The seasoned holidaymakers among us have become pretty good at organising the finer details of our globe-trotting excursions. Even for them, however, it's easy to overlook the importance of airport parking. As always, preparing what you're going to do well in advance is the best way to ensure you avoid the classic last-minute pitfalls. Here are some tips to help you get started if you're flying out from Birmingham.
Birmingham Airport has some seven different parking bays, of which the first three are designed for "short-term" stays.
While there's no prescribed length of time for a short-term stay, this generally means no more than a few days. In fact, most of the time, customers using these bays will probably just be picking up their loved ones, spending just 20 or 30 minutes there before heading off.
Don't let that put you off staying there longer though. While you'll have to pay more, short-term bays are open to those going away for longer trips - which is great news for those with mobility issues, since it's only a two minute walk from the terminals.
Bays four, five and seven are informally earmarked for longer-term parking, which generally means anything over a few days.
Unlike bays one, two, and three, these are located away from the terminals, which means you'll either have to walk a small distance or take a shuttle bus. The recommended transport mode for each specific park is detailed below:
Car park 4 - five minute walk
Car park 5 - 10 minute walk
Car park 7 - 15 minute shuttle bus
Keep in mind that parking here will also affect your travel times to and from the airport. The further you park away from the terminals, the earlier you'll need to turn up in order to ensure you get through security in time to board your flight.
Price guide: roughly £6 to £7 per night
Most people are happy to park their car up themselves, but valet services needn't nceessarily be taken as a sign of laziness.
If you want to avoid the queues, your best bet is signing up for Birmingham's fast-track valet option. This means that you hand your keys over to a member of the Car park staff when you turn up and let them do the rest, allowing you to whizz through security and get on your flight in good time.
Crucially, this also means you can collect your car on the return leg ready to drive straight out of the airport. For busy business people, that can be an absolute God-send.
Price guide: roughly £11 or £12 per night
Booking in advance
Keep in mind that the above price quotes are based on online bookings of at least one month in advance. If you turn up on the day without a space in your name you can expect extra fees (and potentially without the luxury of choosing which bay is most suitable for you).
Our advice: get your parking sorted out the second you've booked your flights - that way you guarantee the lowest possible price and the choice of where you park and how much walking you have to do on the day.