How Does Parking Nearby the Airport Work?

A couple in winter clothing walkign through an airport car parking lot with their suitcases

Are you taking a flight soon but don’t know where to leave your car? You are not alone. Most people find booking a plane ticket and a hotel easy but forget that the trip to the airport must also be carefully planned.

If you’re taking your private car, you’d probably like to leave it in a safe parking lot. Find out which parking options there are and where you can make a reservation.

This post is part of our family travel advice series

Finding a Parking Space

Finding a parking space is easy using the Parkos website, for example. This website can show you all the available parking lots nearby any airport in the United States or Canada. You can see not only all available parking spots but also their prices and the amenities that the parking lots offer, such as a car wash or airport shuttle.

Reservations can be made directly through this website. Have your plans changed? Canceling or changing your reservation is free up to 24 hours before your reservation date and time. Most parking lots have a free airport shuttle to take you straight to the entrance of the airport. This website has been used by over 2 million people so far.

Parking options

Before you make a parking spot reservation, it is good to know that there are several parking options to choose from. You can choose to park at the airport, use a third-party parking lot, have a valet pick up your car, or book a park, sleep & fly package.

The details of those options are discussed below.

On-site parking

On-site parking refers to parking at the airport or one of the official airport parking lots. Most of these parking lots are so close to the airport that walking to the entrance is possible. Some airports have parking lots for longer stays a little further away from the airport, but usually offer a free airport shuttle to take you to the entrance of the airport. Other airports offer parking garages so that your car is sheltered from the weather while you’re away. Both the parking lots and parking garages are secure.

On-site parking is usually the most expensive airport parking option but does give you the convenience of easily paying at the airport and arriving at your terminal quickly.

An airport parking garage

Off-site parking

Off-site parking is a very popular option because it is usually cheaper than parking at the official airport parking lot. It is necessary to make a reservation ahead of time and drive to the parking lot yourself. The parking lot will keep your car safe and offer you a free shuttle to the airport.

Off-site parking lots are not only cheaper, but they also offer extra services, such as washing your car or repairing small scratches and dents while you’re away. Your car will be clean and well taken care of once you arrive back at the parking lot.

Make sure to give your flight information to the parking lot company while you book so that they can send a shuttle to pick you up when you arrive back home.

Valet parking

Valet parking is a good option for people who would like to drive directly to the airport but not park there. Valet parking should always be booked in advance. Give the valet parking company your estimated arrival time; they will be waiting for you at the airport. You simply give your key to the valet, and they will make sure that your car is parked in a safe and guarded parking lot.

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When you return to the airport after your trip, your valet will be waiting for you with your car, and you’ll be able to drive straight home without taking a shuttle to the parking lot. Do make sure that your valet knows your flight information. In case of a delay or cancellation, the valet will anticipate your new arrival time.

Park, sleep & fly

Park, sleep & fly is a great option for those who come from far away or would like to be well-rested before their flight. This option should be booked directly at a hotel. The package includes an overnight stay, breakfast, an airport shuttle, and parking as long as you’re away.

Remember that most hotels have a maximum number of days you are allowed to use their parking facilities. This is usually around two weeks and is, therefore, unsuitable for trips longer than this maximum parking time.

For more information about park, sleep & fly packages or for making reservations, contact a hotel nearby your departure airport.

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