The last thing that you want to worry about when you're flying somewhere is what might happen to your car when you're gone. That means you want to choose your parking accommodations carefully, whether you're going to be gone for a short time or an extended period. Here's what you should consider.
Look For Security Features
Look for a lot that has surveillance systems throughout the lot (not just at the entrance and exit booths). Adequate lighting is also a must - there shouldn't be any "dark spots" or areas that are too dark to see from a distance at night. Lot attendants should be also available around the clock and conduct walk-throughs of the lots on a regular basis, both day and night.
Be Proactive About Protection
You can do a lot to safeguard your car while you're gone just by taking a few extra steps before you park your car. This includes:
- Clean your car out before you leave it. By de-cluttering your car, you are making it obvious that you don't keep anything of value there.
- Wrap up your GPS, electronic chargers, and any other removable devices and store them in the trunk when you leave. There is no point in leaving any of those things where a thief will notice them.
- Consider an anti-theft device. While there are numerous available, even something as simple as a $25 steering-wheel lock can be enough to encourage a thief to pick an easier target.
- Park as close to the front of the lot as possible. The closer your car is to active traffic and the comings-and-goings of other people, the less opportunity there is for someone to break into it unnoticed.
- Park directly in view of a security camera. Thieves pay attention to where security cameras are located - so should you!
Lock Your Parking Spot In Early
Don't wait until you get to the airport to try to find your parking lot. You can reserve parking at many private lots near airports through online services, rather than risk using lots at the airport itself. Airport parking lots are not only expensive, they're prone to getting filled quickly. That can add stress to your trip if you have to pass several "lot filled" signs while you circle around looking for a place to park. And, you may end up parking in just whatever spot you can find, rather than someplace you actually feel comfortable leaving your car.
An added advantage of reserving your parking ahead of time is that you can check out the lot before you park there. If you live close by, you can go examine it personally. If you live further away, you can often find reviews online that will tell you what you need to know before you make the reservations.
Don't let parking lot woes add to your worries when you travel. Take a few steps before your travel date to prepare your car for its temporary home, including reserving a space in a lot that makes you feel secure, and you should be able to travel without being concerned for your car when you get back!