Parking Experts Share Ten Tips for Finding the Perfect Spot this Holiday Season
Although it is estimated there are more than 800 million parking
spaces in the United States (that's about three for every
automobile), finding one during the busy holiday season is often a
challenge. Airports, shopping malls, train stations, and downtown
parking facilities seem packed.
The parking industry offers many ways to make parking less
stressful and more efficient to ease some of that holiday
"Technology is transforming parking and making it more
consumer-friendly," says Liliana Rambo, CAPP, chair of the International Parking Institute (IPI), the
world's largest association of parking professionals.
"Smart meters, new apps for smartphones and mobile devices,
sensors, and sophisticated guidance systems that identify available
spaces are being used in an increasing number of cities to make it
easier to find, reserve, and pay for parking," says Rambo.
Whether or not these high-tech solutions are available in your
city yet, Rambo and members of IPI offer these ten tips to make
holiday parking easier:
- Carpool with family or friends. A shopping
outing with friends is a greener alternative that reduces the
demand for parking, and it's more fun!
- Sign up. If your city offers smart parking
options such as pay-by-phone, be sure to set up an account before
you head out.
- Google it. Check the parking section of your
destination's website. Many restaurants, theaters, shopping
centers, and airports offer helpful information about local parking
- Avoid endless circling. Circling and
"perching," the practice of waiting and following someone to their
car, are inefficient, time-consuming, and fuel-wasting.
- Take the distant parking spot. Walking is good
exercise and a stress reducer.
- Heads up. Whether driving or walking in a
parking area, avoid distractions such as texting, rummaging through
bags, and talking on the phone. One study cites fourteen percent of
vehicle collisions that result in insurance claims happen in
- Obey parking signs. 'Tis the season to avoid
getting a ticket. Read signs carefully and don't take spots
reserved for drivers with disabilities unless you have a valid
- Watch for children. Little ones can make
unpredictable moves and stand below drivers' lines of vision.
- Take note. Remember your parking location by
level, section, and spot by jotting it down or snapping a photo. At
a metered spot, note the expiration time. Some mobile apps will
text or call you when your parking time is almost up.
- Lock up. Always be sure your car is in park,
close the windows, lock your vehicle, and hide valuables and
packages from sight. Never leave a child or pet in the car!
Best tip of all? Rambo advises that planning ahead and allowing
extra time to find parking may be the best strategy
for finding the right spot - and the right attitude - during
Interviews and/or hi-res photographs upon request