If you don’t have a flexible friend willing to drop you at the airport, parking on-site is a necessary expense. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that parking is a hefty bill you’ll just have to pay. There’s always a better way. Try these tips to snag some savings on cheaper airport parking.

Check for Stay-and-Park Deals

When you’re planning a trip, you think a great deal about your destination hotel. Yet, you may overlook outstanding deals for hotels in your own city. Staying at a hotel the night before your departure offers several benefits. You’ll force yourself to get packed and organized a day ahead of time while adding an extra night of indulgence to your escape.

Many airport hotels offer stay-and-park promotions where you can leave your car at the hotel for free with just a one-night stay. These hotels typically have a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. If you don’t live close to your local airport, this is a great way to break your travel time into more manageable bites while saving on parking.

Search for Internet Coupons

Never pay full price without doing a quick online search for better options. Group-buying sites, travel sites, and travel clubs all offer coupons for discounted airport parking at various times. You may even find coupons on the airport’s website or direct from locations that host nearby parking lots with airport shuttles. Get your Google on and see what’s out there before you commit to any price.

Join Frequent Traveler Programs

If you take to the skies often, look into frequent flyer programs at your home airport. Locations such as the Philadelphia Airport and Indianapolis International Airport offer frequent flyer programs that let you earn points toward free on-site parking. You can also join a rewards program with a company like Thrifty Parking or Park Ride Fly USA with locations throughout the country. If you travel often enough, these programs can add up to some notable perks.

Ask About Employee Parking Offers

Employees always get the best parking, right? Though most people overlook this option, there are some airports that offer all the perks of employee parking without the hassle of actually having an airport job. You simply rent out an employee pass for the duration of your travel and get access to those exclusive lots that put you right next to the airport. Availability and cost vary, but it’s worth asking your local airport about. You may just uncover one of those little-known local travel hacks that can make any trip easier.

Rent a Car at Home

Most people assume that renting a car will be far more expensive than any parking deal. However, you may find that you can get a great rental deal for your short jaunt to the airport, returning the car to the airport car rental counter just hours after picking it up. This allows you to leave your own vehicle safe in the garage, eliminating the security concern at many long-term lots.

With smart strategies and simple tips, you can minimize your travel expenses quickly by cutting back on those parking costs.