day you need to fly, you’re at the mercy of whatever airport parking fee you find. Even worse, you could face sold-out parking lots, especially during peak travel times.
Bottom line, I never drive to the airport without pre-booking my parking, and neither should you.
2. Compare Airport Parking Options.
This discount airport parking hack was a big “AHA” moment for me years ago!
The most important thing to realize about airport parking is that the actual parking lots at the airport are typically the most expensive. Their selling point is convenience. But truth be told, some of these parking areas are still far from the actual airport terminals. Not to mention, they’re often unmanned with little added security other than a few cameras and possible safety in numbers.
To find the cheapest airport parking that matches your price point and includes the amenities you want, for example, a covered lot or valet parking, look just beyond the airport to the many off-airport parking options available. Because with options comes competitive (a.k.a better!) pricing!
To streamline this search for cheap parking near the airport, you’ll need an aggregator that’ll show all the parking available near your airport.
That’s where a site like Airport Parking Reservations comes in. It’s my go-to, traveler-tested service that shows the best airport parking deals. And, they have the cars and the positive reviews to prove it!
Over 6 million+ reservations (including a few for my car) have been booked through Airport Parking Reservations, with 600k+ real customer reviews and a great rating on Trustpilot.
Not only does Airport Parking Reservations offer parking deals at airports across the U.S. and even a couple of Canadian cities like Calgary and Vancouver, but you can reserve parking at popular Cruiseports, too!
Is Parking Near the Airport Worth It?
You might be wondering if it’s really worth the savings to park near the airport compared to parking at the airport.
I get it. Who wants to add a potential hassle to the already stressful airport experience?!?
But let’s talk about on-airport parking lots for a moment. Typically, there are long-term parking lots and daily parking lots.
The long term parking lots are often located on the fringes of the airport and typically require shuttle buses or an AirTrain to reach the terminals. Of the 2 different lot types, these are generally less expensive than daily parking lots.
The daily parking lots are, in all honesty, a trap.
Yes, they’re closer to the airport terminals. But, they’re not really meant for long term parking, although it’s possible to do so. And the daily parking rates reflect that. These daily rates can be nearly double the price of the long term parking lots!
So, when you’re comparing the distance from an off-site lot and on-airport parking, you have to look at the distance from the long term lots, as both often involve a couple of miles to reach the actual airport.
And when you do a few searches on a site like Airport Parking Reservations, you’ll see that the price to park near the airport can be up to two-thirds less than parking in the airport lot itself.
When you can compare airport parking options, you get to choose the best deal for your travel dates.
On-site airport parking can be $50, $60, and more per day. For a week-long trip, that’s $350 at minimum!
Compare the per-day parking rate at lots between 1-3 miles from the actual airport and you’ll find heavily discounted rates starting as low as $6 a day depending on where you are.
That’s a significant savings! Not to mention, it would likely be difficult to find a car service or taxi that would be less expensive when you factor in the round trip cost.
And remember, if one parking lot is fully booked, you’ll know ahead of time and you won’t be left scrambling on your departure day trying to find the next best airport parking option when you should already be checking in for your flight!
Saving Money on Airport Parking Reservations
Now that you know how to find cheap airport parking, you have to put the steps into action.
Ideally, 1 month before your trip, go to Airport Parking Reservations and plug in the city or the full name of the airport and the dates you need to park. As result listings show, you’ll see the different parking options on the left and a map on the right.
From there, search through the airport parking options, including their locations and parking prices. There’s a filter feature that allows you to filter by type of parking area and amenities, as well as a “Sort By” button so you can see the cheapest parking options, the closest, or the most popular lots first.
Smaller airports tend to have fewer options than major airports in bigger cities. For the August dates I searched, there were 27 cheap LAX parking options, with 4 being sold out. The same dates for parking near Portland, Maine’s airport showed just 1 location within 3 miles of the airport. (All the more reason to book in advance!)
You’ll notice that some of the parking locations near the airport are individual parking lots but others might be airport parking at hotels, for example.
In addition to comparing cheap long term parking options, Airport Parking Reservations gives a bulleted snapshot view of the parking area and its services to ensure you choose the right parking location for you.
Discounted airport parking aside, you want your airport parking experience a success!
Important Airport Parking Comparison Tips
As you consider all the best airport parking deals, pay attention to these important details before making your choice.
Free Shuttle Service
First, make sure this is offered for any location you choose, and in nearly all cases, it is. Clearly, if you park 2 miles away, you’ll need to go between the long term parking near the airport to your airline’s departure terminal.
The shuttle should be a free service that runs often enough to ensure you get to the airport terminals in time. 24-hour shuttle service is ideal, especially if you’re parking or returning to your car during off-hours.
Operating Hours & Security
Ideally, this should be a 24-hour lot with security cameras. You’re leaving your car behind and you want to feel comfortable without worrying during your trip about your car.
You also want to be able to drop off and pick up your car no matter what time your flights are and not stress about a parking lot being open should your flight be delayed on your return.
As you consider airport long term parking options, check out any available photos of the parking areas. Some areas will be an uncovered lot, but airport parking deals can also include a parking spot that is covered or in a garage and the choice between self-parked or with an attendant or valet service.
