I have already written about the advantages of using off-site official airport parking at Manchester or Gatwick Airport in the Travel Tips section. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how to reduce the cost of parking at the airport in general, whether it is on- or off-site parking. You can apply this knowledge to just about any airport in the world.
Why Park at All?
Airport parking can be expensive, especially when you are taking a longer holiday. Some people might ask why you should want to deal with these costs at all, if you could also pay for train tickets or a taxi ride instead and just leave your car at home.
Well, taking your own car to the airport is simply the most convenient option, especially when you travel with multiple people and children. Carrying all that luggage and keeping tabs on every member of the group can be challenging when you are travelling via train.
Taking a familiar, quiet, and private transportation will also help you reduce the (over-)excitement or anxiety of children before an already stressful day at the airport and during the flight.
Last, but not least, it’s just the most flexible option. You can start driving to the airport anytime you want and make adjustments to the route on the fly.
If you do a bit of research and use the following strategies for reducing the cost of airport parking, I guarantee you will pay less than the fees for two to four taxi rides to and from the airport from your home and hotel.
Reducing the Parking Fees at Airports
There are several strategies you can use to reduce the costs for parking at or around the airport. Many of them make use of our trusty friend, the internet.
Use Comparison Websites
Whenever you buy something online, price comparison websites will let you know where you get the best price and service. The same applies to parking at the airport. A web-service like Parkos.co.uk allows you to enter the specific airport and dates during which you want to park your car. As a result, they will give you a list of available parking-lot providers, their services, and the costs.
This makes it easy to:
- find the cheapest price,
- find the best service, and
- meet somewhere in the middle, at the service of your choosing plus the price you are willing to pay.
Take a Look at Different Providers and Services
There are more parking options than the ones offered by the airport directly. When you are using a comparison website, you will see just how many non-airport-official parking providers can be used instead. To compete with the airport, they often offer better prices and many interesting services.
The comparison site or a quick web search will let you know which providers are trustworthy, have high quality standards, and good customer service. In my experience, they put a bigger focus on good service to attract and bind the airport users.
Next to this variety, there are also different parking service options you can pick. A typical difference would be:
- a parking lot where you park your car and just walk to the terminal,
- a shuttle service, where you park your car and have to take a short shuttle ride to the terminal, or
- a valet service, where you hand your car to a driver at the airport terminal, and they will park the car for you.
Option a) is usually the most expensive, since it is the most convenient. But having to take a shuttle ride can absolutely be worth the price drop.
- Bonus Tip: If you are traveling with young children, putting the transport to the airport, the flight itself, and the transport to the accommodations at the destination in one day can be a bit much. Many airports or hotels also offer a combination of a one-night hotel stay on the airport premises and car parking for the duration of the trip.
Book in Advance
Book online and in advance. For one, online booking generally has lower prices. Secondly, the further in advance you book, the better the prices will be.
Consider the Dates & Timeframe
If you travel with children, you are often tied to specific dates. These dates where many people frequent the airport are typically more expensive, for both parking and plane tickets. If you get the chance, before you book plane tickets or hotels, try out some of the available dates on one of these comparison websites and see which timeframe has the lowest prices. These might align with the cheapest hotel or plane tickets.
You can also try out different durations for your stay. In most cases, if you park for a shorter time, like three days, you will pay a higher fee for each day than if you were to park for a longer time span, like a week. This might influence the further planning of your holiday and how many days you want to spend travelling.
Car parking at the airport can be expensive, yes, but sometimes it is worth the convenience and flexibility of driving to the airport with your own car. By using the internet and comparison websites, we can find many beneficial parking options off- and on-site. Alternative parking providers to the official airport parking might be further away, but offer better prices and will get you to the terminal via shuttle or valet services. Check out the hotel & parking combination packages for the most stress-free arrival at the airport.