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When you fly off on your break, getting it wrong when you decide where to park can really cost you a lot of money. Failing to pre-book and choosing the wrong airport car park can cost you literally hundreds of pounds in wasted expenditure.
So we've come to Manchester Airport to share our tips on how to park easily and how to save money when you travel.
Short stay options
Short stay options are excellent value for short breaks as the car parks are right next to the terminal. Simply pre-book to get the best rates, drive up and pop your payment card in the barrier, then park up and walk to the check in.
On returning home from your break simply follow the signs back to your car, load up and leave the car park using your payment card to exit.
Airports such as Manchester even offer a variation on the short stay theme - 'Meet & Greet'.
Meet & Greet is a great service which can often cost no more than a normal short stay. Simply follow the signs for your drop-off zone and park. Unload and hand over your keys at the reception desk. Then simply wander off into the terminal and get on your flight - it's a hassle free start to your holiday.
On returning follow the signs back to the Meet & Greet reception, collect your keys and your car will be parked up nearby ready to head off home.
Some airports even offer a kerbside drop off and pick up, also called Meet & Greet or Valet parking.
Now at Manchester, their VIP Valet service offers the same as Meet & Greet; however you also get access to Fast Track Security as part of the deal. This gets you through the airport faster.
And you can even find some parking deals that include airport lounges, such as Manchester Airport's superb Escape Lounges in terminals 1 and 2. These are a great way to start your break in style, with complimentary food and beverages in calm relaxed surroundings away from the busy departures lounge.
This really is the way to start your holiday. Cheers!
Long stay options
Long stay parking options are a great way to save money and are excellent for breaks of a week or more. There are two main choices: On Airport, and Off Airport, however you should always pre-book these as some you cannot access by simply pitching up.
Manchester has its popular Jet Parks option, as well as normal long stay. Park up, catch the courtesy bus to the terminal and you're on your way.
And on your return, look for the signs for your transfer back to the car park -you'll be in your car and on the road again in no time at all.
On Airport car parks tend to be run by the airport and have transfer times of up to 15 minutes from car park to check in.
Off Airport parks are run by a variety of companies. For instance, Manchester Airport has its own great value Jet Parks operation; however look out for established brands such as Air Parks, APH, NCP and Purple Parking for instance.
Some people opt for a hotel stay at the airport which comes with a combined parking deal. These deals can offer tremendous value for money and can often be cheaper than booking a separate hotel and car park.
Getting the best deal
So here are our top tips for how to get the best deal:
Use our online comparison service which we offer in conjunction with Holiday Extras, the market leading company in airport parking and extras. One search will show a variety of short and long stay, on and off airport options as well as affordable alternatives such as Meet & Greet and hotel stays which include parking. It includes both airport-run car parks and all the other big brands.
The cheapest options are off airport long stay.
Always book online for the best rates and book as early as possible. It will easily save you up to 60% on the gate price.
You can add fast track security at selected airports as well as airport lounges.
When you fly off, remember to take the card you used to pay for your parking together with your confirmation invoice.
When you park up ensure there are no valuables left in your car and nothing on display.
And ensure you keep a note of the location of your car and the number of any bus stop - you'll find it much quicker to find your car on your return.
Safety & security is a major concern, and airports such as Manchester work with the police and their own security to constantly monitor car parks.
Don't use companies not found on official airport websites or our own search. They may not be properly registered or secure.
So when you park your car at your local airport to fly off on holiday, then it really should be easy, your car should be secure and you should be able to get it at a great price and hassle free. Next time you fly away, use our online price comparison tool to get you the best deal, and have a great holiday!