What Are Offsite Parking Lots and How Can They Help You
When you’re in a rush to get to the airport, there’s a lot that’s on your mind. Have you packed everything you need? Did you remember your ID? Have you left enough time to get through long security lines? Often, in the haze of travel stress, passengers don’t carefully consider their parking options. It ends up costing them a lot more money than they’d hoped.
What Are Offsite Parking Lots
The parking lot structure in and around airports is based on convenience tiers. Official airport parking that’s close to the terminal is limited, so airports are able to jack up prices and get the most for the valuable spaces. Business travelers who get reimbursed or people not on a budget happily pay higher costs to be able to walk a short distance to the departure hall.
Usually, the economy lots are located a short shuttle ride away from the terminals. You end up paying much less but will have to add some time into your travel schedule to account for waiting for a shuttle bus. Time is money, as they say.
Over the years, short-term and economy parking lots have been decent options for travelers who want to bring their own cars to the airport. However, rising airport traffic year after year has placed increased strain on airport parking lots. In response, enterprising businesses are working hard to create offsite parking lots that meet the needs of travelers and save them money, all while providing excellent service and the convenience they need.
The Benefits of Offsite Parking Lots
There’s generally a lot of vacant land around the airport. Not many people want to live close to an airport with the sound of planes taking off and landing around the clock. Usually, airports are surrounded by commercial offices and empty lots. That’s been great news for offsite parking lots. Here are some of the main benefits of offsite lots.
They’re Close – Typically, offsite parking lots are a 5-10-minute shuttle drive. Larger lots have shuttles that run around the clock in short intervals. Passengers usually have to wait no more than ten minutes to get on a shuttle and head to the airport. Knowing you’re close takes a lot of stress out of worrying about time.
Smaller offsite parking lots can’t afford to have multiple shuttles running around the clock, so they work hard to provide excellent customer service on-demand. When you land or park, you can call a number and connect directly with a courtesy shuttle driver who’ll give you an estimated time of arrival, so you know when they’ll arrive.
They’re Affordable – Offsite parking lot owners and operators know they are competing with official airport parking lots. They have to find a way to differentiate themselves. That’s great news for customers because they often differentiate on price. The vast majority of offsite parking lots offer lower prices than airport parking. They usually beat the cheapest airport parking by dollars a day. That adds up if your trip lasts longer than a few days.
They’re Safe – Offsite parking owners know their reputation rests on keeping your car safe and secure while you’re traveling. They’re equipped with camera systems and guards (if necessary) to keep watch over your property. Most offsite parking lots use ticket and gate systems to make sure each entry and exit is monitored and authorized.
They’re Online – As private businesses, offsite parking lots compete hard to win your business. That means they advertise online and have friendly technology solutions that make booking a breeze. That’s a big contrast to the confusing and old-school approach most airport parking lots still use today.
They Offer Additional Services – Other ways offsite parking lots differentiate themselves is by adding on additional services that customers value. Some will wash your car just before your return for an extra charge. It’s a great feeling getting in a pristine car after a trip away. Other offsite parking lots will let you pay more for premium spaces close to the shuttle pickup point. Some even have vending machines or a small café to get food and other snacks.
Comparing Offsite Parking to Taxis or Car Service
Most travelers know that parking onsite at a busy airport can be a nightmare. You circle round and round for a spot. If you’re lucky, you’ll get one, but it will probably be far from the terminal and will cost you an arm and a leg depending on how long your trip is.
You can struggle through the chaos of onsite airport parking, but instead, a lot of travelers think taking a cab or ridesharing company service to the airport is a better call. That’s certainly an option but depending on how far you’re traveling to the airport, there’s a good chance a short car ride back and forth will cost you more than an offsite parking lot.
If your trip is anything shorter than a week, it’s worth your time to book an offsite parking spot so you can drive to and from in the comfort of your own vehicle.
Offsite Parking Lots are Always Innovating
Offsite parking lots have a lot of room to grow. They’re always developing new services and technology tools like mobile apps to make your travel experience smoother and more enjoyable. The next time you’re traveling, take a look at some of the offsite options at your airport.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much money you save and the convenience of the services on hand. Thank yourself for making the right decision as you step off your courtesy shuttle right in front of your designated departure gate.
The next time you travel, check out your offsite parking options around your airport online a few days ahead of time. You’ll be able to know how much money you’ll save and how smooth your experience will be. It will help erase much of the stress related to travel that Americans suffer through every day. Your next airport experience will be your best one yet.