There’s nothing worse than planning a trip and booking your rental car, only to find out that parking at your hotel is $50 per night — what a racket!

This past weekend I traveled to Los Angeles and stayed downtown at the Sheraton Grand. If you know anything about LA, you know the parking situation is abysmal. To make matters worse, hotels in the DTLA area capitalize on this fact by charging you an arm and a leg to park your ride.

Who can blame them? Capitalism, baby!

Normally I would try to find street parking, choose a hotel with free parking, or use the SpotHero app to locate cheap lots in the area, but this time was different — I decided to use the $46 per night valet parking offered by the Sheraton.

Before you shout “How cheap can you be?”…I ask that you cut me some slack. I’m not made of millions and I don’t live off of credit card clicks! 🙂

$138 + $15 in tips later and I actually am so glad I chose the valet parking. Here’s why…

In and Out Privileges

The one thing you should value most whenever it comes to paying for daily parking is “in and out privileges” which allow you to come and go as you please — it’s like your own personal parking space!

I found a few slightly cheaper parking options around the hotel, but none of which came with in-and-out privileges. Nothing beats being in your hotel room, fresh out of the shower, and calling down for your car to be pulled out front ready for you when you’re done. Worth every penny!

Safety & Security

When you’re riding around in a rented (or your own!) car the last thing you want is for it to get damaged, or worse, stolen. Joe Schmo’s Parking may be $20 cheaper than the hotel rate, but Joe Schmo is probably also squeezing as many cars as possible into his parking lot…exposing you to potential vehicle damage and hefty penalties (unless you have coverage).

It’s because of this that I always think twice before bypassing the hotel’s parking.

Door-to-Door Service

If you’re traveling with a family of five, parking your car blocks away and lugging your suitcases to the hotel is not ideal. Obviously, I know that this is purely situational but wouldn’t it be great to just drive up to the hotel, hand your keys off, and take your bags right up to your room?

This is another way paying for hotel parking makes sense, but I’ll admit that it’s pretty far down my list. I’ll happily make the walk if it means saving some coin.

Tip: Avoid Hotel Parking Fees

When it comes to avoiding hotel parking fees, there is no set method, but there are a couple of things you can try:

  • Throw around the weight of your elite status and simply ask nicely
  • Book special packages that include parking
  • Use Uber/Lyft instead of renting a car
  • Pay for your hotel on a flexible-points credit card like the Barclays Arrival Premier or Capital One Venture to “erase” charges.

Do you pay for hotel parking? If yes, what makes it worth it for you? If no, what do you do instead?

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Rupee
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Rupee

I just got back from a trip to Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles. I rented a car in Fort Lauderdale because even though the hotel I stayed at charged for parking, it was only $20 per night. Also the rental was cheap and I knew that parking around Fort lauderdale is mostly easy and free. In LA I let UBER and LYFT do all the work since my hotel wanted $35 a night for parking and parking anywhere in LA can be a nightmare that I didn’t want to deal with. I mostly used LYFT since they tended to be… Read more »

Hal
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Hal

In DC, parking was $61/nt at my hotel. I ended up using Lyft and Car2Go. Much easier and you can park for free with Car2go.

Dustin Evans
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Dustin Evans

Actually some hotels but not many can be good on this issue. The Beverly Hilton used to just have a worker open the gate when you showed him your room key. Used to park my car there for months at a time. When I’m traveling around the world. Best 42$ I ever spent on airport parking. Even when you take in account the Uber ride to and from LAX. HA