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Holiday Travel Tips: 8 Ways to Find Peace at the Parking Lot
You know the pre-vacation drill — packing, arranging for the neighbor to feed the fish, and then those seemingly endless searches for the best deal on airport-area parking because LAX terminal parking starts at around $60 per day. It may be an act of faith to leave Nemo next door, but there is definitely a solution to the parking conundrum. Discount airport parking reservation sites such as ParkON and CheapAirportParking can help you navigate the dizzying amount of information you need to make a decision about where to park that works for your budget and unique needs. Perhaps you need to charge up your EV while you’re gone, or you’d like a car wash or you require baggage assistance. These sites host accurate LAX parking lot descriptions, their amenities, and how much their stay will cost, and then it's just one click to reserve.
“Traveling around the holidays is stressful,” says Melissa Ruiz, director of marketing of ParkON.com. “The benefit of using us is that our sites’ dedicated affordable LAX offsite parking allow you to compare all of the services and lots in the area without having to search for yourself. They’re vetted and reliable.”
Ruiz has some other tips to help enhance your airport parking experience while you’re away:
1. Plan ahead to save money and get the spot you want: Parking rates can vary depending on the day and season. To lock in the best rate, book your spot ahead of time. If you put off reserving until the last minute, you’ll risk paying more, or worse — having to wing it on travel day when the lots are filled. Don’t worry about an uncertain itinerary. Many sites allow you to make changes to dates and times without penalty and offer free cancellations within a certain timeframe. Make sure to print out your confirmation and itinerary to show the attendant in case you can’t get cell phone reception or if there’s another issue and you can’t access your reservation digitally.
2. Pick your amenities: There’s pretty much an off-site LAX parking lot for everyone. Some offer valet services, which is helpful if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage or young kids. Or perhaps you’d like to delight yourself with a detail job while you’re gone so you can drive home in a sparkling vehicle.
3. Sign up for discounts: Subscribe for updates on CheapAirportParking.org and ParkON.com and you'll get coupon codes that can add up to significant savings, especially if you're parking for an extended period of time..
4. Clear the car: Even though most parking lots are secure, you don’t want to run the risk of leaving valuables inside. If you must, put them in the trunk or somewhere they can’t be seen from outside. Consider the temperature — will your sunglasses warp in the heat while you’re gone? You’ll also want to take a sweep and clear out any food or beverages that won’t smell so great upon your return.
5. Fill up: After getting off a long flight, one of the last things you want to do is search for gas at pricey airport-adjacent filling stations. Top off your tank before you park so that you can get in and go.
6. Consider an overnight stay: If you’re facing rush hour traffic in a bid to make your plane, know that most LAX-area hotels have shuttle services so you can park, sleep in a bit, and bypass the hassle of driving yourself to the airport.
7. Protect your car: Snap a shot of your odometer after you park and get a video of the condition of your car before you depart the garage. You’ll want documentation in the event of a ding or if you suspect someone has taken a joyride.
8. Pick a 24-hour shuttle service: A delayed plane can bring you home in the wee hours of the morning. Make sure that the parking lot you’ve picked offers on-demand and 24-hour service so that trekking or taxiing to your car doesn’t become a major issue.
And finally, almost as frustrating as searching for an elusive coupon code for off-site LAX parking? Forgetting where you’ve parked. Here’s a tip: take a photo of where you parked, noting the floor and row if it’s a garage. If the parking lot has a shuttle that picks you up at your car, usually the driver will hand you a note to remind you where you parked. It’s one less thing to think about during your trip so you can have a bon voyage indeed.