Cheapest Airport Parking Options

April 12, 2010

The cheapest airport parking options are typically the long term parking lots where you leave your car then catch a shuttle to the airport terminal.  However, when leaving long term parking after my recent trip the guy at the toll booth told me the biggest parking bill he’d ever seen was $487! 

Even though six dollars a day isn’t that expensive, it can add up if you leave your car parked there for almost three months. Here are a few airport parking options if you’re looking to save some money.

Satellite Parking

The same thing as long term parking, these lots are usually a ways out from the airport and require a bus ride into the main terminal.  If the shuttles run often then this can be a good option.  Just make sure you allow extra time, around 30–45 minutes depending on the airport, when going to the airport to catch your flight.

A few tips, write your parking spot down when you leave or you could spend hours wandering the lot when you get back.  You also want to make sure you turn off your lights in your rush to jump out of the car to catch the shuttle bus or you’ll come home to a dead battery.


Ride with someone else who’s going on the same flight and split the cost of parking.  This works best when you’re going on a vacation with friends or family or if you’re on a business trip with a co-worker.

Airport Drop Off

This option doesn’t actually require any parking fees at all.  Most airports have 30 minute free parking so if you can get your friends and/or family to take you to the airport they can park for free for a short period of time while they see you off or pick you up.

Of course if your flight leaves at 5:30 in the morning or gets back late at night you might have a hard time convincing them so think ahead when scheduling your trip.

Airport Park & Ride

Our airport doesn’t have a lot of public transportation options other than one express bus to the airport from downtown but in some cities you can take advantage of a park and ride.  Park for free in a public lot and then catch a train up to the airport.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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2 Responses to Cheapest Airport Parking Options

  • Daddy Paul

    I had one cheaper. I had a friend who lived in an apartment complex near the airport. The apartment was geared to airline employees and had a shuttle which ran 16 hours a day on the hour and cost a buck. I bought my friend a case of beer to keep an eye on my car.


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