One of those little extras that travelers often overlook when budgeting for a trip is the cost of airport parking. And if you live in a major metropolitan area, and you park at the airport, this is one little extra that's not so little.
The Top Eleven
Forbes.com has compiled a list of the eleven US airports where on-site parking is most expensive. Topping the list is Chicago - O'Hare where it can cost a whopping $50 a day to park at the airport.
If you reserve parking through GoNOMAD at an off-site lot right near O'Hare, it will cost you $10 per day or less.
Following O'Hare on the Forbes.com list of expensive airports were Washington ($36 maximum daily rate), Los Angeles ($30), LaGuardia ($30), Boston ($24), Newark ($24), Phoenix ($20), Denver ($18), Minneapolis/St. Paul ($18), Orlando ($17) and Dallas/Fort Worth ($17).
The Alternative: Off-Site Lots
You pay the cost of one day's parking in advance, and that's is taken off your bill when you pick up your car. Your space is guaranteed, and you avoid waiting in traffic when airport security personnel are checking incoming vehicles.
At Los Angeles, for example, prices at off-site lots ranged from $5.95 to $11 per day, compared with $30 for airport lots. You can park off-site in Newark for as little as $9 a day, compared with $24 at the airport.
"A Significant Premium"
Forbes writer Sophia Banay says increases in on-site airport parking are due to a variety of factors, including rising energy costs, garage construction costs and the cost of bussing operations, but she adds that parking is an important source of revenue for the airports, and when demand is high they often charge "a significant premium."
Off-site lots are safe and secure, and they provide reliable transportation to departure terminals 24 hours a day. Many offer valet service (at an additional charge) and many are covered.
Another option many travelers are choosing is to "Park, Sleep and Fly," reserving a hotel room for the night they leave or the night they return, or both. If you live fairly far away from the airport this will make your trip a lot less frazzled and more leisurely and relaxing.
Visit GoNOMAD's Stephen Hartshorne page for links to all of Stephen's stories
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