One minute it’s July, and we have all summer left, then you blink and everyone is back in school. Many Families plan to head out over the next two weeks trying to squeeze in one more family vacation before routines settle in. Have you noticed that when you are on vacation, one of the biggest sources of stress is finding parking? If you drive your own car or rent a vehicle, you will need to deal with the hassle of parking every time you go somewhere, and the combination of navigating an unfamiliar city and locating the best parking can be more than a little frustrating. To make things easier, here are some quick and easy tips on how to find the best parking while on vacation.
- Find a Parking Map – check online or from your hotel for a map to see designated parking locations.
- Research Parking Regulations – before you leave, look up your destination online for parking regulations, like this site New York Department of Transportation website.
- Observe All Parking Rules – every city is different and there are lots of sign and rules, be sure to check the day, time, and observe all posted notices.
- Car Lights & Signals – signal when you’ve found a spot, when pulling into a spot, when waiting for a car to leave your future spot, and avoid sudden braking. Test all of your car’s exterior lights before your trip, to ensure they are all in working order, and make sure your parking brake is properly engaging.
- Street Parking – pay attention to the meter and time restrictions and keep an eye out for any posted signs about road closures or alternate side parking rules.
- Paid Parking – cities are rapidly replacing coin fed meters and have switched to parking cards, apps, and some take credit cards. Since you’ll be on vacation and may not be familiar with the meters, guard your banking information by buying a prepaid parking card and/or verifying the app. If a credit card is your only option, try to use a prepaid card or watch your banking account carefully.
- Garage Parking – prices can vary substantially by street and block, and destination, so it helps to do a little research about your vacation spot and ask the hotel staff for recommendations. Have you ever lost your car in a parking garage, walking up and down ramps hitting the the unlock and lock button and listening for the Beep-Beep? Take pictures of the level, spot, and cross-streets of the garage to help you find your way back.
- Car compliance – some states, much like New York, designate the whole state as a tow-away zone, and you can be towed for anything from an expired registration, or parking illegally. Make sure your registration and inspection stickers are up to date and properly affixed. If your inspection sticker is close to expiring, come visit us at Osceola Garage for your New York state inspection and we’ll make sure your car is up to code and ready for your vacation, plus you’ll be covered by our free 24 hour roadside assistance, nationwide.
With school start-dates less than a month away, spend some quality time with the family. Whether it’s a week or a day long trip, checkout local event calendars for traffic flow, and don’t let the stresses of parking ruin your time. Don’t forget to schedule your car’s back to school preventative maintenance appointment and drive safe.