Airport parking is never any fun – it also seems like it isn’t worth the trouble or the price. However, airport parking doesn’t need to be so inconvenient. In fact, with a little due diligence and advanced planning, you will find that airport parking is much more convenient and cost-effective compared to taking a cab or having to rustle a friend out of bed early in the morning.

Not only that, but by parking your own vehicle in a garage near the airport, you can arrive back from your vacation and simply get in your car – there is no waiting for a ride or waiting in line for transportation. Here are five holiday season airport parking tips.

1. Park one day before your big trip.

This tip is usually reserved for people who live farther away from the airport. If you do live some ways from the nearest airport, you may want to have the comfort and convenience of driving your own vehicle, but you probably also want to arrive a day before your flight is expected to leave. Doing so can allow you to bypass morning commute traffic and you can cut down all the stress. There are most likely many fine hotels around your closest airport.

2. Look for off site parking.

Off site parking is often much more affordable – mostly because the garage is not a hop and a skip away from the airport, but is more of a short, often free, shuttle ride. This is okay – there really isn’t anything wrong with taking a shuttle to the airport, especially if the shuttle is free and if you get to the airport an hour or so early. Many people pay more money for parking because they are late for their flight or they aren’t privy to other options.

3. Always plan in advance.

Airport parking should be just as essential in your travel itinerary as your hotel accommodation plans. Not only do you want to map out all the different airport parking garages available, but you want to find out which one has the best rates, best reviews and has trustworthy attendants. You also want to make sure there is a straight shot to your terminal. When it comes down to it, planning in advance will make your whole airport parking experience a lot more stress free.

4. Book your parking spot in advance.

This can be a huge lifesaver for busy traveling families. How convenient would it be if you can simply pull into a parking garage and into a reserved spot? In fact, if you visit OneStop Parking, you can reserve your parking space online. Not only do they offer the ability to reserve a spot online, but you can also save money, which is always a big plus.

5. Don’t forget anything in your vehicle.

When you leave personal items in your vehicle, you are doing so at your own risk. Many airport parking garages are not locked at night, so anyone could possibly walk in and break into your car. So, you want to make sure that you take all your valuables with you. Although theft is rare, you always want to be safe instead of sorry.