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5 Tips for Selecting Secure Airport Parking When You Travel

There’s nothing better than packing your bags and heading out the door for a long, well-deserved vacation. With summer heading towards its end, now is the time to get in those last minute travel plans before the busy fall season. But depending on where you are going and for how long, parking can become a real headache. If you have a garage you can probably leave your car at home and take a taxi to the airport. But if the drive is over an hour, it probably won’t be cost effective. If you don’t have a garage or a driveway you might not want to leave your car on the street, or there could be alternate side parking rules that would see you come home to several tickets and a miserable end to your vacation. You’ll inevitably have to drive to the airport and find somewhere to park, but you need that location to be both affordable and secure, so you can rest easy while away on your travels. So here are five tips for selecting secure airport parking when you travel.

First of all, consider the on-site airport parking options. This is a double edged sword, because it is often the most expensive choice on the table. Depending on the airport you could have to spend $25 or more every single day to leave your car on site. You will have some level of convenience, with a quick walk to and from the check-in booth helping you through the process. And if you can afford it, it’s quite secure. It’s always gated and often covered, keeping your car safe from the elements and away from prying eyes.

Another solid option is the off-site parking that’s managed by the airport. This will get a little bit more complicated, as you’ll have to add another transfer to your trip to the airport. But the shuttle to and from the terminal is usually free, and runs as long as flights are taking off and leaving. These lots are less expensive than the ones on the airport premises, but just as secure. They are always gated, and security patrols the premises twenty-four hours a day. They’re not usually covered, so your car will be exposed to the elements. But it should be safe and secure upon your return.

You should also hop online and search for additional airport parking options in your area. Every airport is different, so the choices you’ll find will vary from region to region. What’s great about shopping online is that you’ll usually get a discount over airport prices, and the locations are generally as convenient as the off-site parking offered by the airport. They may not always include the shuttle service, however, so read the fine print before you make your reservation. Check over their security policies, and look for a parking lot that has staff manning the entrances and exits during all hours of the day and night.

It’s always tempting to look for discount parking options when shopping online. While you’ll certainly save money, these lots aren’t always the safest choice out there. If you do go this route, explore any sort of insurance plans they might put on the table. Some lots will offer up insurance that guarantees your vehicle’s safety, or at least sets you up for extensive support if something were to go wrong.

Finally, think about what you can do to support the security of your vehicle. Regardless of the airport parking you select, there are several things you can do to dissuade criminals from doing anything fishy. First off, pull all of the valuables out of your car. The vehicle will be sitting in plain sight for days or weeks, so there’s no reason to keep your GPS device on the dash or a $20 bill in the cup holder. Leave your CD collection at home, and even remove the stereo faceplate if you have that option. Put a club or other security device across the wheel, and make absolutely certain that you’ve raised the windows completely and every door is locked before you head to the airport.

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