Flying for the First Time? Here Are Ways to Save Money on Airport Parking

When you're taking a flight for the first time, you can easily feel a little overwhelmed with all the tasks you need to think about before the flight, including carefully packing your carry-on bag, learning how early you need to arrive at the airport, and more. This can make parking seem like a minor consideration, but you don't want to simply park in the first lot you see and spend more than you should. Given that you're already paying for your plane ticket, it's in your best interest to spend as little as possible on parking. Here are some things for the first-time flyer to know.

Airport Lots Have Different Price Points

As a first-time flyer, you might not realize that large airports typically have a multitude of lots and that airport parking rates vary by lot. Viewing the airport's website before your trip and checking out a map of the parking lots and the rates can help you make sure you're headed toward the right one. Typically, you'll pay more for the lots that are closer to the departure terminals. In many cases, the most affordable lot is far away from the terminal and uncovered. In many cases, such lots will include the words "Long-Term Parking" in their title. This is usually indicative of the most affordable place to park in the airport. Don't be daunted by the long walk to the terminal, as many airports have shuttles that will carry you to the terminal for free.

Search for Discounts

A little online research in advance of your trip can help you save money on parking. Run an online search with the name of the airport and "coupons" or "discounts," and you'll often find a variety of coupons that you can use toward your parking fee. Additionally, some airports have programs for frequent travelers that allow you to enjoy a discount on parking. And, sometimes, booking your parking spot and paying for it in advance can be less expensive than doing so on the day of your flight.

Consider a Hotel Stay

If you're flying out extremely early and the distance from your home to the airport is significant, it might make sense to stay at a hotel near the airport the night before the flight. The perk to doing so is that you can typically leave your vehicle in the hotel's parking lot for a certain number of days and simply take the complimentary shuttle from the hotel to your terminal.