10 Things to Do Before You Park Your Car at the Airport

10 things to do before you park your car at the airport

At we continually strive to make your airport parking experience as easy and stress free as possible. If you’re going to be away for an extended holiday this can create issues for your return journey home.

We’ve put together a list of 10 things that you can do before you park your car at the airport to help make your travel experience – and return journey home – silky smooth.

Top 10 Things to do Before Parking at the Airport

Check out our Top 10 list of things that you can do before you park your car at the airport – whether your parking at O’Hare Airport in the cold or parking at LAX Airport where it’s likely to be affected by year-round hot weather.

  1. Remove All Valuables
  2. Fill Your Tires
  3. Pack Windshield & Cleaning Wipes
  4. Clean Out All Trash
  5. Note Where You Parked
  6. Have an Ice Scraper
  7. Choose Covered Parking
  8. Know How to Call the Shuttle
  9. Unplug Your Battery
  10. Top Off Your Tank

Wherever you’re traveling to, don’t forget to plan ahead and pre book airport parking so you can save money and have an even better vacation.

Parking Tips at the airport infographic

Remove All Valuables


  • Deterrence against theft – especially if expensive items are left
  • Prevent damage/break-ins – this creates costly damage to your car
  • Peace of mind – could talk about not having to worry as much if steps are taken to reduce the above

Before parking your car, an essential step in how to prevent car theft is to remove all valuables from your vehicle. Leaving expensive items in plain sight can make your car an attractive target for potential thieves, this car theft prevention tactic is an effective way to safeguard your belongings.

Beyond that, it also helps prevent costly damage from break-ins. Shattered windows and forcibly opened locks can leave you with a hefty repair bill.

Securing your valuables contributes to peace of mind. Knowing you have taken the steps to reduce the likelihood of theft or damage will translate to a more relaxed travel experience.

Fill Your Tires


  • Ensure optimal tire pressure – so that they are at peak level when you return
  • Long-term tire preservation
  • Safety and steadiness and one less thing to worry about upon return

A vital consideration before parking your car at the airport before an extended period away, is ensuring your tired are properly inflated. Maintaining optimal tire pressure is crucial to ensuring they are at their peak level upon return as tires naturally lose pressure over time, especially when a car is stationary.

Adequate tire pressure helps prevent flat spots and uneven wear that can occur when a vehicle remains stationary for an extended period. This precautionary step is particularly essential for promoting long-term tire preservation when leaving your car at the airport, where it may be parked for days or even weeks.

Importantly, maintaining proper tire pressure enhances safety and steadiness as underinflated tires are more prone to accidents.

Dirty car

Pack Windshield & Cleaning Wipes


  • Preserve clear visibility – the windshield may accumulate dust and other dirt
  • Enhance driving comfort – dirty windshield could cause annoyance to the driver especially if the journey home is long
  • Maintaining car aesthetics

While your car is parked at the airport, the windshield may have accumulated dust and other dirt particles that could hinder your vision. Windshield cleaning tools and cleaning wipes are a quick and effective solution to enhance safety and clarity whilst driving.

A dirty windshield can be annoying, especially if you have a long journey home after your flight. Glare from the sun or headlights can be exacerbated by the impact of a grimy windshield, leading to potential distractions whilst driving. Having windshield cleaner at the ready allows you to swiftly take care of that, promoting a stress-free drive home.

Additionally, having a windshield cleaner fluid and wipes ready is a practical way to maintain the aesthetics of your car. A clean and well-maintained vehicle not only looks better but also reflects positively on its overall condition.

Some locations are particularly known for being dusty so this is an especially important tip if you’re parking at San Diego Airport, for instance.

Clean Out All Trash


  • Maintain a clean and welcoming interior – depending on what it is, trash can produce unpleasant odors if left in your car for a while
  • Prevent attraction to pests such as insects especially during warmer months so food wrappers in the bin

Removing trash helps maintain a welcoming and clean car. Over time, discarded items can accumulate and create an environment that is less inviting. Depending on the trash, unpleasant odors can linger in the car. A tidy car will ensure your interior remains a fresh and enjoyable space.

A clean car interior prevents the attraction of pests, particularly insects. During watmer months, food wrappers and residue can be appealing to bugs. Pests can not only be a nuisance but also lead to significant issues such as infestations and car damage. Minimize the risk of attracting insects by cleaning potential food sources.

Note Where You Parked


  • Easy retrieval upon your return
  • Avoid additional expenses

Airports can be large and overwhelming especially if you’re unfamiliar with the specific airport, noting it down will help you find your way back with ease.

If you forget where you parked, you might end up spending money on unnecessary transportation to a wrong location or create delays so noting where you parked the car can help avoid additional expenses.

