Valet, Self-Park, or Off-Site? A Breakdown of Airport Parking Choices

blog image John Doe | 06/19/2023

When it comes to traveling by air, one of the important decisions travelers face is choosing the right parking option at the airport. With various choices available, such as valet, self-park, and off-site parking, it's essential to understand the differences and benefits of each. Let's explore these options and help you make an informed decision for your next trip.


  1. Valet Parking:


Valet parking offers the ultimate convenience for busy travelers. Upon arrival at the airport, you can hand over your car to a professional attendant who will park it for you. When you return, your car will be waiting for you at the designated valet area, ready for a smooth departure. This option is perfect for those who value time and convenience but are willing to pay a higher price for the service. Valet parking is particularly beneficial for travelers with heavy luggage, families with young children, or individuals with mobility issues.




  • Time-saving: With valet parking, you can bypass the hassle of finding a parking spot, allowing you to reach your flight quickly.


  • Convenience: Professional attendants handle the parking process, saving you from the stress of parking and retrieving your vehicle.


  • Assistance: Valet parking often comes with additional services like help with luggage, car washes, and even minor maintenance tasks.




  • Cost: Valet parking tends to be the most expensive option among airport parking choices due to the added convenience and services.


  • Trust factor: Leaving your vehicle in someone else's care may cause concerns about potential damage or mishandling.


2) Self-Park:


Self-parking is a popular choice for travelers seeking a balance between convenience and affordability. In this option, you park your car in a designated parking area, keep your keys, and retain control over your vehicle during your trip. Self-park facilities are typically located within walking distance or a short shuttle ride from the terminal.




  • Cost-effective: Self-parking is generally less expensive compared to valet parking, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.


  • Flexibility: You have control over where you park your car and can ensure it remains undisturbed during your absence.


  • Freedom: With self-park, you can keep your car keys and access your vehicle whenever needed.




  • Distance: Depending on the airport layout, self-parking areas might require a short walk or shuttle ride to reach the terminal, which could be inconvenient if you have heavy luggage or limited mobility.


  • Availability: During peak travel seasons, self-parking areas may fill up quickly, and finding a spot might become challenging.


      3) Off-Site Parking:


Off-site parking provides an alternative option to traditional airport parking facilities. These lots are located outside the airport premises but offer shuttle services to and from the terminal. Off-site parking is often more affordable than on-site options, making it a popular choice for travelers looking to save money.




  • Affordability: Off-site parking is typically cheaper than on-site options, providing significant savings, especially for long trips.


  • Shuttle service: The availability of frequent shuttle services ensures convenient transportation to and from the airport terminal.


  • Reservation options: Many off-site parking facilities allow you to reserve a spot in advance, guaranteeing parking availability during peak travel periods.




  • Time considerations: Shuttle services may add some extra time to your overall journey, so it's important to factor in this additional travel time when planning for your flight.


  • Security concerns: While off-site parking lots make efforts to ensure the safety of vehicles, some travelers may have concerns about leaving their cars in an unmonitored area.


Choosing the right airport parking option depends on your priorities, budget, and travel needs. If time and convenience are paramount, valet parking might be worth the extra expense. For a more cost-effective solution with control over your vehicle, self-park is a good choice. And if saving money is your priority and you don't mind a short shuttle ride, off-site parking offers an affordable alternative.