Sometimes, it's just more convenient to drive yourself to the airport and leave your car there. You can leave on your own time, pack as much as you need, and know your car will be there, waiting, when you return. If you've never utilized airport parking before, though, you may be a little unclear as to how it works or the best way to go about it. The tips below should come in handy. 

Check to see whether you should be in long-term or short-term parking.

Many airports have two different parking areas. Short-term parking is for people who leave their cars behind for just a few days, while long-term parking is for people who leave their cars for longer periods. The dividing line will vary from airport to airport. For example, one airport may want you to park in the short-term lot if you'll be gone for 3 days or less. Another airport may reserve its short-term parking for people who are gone for 48 hours or less. Check the airport's restrictions to ensure you park in the right lot.

Ask about monthly parking fees.

If you will be leaving your car for more than a couple of days, check to see what the cost is for monthly parking. Most airports offer a pretty steep discount for customers who will park all month. It may be cheaper to pay for a month of parking than for two weeks, for example. Also, paying for the whole month will mean you can leave your car there longer if your plans change. If there is any chance you won't be home when planned, then it may be wise to use the monthly parking option.

Plan for the shuttle.

Most airports have free shuttles that take you from the parking area to the terminal. Look into the shuttle schedule so you can plan on arriving at a convenient time, rather than waiting too long for the shuttle. Grab a few dollars to tip your shuttle driver; this is considered good etiquette. Also, make sure your luggage can be easily picked up, put on a shuttle, and then unloaded easily.

With the tips above, you should be better prepared to utilize airport parking to the fullest. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call the airport. They are generally happy to tell potential customers more about their parking rules, fees, and policies. 

Contact a local airport to learn more about parking options, such as short-term parking