Noting the location of your parking spot facilitates easy retrieval when returning to the airport. Airports, with their expansive parking lots, can be overwhelming and remembering where you parked isn’t always straightforward. Making a note of the location, whether it’s a specific section, floor, or nearby landmarks, you ensure a smoother and more efficient process when you return.

Have an Ice Scraper


  • Efficiency in removing ice if the weather is cold
  • Prevent accidents
  • Smooth return home

When parking your car at the airport during winter, you may want to carry an ice scraper to remove the ice and frost from your window and mirrors for when you return. A car ice scraper is an effective tool to quickly remove icy layers, saving you time and effort.

Driving with obscured windows compromises visibility and increases the risk of accidents. So thoroughly clear your windows with your windshield ice scraper to ensure a smooth return home.

Cars parked in snowy car park

Choose Covered Parking


  • Protection against the weather – prevents damage/colour fading from excessive sun or hail
  • Typically covered parking is more secure

One primary benefit of covered parking is the protection it affords against adverse weather conditions. Whether it’s the scorching sun, hail, or other environmental elements, covered parking shields your car from potential damage and color fading caused by prolonged exposure. This protective measure helps preserve the exterior condition of your vehicle, ensuring that it retains its aesthetics and value over time.

Additionally, covered parking typically has increased security. Covered parking facilities, such as parking garages or structures, generally have controlled access points and surveillance systems. This added layer of security reduces the risk of theft, vandalism, or other malicious activities compared to open parking areas.

Know How to Call the Shuttle


  • Timely transportation to and from the airport
  • Real-time assistance and updates
  • Safety and security

Knowing how to call a shuttle ensures timely transportation to and from the airport. With vast airports, relying on a shuttle serve is common practice to navigate expansive areas. With a shuttle, you can coordinate your transportation seamlessly, minimizing wait times and ensuring a punctual arrival at your desired destination, whether it’s the airport terminal or the parking facility.

Real-time assistance and updates are another advantage of knowing how to call a shuttle. Circumstances such as flight delays or changes can impact your transportation needs. Being adept at reaching out to the shuttle service allows you to receive updates on schedules, potential delays, or any changes in the shuttle service that may affect your travel plans. This ensures you stay informed and adjust your travel accordingly.

Knowing how to contact the parking lot also helps you stay safe and secure should you encounter potential issues or be made aware of something about the shuttle service that was previously unfamiliar to you.

Unplug Your Battery


  • Prevent battery drain
  • Extended battery life
  • Extra security measure to prevent car theft

Unplugging your car battery helps prevent battery drain. Even when your car is not in use, certain electronic components continue to draw power, leading to a gradual discharge of the battery over time. By disconnecting the battery, you stop the power drain, ensuring that your vehicle starts reliably when you return.

It also contributes to extended battery life. Batteries can degrade over time, especially when subjected to continuous discharge and recharge cycles. By disconnecting the battery during prolonged periods of inactivity, you reduce the stress on the battery and slow down the natural aging process, ultimately extending its overall lifespan.

Fill up car with petrol

Top Off Your Tank


  • Convenience upon return
  • Emergency preparedness in the event of flight cancellations/disruptions
  • Preventing fuel system issues

Making sure that your tank is full before parking provides convenience upon your return. After a long journey, the last thing you want is to deal with the need to refuel. Topping off gas before leaving your car reduces the need of finding a gas station when you return, allowing you to head home or to your next destination without unnecessary delays.

Maintaining a full tank contributes to emergency preparedness in the event of flight cancellations or disruptions. Unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays, cancellations, or unexpected changes in travel plans may leave you stranded at the airport or another location. With a topped-off tank, you have the flexibility to adapt to these situations more easily.

A gas top off prevents fuel system issues. When a car is parked for a long period of time, especially in cold weather, condensation can accumulate in the fuel tank. This moisture can lead to fuel system problems such as rust and corrosion. By topping off your tank, you reduce the space available for condensation to form.

Have a Great Trip and a Smooth Return Journey

Preparing your car before parking especially for an extended period, is a strategic approach to ensure its safety, functionality and your peace of mind.

Before heading off on your travels, take a moment to implement these pre-parking measures. Your car will thank you with a reliable performance, and you’ll appreciate the ease with which you can transition back into the driver’s seat after your travels. Safe parking, smooth travels, and a warm welcome back to your well-prepared vehicle.

And if you’re traveling across the US in the holiday season, we’ve pulled together some great city locations each with their own festive fun this year. Check out our list of top US Christmas events and activities that you can attend – whether you’re planning a hot weather vacation or a traditional cold Christmas.

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Photos by:
Asael PeñaUnsplash | Colton SturgeonUnsplash | Marek StudzinskiUnsplash