April 1

6 Ways You Can Save Money on Airport Parking

33  comments

Sure, you’re savvy when it comes to finding cheap flights, but do you know how to save money on airport parking? If you’re one of those travelers who simply park and fly then continue reading because this article will certainly help you out.
airport parking

On average, most airport car parkings charge something between 20 to 50 usd/ day, sometimes even more: Madrid’s Barajas airport charges 23 Euros per day, JFK charges 18 USD/day and London’s Heathrow short term parking airport charges a whopping 180 USD for 48 hours and 90 USD/ each additional day! If that’s not extremely expensive then I don’t know what is. The solution? Look for alternatives, and mind you there are several: from using parking discount websites (like those for Heathrow airport parking) to using other methods of transportation there are several ways you can save your cash.

How to save money on airport parking

1) Use public transportation like subway or bus, not taxi. This is my preferred option by far, and has saved me hundreds of dollars with time. Every city has buses with several lines that go to the airport, and many big cities have metro lines as well. Why not use any of these? The metro will certainly be faster, comfortable, and although buses are usually slower I find it much more pleasant when somebody is driving than having to do so myself. If it’s raining or there are no stops near your house you might want to get a taxi to the nearest stop (bus or metro) and continue from there. Do the numbers: I’m sure that this is cheaper on 90% of occasions.

2) Use long term parking lots. These are usually further from the terminals, but who cares? When flying from Zaragoza (Spain) to Dublin (Cork) we discovered that the long term parking lot, which was only a 500 meter walk away, was free! Similarly, when flying from Gerona (Spain) to Bratislava (Slovakia) we found that there were a few long term parking lots that only cost 6 euros per day. We were off for 3 days, so I can certainly handle that. Check online (Google “long term parking *your city*”) to see if your airport has long term parking lots, and if it does I think it is a no brainer.
airport parking paying machine

3) Check airport hotels. Many airport hotels offer free parking for the entire duration of your trip as long as you spend one night with them. This not only saves you a good chunk of money but if you have an early morning flight getting to the counter will be a breeze. You might also want to check on their parking fees- some hotels offer parking services even if you don’t sleep there, and they could be cheaper than the airport’s parking rates. This can be a very good option when airport parking is as expensive as in London, thus Heathrow airport hotels, could well be what you need.

4) Have somebody drive you. A friend, a family memeber, carpool with work colleagues, it doesn’t matter.

5) Use private shuttle buses if traveling solo. They are usually not worth it if any of the other options are available, but if out for an extended period of time and and want to be at your destination shortly after landing this is a better than getting a taxi. Melbourne’s (Australia) airport would be a good example of where this is the best value
seattle airport bus

6) And last but not least, use online airport parking discount websites. If you really want to drive and park yourself no matter what (say you’re traveling with children, elderly, or there is no public transportation at that time of the day or night), you should then book your space though a parking discount site like holidayextras.co.uk. Using such websites is very simple, and you will know how much you’ll be paying even before you leave and will be getting much better rates than the standard. You make an upfront deposit with a credit card when booking, and pay the rest when leaving the lot after returning.

As you see it is not necessary to pay the standard rates at airport pakings around the world. From using public transport to making reservations on airport parking discount websites there is a way around the standard fare.

Which one do you use? How do you usually get to an airport? Any other tips you know of? Please share them in the comments section below, and this post too if you think others might find it useful!

[Some of these links might be making us some money, however we wouldn’t include them if we didn’t think thet can be helpful to the traveler. Photo credits @ Flickr: Shangai daddy, r4vi, oran viriyinci]


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  1. It’s so true — even though I happen to live in a city with cheap-ish airport parking, it’s a “hidden” cost I often don’t factor in. And the budget lot is so convenient. Since I usually arrive so early, an extra 15 minutes to an outer lot is nothing. Thanks for the reminder! And oh, that Gerona airport… I saw last week that Ryanair is starting to move to bigger airports, the same that Southwest started doing in the US many years ago. I hope that happens!!

  2. These are really great money-saving tips! Lately, people forget to use the public transportation and they rant so much on spending much on airport parking. Public transportation is not bad, really.

  3. Wow what a very good tips for saving when travel.Travelling will costs us much more money if we didn’t plan it with details and do some research.

  4. This is just amazing, you really took time out to analyze these very cool alternatives. However if you are going for a free parking space, make sure they are no items of value left in the car, even the security of paid parkings are likely to be breached but not always

      1. I have another travel saving tip you might want to cover on your blog. I’ll send you the tip in a message Federico.

  5. All good points, I think we have used them all at one time or another. The hotel one in particular now days since we are full time RVing. Just did it for a cruise from Port Canaveral Florida. BTW, the eating duck fetus video is absolutely crazy! Thanks for the fun.
    -David

  6. This is a nice post. I usually take bus or taxi and I agree that I save lots of money. Sometimes, my brother drive me on the airport. 🙂

    1. You should never forget this, specially with low cost airlines that fly into non-major airports usually far from the city!

  7. Nice tips. I’ve flown in and out of LAX several times and they offer reliable shuttle services for $7 from major train and bus stations. I prefer to get a friend to drive me since it saves on gas, parking, and I’ll just give them money for gas or buy them lunch. Win win for both 🙂

  8. The metro will certainly be faster, comfortable, and although buses are usually slower I find it much more pleasant when somebody is driving than having to do so myself. If it’s raining or there are no stops near your house you might want to get a taxi to the nearest stop (bus or metro) and continue from there. Do the numbers: I’m sure that this is cheaper on 90% of occasions.

  9. Great tips ahead, there are so many brilliant ways on how to save money in airport parking it is us on how we do it. Above ways are good in saving money and thank you so much for posting this.

  10. “If you really want to drive and park yourself no matter what, you should then book your space though a parking discount site..” You are right. In addition, majority of airport parking companies give benefits and advantages to those who book early; thus, it really pays to be an early bird! 😉

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