When you book a holiday there’s no question that there’s an order to how you do it. For me it tends to go Hotel > Flights > Insurance > Anything Else. The latter could be anything from a hotel by the Airport the night before or booking any activities I want to do before we fly off.
One of the things I probably think least about and ALWAYS seem to leave to the last minute on our yearly Florida holidays is what to do about Airport parking. I will truly spend forever and a day talking to people at work or looking online at the various options available in regards to where I can SECURELY leave my car parked while I am away.
There is truly a whole raft of options available these days. From random ‘bits of land’ and 3rd party companies with secure lockups through to parking below hotels within the Airport or even using their own multistory parking there are options available for every budget.
Sometimes I have even just decided on getting the train to the Airport because it can actually work out cheaper depending on how many people are going and how far the train needs to travel but what I didn’t know (and probably should as someone who writes about money!) is just how much can be saved by booking your hotel parking in advance.
Indeed the London cluster of Airports (Stanstead, Heathrow, Gatwick) are actually in the bottom 4 for the least amount of customers who are looking for Airport parking. Why might this be? Well a lot of people who tend to live in London will typically travel by train, tube or bus and so they don’t typically have a car. Because of this when it comes time for their holiday will would just carry on in the exact same way and it is the ‘out of towners’ who are coming into the London areas who would then be looking for somewhere to park during their stay. If you compare this to say Manchester (who are in the top 3) where living costs are generally much cheaper and its catchment area covers more land with less competition than other Airports there’s no questioning why more people would choose to park there as it is bringing in customers from far and wide.
Just how much can be saved?
This amount obviously varies based on how long you are going to be leaving your car there for and where in the UK the Airport is as parking within London will always cost more than if you were flying from somewhere like Manchester in the North. In a recent report on just how much you save made by the guys over at StaySure have discovered that on average it’s £3.70 more per day to just rock up and try and park your car compared to pre booking it.
Now £3.70 may not seem like much but if you were going for an average 2 week holiday that would a saving of £51.80 right off the bat! From a holiday point of view that could be the cost of taking a new suitcase or do what I would do which is spend it on some super luxurious sandwiches to take on the flight with you and save you from having to eat plane food!
Whatever you decide to do there’s no doubt that you can save a sizeable chunk by putting Airport parking as one of the first things you sort out after you have booked your flight!