Families place huge importance on holidays abroad as a time to spend precious time together without the demands of work and school, creating happy memories to last a lifetime. Not only this, but research shows that family holidays can also bring a wide range of lasting psychological benefits for both parents and children. Children are likely to have reduced of anxiety, better behaviour at school and home and the holiday also helps increase the bond between family members. Travelling abroad also opens children’s minds to different cultures, languages and environments.
Yet many families in the UK struggle to afford to be able to go on holiday at all. If they do manage to go on a family holiday abroad, those families will have spent several years saving up the money to do so. It is sad then to discover that in simply not planning ahead and pre-booking airport parking, that some families hard earned cash is being unnecessarily spent on extortionate parking fees.
A study conducted by UK travel insurance provider Staysure, found that by simply booking airport parking two weeks earlier and gaining a few quotes beforehand, flyers could save large amounts of money. The research found that London Luton airport was where flyers are set to gain the most with a little planning before their flight, with a price difference of an eye-watering £141.49.
Pre-booking your airport parking to save money
Shockingly, it is on average £3.70 more expensive per day if you decide to park your car last minute at an airport rather than pre-booking for one week. That really adds up when you are away on a two week family holiday. Not only this, but if you are flying from a London airport, you will have to pay an extra £30 if you are booking on the day compared to on-the-day prices for non-London airports.
However, there is not always a saving to be found in pre-booking. There is no difference in price in 1 in 4 airport car parks when comparing pre-booked or on-the-day prices. The also study found that very occasionally, airport parking on the day is less expensive! The study discovered that it was 44p more expensive to pre-book at Glasgow airport than on the day. The reason for this result was due to a late deal by the Glasgow airport car park, who were trying to attract more customers.
It is on average £3.70 more expensive per day if you park your car last minute at an airport rather than pre-book for a week.
Therefore, it pays to be savvy and research first before making a decision to pre-book or not. However, the majority of cases see a big difference in cost between the most expensive and cheapest pre-booked car park on the day.
Questions on saving on holiday parking
There are a few key points you should keep in mind if you wish to get the best parking deal at an airport while you are on holiday. Firstly, make sure you book parking in advance, and look at both airport and price comparison websites for deals. Consider making a combined booking which includes airport parking, and do not forget to check short stay car park deals as well.
Most airport offer parking services where you can park your vehicle both short-term and long-term. While it is a convenient option to use parking lots close to the airport, these tend to be more expensive. If you are considering cheaper options for parking, you should look for parking lots that are further away from the airport.
Long-term parking lots, also called satellite parking lots, are normally very far from the airport. You would need to make sure you are able to commute or have someone drop you car off at the parking lot if you are on your way to the airport. The benefit, however, is that rates at long-term parking lots are considerably cheaper and help keep your holiday costs low.
What could you buy with the money you save on parking?
It often helps to think of tangible things that you could spend the money on to inspire you to take some time to look for a saving. Saving the £141.49 at London Luton simply by pre-booking could pay for a couple of family meals out or some family excursions once there. While the smallest difference in cost at the London airports is at London Stansted at £35 this is still a worthy saving for a family – a lunch at the airport before you leave, or some duty free gifts.
The study revealed that Belfast is the cheapest airports to book car parking on the day, but you can still save £25 if you think ahead and pre-book – still a considerable saving and enough for quick bite to eat before your flights, some magazines for the journey or some extra snack money on the flight.
Especially in an unpredictable economic climate where families are looking to save money in any area they can, it is highly worthwhile to research before you leave to find out the cheapest way to park your car. Saving a few pounds makes all the difference when family costs are tight.