Traveling has become a recent occurrence in my life ever since my mother died. About once a month, I go from Point A to Point B to visit my elderly father.
One thing I learned pretty quickly was that it is very easy to lose your car in a 9-story parking garage at the airport. Covered parking is only one of the options available at the airport, so how do you know where you left your car when you get back? I have run into folks who were clueless, telling me, “Oh, I left my car in the garage. Won’t the bus take me back to it?”
Well, yes, in a manner of speaking. The bus, if you hop on the right one, will take you to the garage. Keep in mind that there are a boatload of parking options at larger airports, so which bus will you get on? Daily? Long term A? Long term B? Amtrak? Metro? You get the idea.
Let’s say you get on the right bus. Now, at which stop do you get off? With the Daily Parking Garage, you have four more choices. Then you have to decide which floor to go to. There are nine options with this decision.
“Whoa,” you might say. “Slow down here.”
Let’s work through this backwards, to figure out how to find your vehicle. You arrive at the airport and decide on the Daily garage. Superb. If this is the first time you parked there, write it down. Next, pull into the parking space, making note of which floor, which aisle, and which space you are in. For example, 7H 42. Write it down and put the piece of paper somewhere you can find it easily. Do not leave it in your car. Do, on the other hand, leave your parking ticket in the car (see the next paragraph).
Make sure you put enough cash in your car, along with the parking lot entrance ticket, to pay for your parking expenses when you get back. You may return from your trip penniless. (My record is 25 cents.) That way, you can get your car out of hock without having to go to a strange ATM with your suitcases in tow.
Do not lose the parking ticket or you will have to fill out forms galore and prove when you took off and landed, in order to get out of the garage. I will be the poor, in-a-hurry slob behind you in the cash payment line who has to wait for you to fill out the form, pay through the nose for your parking, and chat with the employee about how unfair it is….I’ve been behind plenty of those folks and had some unkind thoughts about them during the ten minutes it took them to pay their way out of the garage. Help me keep my Baptist, folks. Don’t lose that ticket!
So, you are on the right bus. Take a minute and locate your piece of paper that has your floor, aisle, and parking space written on it. Get off the bus when you get to the garage, take all of your baggage (and small children) with you, take the elevator to the right floor, and there’s your space!