Distance to Airport Terminals
These vary, but in most cases, you’re never more than a few miles from the airport terminals. And generally speaking, you want to be within 5 miles of the airport so that you can go between the parking area and the airport in just a few minutes.
For example, Airport Parking Reservations shows parking lots from less than 1 mile to about 4 miles if you’re looking for cheap Seattle Airport parking. Similarly, if you’re looking for cheap airport parking at Newark Airport, you’ll find numerous parking lots between half a mile and 3 ½ miles from the airport.
Bottom line, all parking lot searches will show the distance to the airport. You can also filter search results by the closest locations.
Typically, you can cancel the parking reservation any time before the check-in time for a full refund. BUT, each parking lot has its own policy which will be stated clearly so check it for the location you choose.
Be sure to double-check travel dates to ensure you’ve entered the correct information in case you choose a parking lot that doesn’t offer free cancellation.
Social proof is important! Who doesn’t want to see reviews from happy customers who’ve scored a deal on cheap airport parking and had a great experience?
Each parking location will have customer reviews for you to read. Airport Parking Reservations shows verified reviews which I love. And while they aren’t the only thing I consider, I do like to see more reviews than less when I park near the airport.
Cheap Airport Parking Examples
Please don’t just take my word for it!
Let’s compare the airport parking offered on Airport Parking Reservations with the standard long term parking offered by the airport’s themselves.
Example #1: Cheap LAX Parking
Los Angeles Airport in Los Angeles charges at least $14 a day for the long term economy lot and a whopping $50+ a day for all other terminal parking lots.
And while many of the airport terminal parking areas are within a 5-10 minute walk to the terminals, the long term economy parking lot requires a 15-minute shuttle ride.
No wonder my L.A. friends are always asking if I know any LAX parking deals!
To make matters more stressful, parking at LAX is in high demand so there’s no guarantee a parking space will be available. More than anywhere else, you need to book in advance to save a spot!
However, you can also compare LAX airport parking options through Airport Parking Reservations.
One simple search for cheap airport parking at LAX returns results as low as $12.95 a day in a 24/7 parking garage less than 1 mile from the airport with a complimentary shuttle at a Hilton Hotel! That beats even the official airport economy long term parking option!
And, in case you’re wondering, this particular parking location for my example has 1,600+ positive reviews from other travelers who have parked there.
Example #2: Cheap Seattle (SEATAC) Airport Parking
At Seattle (SEATAC) Airport, long term parking is between $37-$47 per day. You can reserve in advance on the Port of Seattle website.
Why not go for the cheapest parking at SEATAC Airport instead? You’ll pay as little as $11.95 a day for a 24/7 parking lot just 1.3 miles from the airport. At the lowest price, that comes to $95.60 for 8 days of parking (i.e. a Tuesday-Tuesday) compared to between $296 and $376 for the airport’s own parking lots.
If it were up to me, I’d rather take those extra parking savings and put them towards doing something a lot more memorable during my trip!
Example #3: Cheap Parking Newark Airport
Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) is in New Jersey, just outside of New York City. It has a long term economy parking that costs $35.00 for the first 24 hours. After that, charges are incurred in 12-hour increments. It’ll cost $17.50 for every 12 additional hours. If you book this lot ahead of time, there’s a slight savings.
EWR’s long term economy parking lot is approximately a 15-minute shuttle bus ride from each of the airport terminals.
The airport also has parking areas and a covered garage closer to its terminals. Depending on where you park, you may be able to walk to a specific airline terminal. Otherwise, you’ll have to use the AirTrain.
These parking areas come at a premium and can cost between $30-$50 per day IF you book airport parking in advance. If you arrive with no reservation the price rises significantly and almost doubles in some cases.
If you use Airport Parking Reservations to book airport parking in advance, you’ll find rates more than 50% less than what the airport is charging! With plenty of options, you can be sure to choose a parking lot with the best price and all the amenities you want.
And we all know the New York City area has no shortage of cars, so by booking your airport parking in advance, you’ll sidestep any parking headaches!
Example #4: Cheap Parking Atlanta Airport
As with the examples above, the Atlanta Airport has several parking options, some closer to the terminal than others. Pricing depends on the lot you choose.
However, the biggest difference at the Atlanta Airport is that you cannot make reservations for one of the on-airport parking areas ahead of time. And although the website does show lots with availability, I would be stressed out if I was arriving at the airport without a guaranteed parking spot!
Compare this with how relaxed you’ll be heading to the airport knowing you booked cheap airport parking near ATL for as less as $7.75 a day, which I found by doing a quick search on Airport Parking Reservations!
You get peace of mind and a transparent price for parking as you head off on your trip!
Combine an Airport Hotel Stay with Long Term Parking
If you need to stay at the airport before or after your trip, compare prices for a combination package that includes the night(s) you need to stay plus the time you need to park your car.
Many airport hotels offer long term parking and by extension packages for travelers needing both a room and airport parking reservations. You should also compare pricing with a site like ParkSleepFly to see if there’s a cheaper package option.
Bottom Line: You Want the Cheapest Airport Parking.
I like paying more for airport parking…SAID NO ONE EVER!
Put these discounted airport parking tips into action! Book your airport parking ahead of time with Airport Parking Reservations for a convenient, hassle-free long term parking experience that’ll come with savings that are impossible to ignore.
What questions do you have about booking cheap airport parking?
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