As you all know, I love traveling. And I know many of you do too! You book your flights, plan you trip, and head excitedly to the airport. But as you drive into the garage, and see the sign, it hits you. On top of the flights, hotels, rental cars, food, excursions, etc. you’ve paid for, there’s also the dreaded airport parking fees. In bigger cities, it’s upwards of $40 per day just to park in long-term parking. So for a 5-day trip, that’s an added $200 at least! And in other cities, it’s typically at least $10 per day, which adds up fast!
Enter Global Airport Parking and their parking rates of as little as $4 per day (rates vary by city)! The company has partnered with several off-site hotels and parking lots within a few minutes of the airport in several locations, to give you the best bang for your buck when it comes to parking for trips. The only catch is that you have to build in a little extra time in planning to get to the airport, since the shuttles run from the parking site to the airport every half hour (:00 and :30).
I was given the opportunity to try the service out during my 10-day Europe trip and thought overall, it was great! I booked our reservation a couple months in advance (you can do it as far out or close to the trip as you want), and printed it out for the day-of. When we arrived at the hotel, we weren’t positive where we should be parking, so we asked the valet at the hotel entrance. We only had a few minutes to spare before the shuttle took off for the airport, so fortunately, the shuttle waited a few extra minutes for us to park around the building (same lot as the hotel guests) and make our way through the hotel to the shuttle. Phew!
Since the valet knew that we were parking guests via Global Airport Parking, he had our shuttle bus passes ready (this is how they ensure that you’re an actual guest and not just a random person hopping aboard) and handed them over in exchange for a glance at our parking reservation paper. Then, we were off to the airport, and were dropped directly at our airline’s ticket counter entrance in about 10 minutes! Tipping the shuttle drive is optional, but we really enjoyed chatting with ours and it was the Christmas season, so we left a nice little tip for him!
The process is a little different for airport pick-up once you land back at your home airport. Instead of running every half hours, these shuttles run on-demand, and they request that you give them a call once you’ve picked up any bags from baggage claim so they can head over. We traveled with carry on bags only, so I called as soon as we stepped off the shuttle from the gate to the baggage claim side of the airport. It took about 17 minutes for a shuttle to arrive after we called, but I think the slight delay might also have been due to the schedule of the bus already running to/from the airport. We were pretty exhausted after our travel day home (it was essentially 24 hours from the time we woke up in Prague to the time we landed back in Tampa), so the wait time was a little discouraging to us, but since the airport is extra busy around Christmas, it made sense that we might have to wait a little bit longer. But once we were dropped off back at the hotel, we went right to the car (once we remembered where we parked) and were able to head home – completely hassle-free!
Overall, we had a great experience using Global Airport Parking! Since the reservation payments and details are handled ahead of time, all you have to do when you’re going on a trip, is show up! The car was completely safe and exactly how we left it, even after sitting there for 10 days. Plus, for a lengthy trip in particular, what are you looking to pay? $4/day or $40?!
Have you tried an offsite parking service when traveling? How do you normally handle parking when you’re flying out for a trip?