There’s few things worse in my opinion as a budget traveller, than those hidden fees that sneak their way into your holiday costs.
You know, the ones you hadn’t budgeted for that mean you end up spending way more than you planned.
What’s even more annoying is when these expenses aren’t even really part of your holiday at all.
I’m talking about all those small unaccounted for costs, like booking fees, seat reservations and credit card charges, that quickly add up.
And one of the worst culprits of all … airport car parking bills!
Not even part of your main travel experience, the fees to just park your vehicle at the airport can be ridiculously high, putting a big and unnecessary hole in your holiday budget before you’ve even get on your flight!
But don’t worry, a little research can go a long way and there are many ways to help lower, or even eliminate these costs.
That means spending less unnecessary parking fees and having more to spend on your trip!
So Big World Small Pockets has teamed up with Airport Parking Helper to offer you 5 great ways you can keep your airport car parking bills down and your holiday budget up!
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This article was written in collaboration with Airport Parking Helper and contains affiliate links, meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.
#1 Park in an Off-Site Lot
Rather than looking to park in the airport car parking area itself, why not spend some time researching private, off-site lots near to the airport that offer parking instead?
This can definitely be one of the best ways to lower your airport car parking costs, with rates at off-site lots up to 70% cheaper.
The other advantage of using a private off-site parking facility is that you can guarantee yourself a space (and a price) by booking in advance, unlike at most airport car parks.
This can massively reduce your travel day stress!
Imagine, no more driving around searching for a spot in the economy lot only to find it full and your flight time looming.
No, when you book in advance with an off-site parking lot you know exactly where you’re going to park and how much you’re going to pay.
Another great advantage with off-site parking is that most companies offer a free shuttle service.
So, after parking your car in its reserved spot, you can then calmly hop on a quick shuttle straight to your terminal, arriving relaxed and ready for your flight.
It’s also worth pointing out that most off-site parking lots also offer good levels of vehicle safety.
Normally staffed by attendants or monitored with security cameras 24/7 and covered by insurance, these cheaper alternatives to airport car parking rates offer peace of mind, as well as great savings.
Tip: Always compare the prices and discounts on different off-site parking lots around the airport to get the best deal.
It’s also worth reading reviews of different lots to check customer experiences.
#2 Grab a Hotel Airport Parking Package
This is a great money-saving tip I’d never considered before, so I’m delighted to let you guys know about it too.
It’s the hotel airport parking package.
Unbelievably, many airport hotels offer free extended parking deals to customers who may only stay with them one night.
This means you can avoid the expense of airport car parking bills altogether!
What’s even better, is that often the cost of a hotel room for the night (and therefore a free parking package too) can actually come in cheaper than the sole cost of an airport car parking fee.
Talk about a bargain!
What’s key here is doing your research.
You’ll need to cost the price of a hotel, find out how much free parking they offer customers (usually 7-14 days) and compare this to the price of the regular airport car parking fee you would pay otherwise.
Certainly worth the effort however, this can be an easy way to pick up a great deal.
Hotel airport parking packages are an especially great option if you live far away from the airport or have an early flight.
In this instance, utilising an airport hotel parking package can not only save you money, but also provide you with a more convenient and less stressful start to your travels.
Or, if it’s more convenient, you can use the hotel room on the back end of your trip.
Security is another key feature when it comes to parking your car at a hotel, rather than an airport.
Most hotels will also offer a free shuttle to your departure terminal, meaning you can start your holiday in style!
Tip: Some hotels do have limited free parking spaces, so it is well worth booking ahead with this option. Don’t worry however, cancellations are free if your plans change.
#3 Snag a Local Deal
Another great way you can easily lower your airport car parking bill is to check any local daily deal sites operating in your area.
Sites like Groupon often provide great discount vouchers for the airport and off-site parking lots, sometimes saving you as much as 50%.
There’s 2 easy ways to get your hands on these sorts of savings.
Either subscribe to the daily deal site’s newsletter, so you get regularly discounts straight to your inbox, or visit the deal site itself and use the search tool.
Searching under the name of your airport, or keywords like ‘Airport Parking’ is sure to bring up some excellent results.
Saving you money and time, using a daily deal site is a super easy way to instantly lower your airport car parking costs with minimal hassle or research.
Tip: Always check the terms and conditions of any deals or discounts and make sure they fit with your plans.
#4 Two-Way Car Rentals
An unconventional, but often effective way to eliminate your long-term airport car parking costs is to actually rent a car to take you to the airport instead.
“What?”, I hear you cry. “That’s not going to be cheaper!”
But you might just be surprised.
The cost of renting a car in your hometown and then driving it to the airport might well equal or even undercut the price of airport car parking, especially if you live far away.
This is also an excellent option if you’re travelling for a long period of time, because it totally does away with the necessity of airport car parking fees altogether.
You simply rent a car near where you live, drive it to the airport and return it to the car rental agency prior to your flight – all in the same day!
Then just reverse the process on your way home.
The great advantage of renting a car is that it allows you to travel to the airport in your time, which can be great if you’re part of a family group.
It is also very convenient, especially if you have a lot of luggage.
Using a car rental to get to the airport also means you can leave your own vehicle safely at home for the duration of your trip.
And, by being able to book in advance, unlike most on-site airport car parking, you can reduce any stress and worry on your travel day.
Tip: Try to rent the smallest car possible to keep costs down. Use an aggregate site to compare multiple car companies at once.
#5 Use Airport Parking Helper
Airport Parking Helper is a budget traveler’s dream resource!
This website brilliantly explains multiple ways you can save on airport car parking fees and helps you easily find the one that most suits your needs.
Dedicated to helping you find the best airport car parking rates, Airport Parking Helper covers over 100 airports across North America, providing in-depth knowledge and helpful money-saving tips specific to your departure airport.
Check out their top 5 tips for finding the best LAX parking rates as an example: https://airportparkinghelper.com/los-angeles-best-lax-parking-rates/.
With tons of reviews about different off-site parking lots, they can also help you compare the prices of airport hotel parking packages, as well as check the rates on two-way car rentals.
Equally, they have a whole page dedicated to discount and travel coupons, helping you save even more money on those hefty airport car parking bills.
So why pay more for airport car parking when you don’t have to?
A little research really can go a long way.
And with Airport Parking Helper, it’s never been easier!