Airport parking with kids – what are the options?
When you travel with kids it’s very hard to minimise all the paraphernalia which generally goes everywhere with you – even when you choose a Tots holiday where most of the essentials are ready and waiting in your villa.
So to help your airport drop-offs and pick-ups to be as stress free as they possibly can be, consider the following:
The ‘meet and greet’ – has to be the most simple way to arrive, unload and say good bye to your car for a week. Drop off your keys and a chauffeur parks for you. Great if you’ve got bulky luggage or simply want a hassle free route to check-in. Register your return flight and your car will be there ready and waiting for you to reload and drive home.
A guide price at Stansted Airport is around £60 for a week.
Mid stay & Long stay – park up in a convenient airport car park, the mid stay options are closer to the terminal building and therefore have a slightly shorter transfer time. Unload, carry your gear to the transfer bus stop, wait for the next bus, load all your gear on to the transfer bus, sit the family down and enjoy the 5 to 10 minute ride, unload all your gear, find a luggage trolley and proceed to check-in. Simple – but not altogether stress free with a family.
A guide price at Stansted is between £50 and £55 for a week’s stay
Walk – If you park up in short stay you have the option to walk into the terminal building but prices at many airports could be in the region of £35 – £40 a day. Other airports such as East Midlands have very easy walking options from their Long stay car park for around £40 a week.
Taxi – if you live close to the airport a taxi is of course a very attractive option.
Hotel the night before – if you’re away for a week or more, it can be an easier option to stay in an airport hotel the night before – particularly if you’ve got an early flight. Many hotels include free parking in with the overnight deal. For example a family room (sleeping 4) at Holiday Inn Express at Manchester Airport costs about £100 a night and includes parking at the hotel for the week and a free shuttle bus to the airport.
Pod parking – if you happen to be flying from Heathrow Terminal 5, you could also try the revolutionary on-demand Pod parking. Park up in the Business car park, call up a pod and hop in to experience a driver-less trip to the terminal building. Not particularly cheap but pretty novel and if you pre-book online you should be able to get a discounted rate of around £100 for a week.
My recommendation – I used Holiday Extras to book our most recent meet and greet parking. I found it really easy to use and the site took me through the different options and prices really clearly.
Remember – it’s always more cost effective to check all parking options online before you leave and pre-book wherever possible.