When you need to get to the airport, you have a few choices. You can park at the terminal (what we in the industry call ‘on airport parking’,) at a parking facility near the airport (‘off airport parking’,) or – here’s an option some people might not have considered – at a hotel near the airport. But how do you know which option is the best fit for your needs? That’s where we come in. We’ve collected information on how much each of these options would cost for a week-long trip at airports across the US and Canada. But first, what are the pros and cons of each option?
‘On airport parking’ has the advantage of getting you as close as possible to the terminal. But it’s often prohibitively expensive, and many on airport lots are still far enough from the terminal that you’ll need to take a shuttle. They’re also generally first-come-first-served, which means during busy travel seasons, they’re likely to sell out. Scrambling for a parking alternative at the last minute can mean the difference between catching or missing your flight.
‘Off airport parking’ is almost always more affordable (for example, The Days Inn lot at Elk Grove Village can save you 30% over the cheapest on airport lot at Chicago O’Hare, and parking at Valet Connections will save you more than 60% over the cheapest option at Detroit Metro.*) Off airport parking also offers a variety of additional services and amenities not typically offered by on airport lots; like valet, car wash and detailing, and a bottle of water on your return. These lots have reliable shuttle service to and from the airport, and when you make a reservation at a website like AirportParkingReservations.com, your parking space is guaranteed, so there’s no risk of the lot being sold out when you arrive.
The third option, a ParkSleepFly (hotel and parking) package, is ideal for those with very early flights, or a long drive to the airport. Many hotels offer packages that allow guests to book a room for the night before their flight, and then leave their car parked there for the duration of their trip. Just like off airport parking, guests take a hotel-provided shuttle to and from the airport. In most cases, the cost for these packages is significantly less than you would otherwise pay for airport parking and a hotel room booked separately. (A one-night stay at the Regency Inn near San Francisco Airport plus 7 day’s parking from the cheapest off airport lot comes to $151; ParkSleepFly.com offers a package at the same hotel with parking included for $119. And it’s a whopping $148 cheaper to reserve the Microtel Inn near Raleigh Durham Airport with 14 days’ parking from ParkSleepFly.com than it is to book the hotel separately and park at the airport.*) Sometimes you’ll find a hotel and parking package is even less than the cost of parking alone. (For example, ParkSleepFly.com offers a package at the Knights Inn Seattle with 7 days’ parking for $69.99, compared to $130 just for parking at SeaTac Airport!*) ParkSleepFly.com has worked with hotels across the US and Canada to provide travelers with the most comprehensive selection of hotel and parking packages available on the internet.
If you’re wondering how these choices measure up at your local airport, you’ll be happy to know we’ve done the legwork for you. Take a look at The Enormous Guide To Airport Parking Rates & Options 2013 and see which option is the best fit for your next trip.