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Saving Money on Airport Parking

Updated on October 13, 2011

Airport Parking


How I saved $70 on holiday parking

Well, I don't know if this is great for most. I know it wouldn't work for some. But it brought my parking costs from over $95 to only $22.

OPTION 1 (really would be option 2, but it's the one on my mind first - this is the last minute, improvised ninja move that somehow worked out beautifully in the end but possibly should not have).

My plan was simple on Thanksgiving flying out of Sacramento (SMF). I was just going to arrive 1 hour and 15 minutes before my flight and park in economy parking for $9 a day. Over my 5 day trip, it would be $45, but I could live with that.

I arrive around when I planned only to see a ton of signs saying economy is full. I plead with the lady and she tells me it has been full for days and that my only solution was in fact to park in the $22 a day lot and if nothing was free there, the lower levels which was $29 a day.

This means I was facing $110 for 5 days of parking. No way!

I then decided I would try to find a hotel nearby that had daily parking. And then taxi it to the airport. Driving Eastbound from the airport on the 5S, I took one of the first exits which mistakenly was the 99N. I had an hour until my flight left and fortunately I had checked in online and had only carry-on. I was going to get off at the 1st exit which was Elkhorn and turn around, but I noticed a brand new, nice suburb there on the right. The idea hit me that I would try to just park there for free and call a cab. I found a spot on a nice street next to a long wooden fence of a house that was on the market.I checked all the street signs and there was no street cleaning. No days I could not be parked there.

I wrote down the address, called a cab and was off. Sadly, the cab ride was kind of expensive for only a few miles. Had I called Supershuttle it would have only been $15 bucks. It cost me 21 and I tipped 2. 5 minute ride which felt overcharged.

Had a great time on the trip. On my way back, I decided I would use Supershuttle since it would only be like $15 and overall, looked like I would save a little money even over economy. But it would get better. The nice lady sitting next to me offered to give me a ride to my car. Second time this has happened in the last 2 years.

Got back to my car. Bought her a Starbucks since she had an hour drive home as a thanks. All worked out.

Now, I know this has problems. What if my car was stolen? What if the lady had been a psycho? What if you couldn't find a spot? Well, it worked out for me all last second and improvised. So, maybe you have to be 23 to 35 and single with carry on for this to work. Hope those people enjoy my blog!

OPTION 2: (shady)

My best friend taught me this trick. She had been using it for years and it worked for me.

Flying in and out of LAX, she would park at the Raddison who had a daily rate for long term parking and then take the hotel shuttle to LAX. Going to Vegas or on weekend trips, you generally fly back at night. They don't pay anyone to monitor so one could just pull out for free after 10 despite having been parked there for a weekend, a week, whatever.

It's not perfectly ethical, but it was something.

OPTION 3: (Moral and cost effective)

The way to do this would be to find the places that charge $5 a day and have a free shuttle. Airports I have been tend to charge from $7 to $13 (SFO) for economy parking. if you have time and are going for a week, paying $5 beats $10 any day!

Most hotels list what they charge. Some say that you can do it if you will be staying there. In this case, you can go on a hotel site and book a cheap hotel room for the start or end of your trip. $40 bucks isn't bad if you are taking a 9 day trip.

OPTION 4: (The best)

I live 30 plus minutes from the airport so it's really expensive to get to and from airport from my house and no one wants to drive you. The best option would be if you have a friend who lives nearby you can park with and then buy them lunch to drive you. If they are cool with you parking there, but too busy to drive you, Supershuttle is like $15 bucks each way if within a certain distance.

Find it helpful? Hope so.

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    • festersporling1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Christian 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hubpages doesn't really condone article spamming as you can see by your link not being posted. But thanks for coming to my Hub about saving money on airport parking. :)

    • profile image

      Most Popular Articles 

      7 years ago

      Be diligent in monitoring your office supplies for they are often misused. Buy only when it is necessary, or schedule your buying when you think you can get a great deal like holiday sales.

    • festersporling1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Christian 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Who would want the hassle if not making money? :)

    • profile image

      cheap parking expert 

      8 years ago

      The best way, (Which i think i will be a great idea) would be if you gave airport parking customers the ability to use your drive or road in order to park for a small price... This is assuming you live near the airport...

    • festersporling1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Christian 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thanks for the great insight and advice Marisa. I have had good luck with cheap buses in the San Francisco area as well as in Vienna. In the UK, the tube system. Same with Paris. Buses and trains often a very good to and from the airport system. Unfortunately, Los Angles doesn't have that set up AT ALL!

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      8 years ago from Sydney

      I've been spoiled living in Australia and the UK/Europe - it's so easy and relatively cheap to get public transport to the airport, I would never bother to drive.

      For visitors, one of the catches is that the transport options often aren't well advertised. For instance, I remember arriving at Gatwick once and thinking I had an expensive train ride to endure. Instead, I stumbled across a small ad for a private bus to the city. It was a fraction of the cost, took a little longer but I had the bonus of fresh air and a comfortable, practically empty bus,and scenery to look at! Now when I arrive at a strange airport, the buses are the first thing I check out - and they're often the cheapest.

    • festersporling1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Christian 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Nobody likes to go to the airport Michiko! Haha. But to each their own. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i like go to the airport , arigoto.

    • festersporling1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Christian 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Awww, thanks. I was in a situation where desperation met smart in the middle I think. Haha.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      very informative, and you are smart, Maita

    • festersporling1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Christian 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Funny enough Greg, I actually flew into Norfolk last year when I met up with some friends in Virginia. We went up to West VA and went white water rafting. I got picked up, but that sounds like a pretty decent deal at the airport there.

    • Greg Cremia profile image

      Greg Cremia 

      8 years ago from Outer Banks

      We must be lucky. ORF only charges $7.00 a day and I have never seen it full.

    • festersporling1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Christian 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Ya, that makes sense. I have had my fun with Gatwick and Heathrow. Ryan Air only flies into Gatwick/Stanstead so then finding my way over to Heathrow has been fun.

      But thanks for adding that. Ya, makes sense. Better off paying 80 pounds for a night instead of 14 pounds a day for 8 days.

    • 2patricias profile image


      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      We live about 1 hour's drive from Gatwick and 1.5 (at least) from Heathrow. For some international destinations we have to fly from Heathrow and ridiculously early times. However, some hotels have a deal. if you stay overnight, you can then leave your car there for free for as long as 3 weeks. This means avoiding leaving home in the middle of the night and starting a long trip tired. And the night in the hotel is less than the parking would have been if you are away more than 1 week (or so).

    • festersporling1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Daniel Christian 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Haha, thanks. We do what we can, right?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Clever lad!


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