Most of us think that the only way to save on our next holiday is to book either cheap flights or cheap accommodation (or both). But, while you’ve been focusing on finding the cheapest hotel room at your next destination, could you be overlooking an easy way to save money?
Waiting until you are outside your terminal to decide where to leave your car is a sure way to overpay for your parking, plus it doesn’t guarantee you a space at a secure car park or at one close to the airport. Shopping around ahead of time could provide you with many options to choose from and help you save a lot of money. Dedicated comparison websites, like Looking4Parking, often speed up the process of finding the best deal.
I’ve gathered here some information on the different types of airport parking to help you find which service is right for you.
Meet & Greet
How it works: When you book with Meet and Greet, a professional driver meets you at a designated area – usually outside your terminal or at a designated Meet and Greet car park – where you leave your car. The driver takes it from there and parks your vehicle securely while you’re away. Your car will be waiting for you upon your arrival.
Why choose this type of parking: This service is considered the most convenient as it helps you save time at the airport by being able to drop off your car as close to your terminal as possible and by not having to park it yourself. Although it might not always be the cheapest option available, for many the benefits outweigh the price difference.
Is it right for you? A Meet and Greet service could be just what you need if you travel with young children or a disabled person, or if you simply carry many suitcases, and don’t want to have the additional hassle of taking a shuttle bus to your terminal It is also a great option for anyone travelling for business on a tight schedule – this way you can use your time at the airport to catch up on your emails instead of looking for a parking space.
Park & Ride
How it works: With this type of airport parking, you park your own car at a designated, secure car park then board a shuttle, which is usually free and only takes a few minutes to get to your terminal. You get to keep your keys and so you have full control over where your vehicle is parked during your absence.
Why choose this type of parking: Generally, Park and Ride products are the cheapest options on the market? If you don’t mind spending a bit of time on the shuttle bus, then this may be a great way to save some extra money before your trip.
Is it right for you? For anyone planning a trip on a budget or for any money-conscious traveller, this type of parking can be the best option. This could also be the best way to go for anyone who prefers to maintain complete control over their car at all times.
How it works: The particularity of Onsite parking is that it’s the airport’s official parking product and it is usually located directly outside the terminal. Airports typically have different indoor and outdoor car parks to accommodate different lengths of stay and to cater for those who prefer indoor to outdoor parking.
Why choose this best of parking: If safety is your biggest concern, booking a parking space on the airport’s site is possibly the greatest option for you. This service lets you park your car yourself, so you keep control over the drop-off and pick-up, but it can be more expensive than off-site car parks.
Whom this is best for: If you only trust products offered by the airport then Onsite parking is probably the right option for you. In addition, if you know you’ll be in a rush once you arrive at the airport you might want to explore this type of parking further.
Whichever parking product you prefer, you are more likely to get a better price by booking early. Booking ahead of time should also take the stress away from the start of your trip. All you have to do when the day comes is drive to the airport, leave your car at the prechosen location or with a professional driver and then be on your way to your terminal. Once you’ve tried it and reaped its benefits, early parking booking will become a travel essential.