When you drive to the airport with the purpose of flying you have to park your car for the duration of your trip, does making airport parking reservations at an offsite facility make sense?
When you park at the airport, you do not have to have airport parking reservations and you have a choice of either long term or short term parking. Short term is not suitable for people leaving on a flight due to the cost, however there are reasons to use it if the flight is only for a day; out in the morning back in the evening. Long term parking is far less convenient but somewhat less expensive. The drawbacks of long term onsite parking at the airport are the distance from the terminal and the incontinence of airport shuttles that travel from lot to lot, picking up and dropping off travelers and taking what seems forever to reach your terminal. Upon your return it’s the same problem, just in reverse. Over and above the time it takes there are times when you have been on an extended trip and literally forgotten where you parked your car. In cold climates it is not unknown to return from a trip to a car with a dead battery and be faced with a very expensive jump.
Long term parking in particular has solutions but it does require planning as you must get airport parking reservations first. The solution is offsite parking, parking in lots owned and maintained by independent operators which are located on private property. These long term offsite lots can be some distance from the airport but usually when you arrive to park your car a shuttle will be available to take you to the terminal building. This service is one of the benefits of making a reservation, they know when to expect you and can plan shuttle transport accordingly. This service is also available on your return. You will have simply left your return flight information with the offsite operator and you can expect to be picked up and shuttled to your car. Periodically, if your flight is delayed you may have some difficulty in getting the shuttle service, especially if you return in the wee hours of the morning. This little inconvenience rarely happens but it’s worth mentioning. The savings are considerable, anywhere between 3 and 5 dollars a day less than onsite long term parking.
A similar solution is to arrange airport parking reservations at a nearby airport hotel. Many hotels offer this service as a way of maximizing on their parking investment. You will be shuttled in the airport limo or mini bus and be picked up upon your return. If your departure and arrival airport has nearby airport hotels the service is worth checking into, it too will save considerable money.