Ultimate Guide to Free Parking at Hotels | Top Tips & Deals
With parking fees ranging anywhere from $20 a night to over $50 per night at some hotels, being able to score free parking is a major way to save some money on your next hotel stay!
In this post we’ll go over the different ways to receive free and discounted parking to help keep your budget to a minimum when planning your next trip.
Questions We'll Answer About Free Parking At Hotels:
- What Hotels Include Free Parking?
- How To Get Free Parking At Hotels
What Hotels Include Free Parking?
Free parking is typically included at budget cost hotels or moderate cost hotels, but this can vary greatly depending on the area. There aren’t very many specific types or brands of hotel that include free parking 100% of time and this is usually decided by each individual property.
You’re going to have better odds finding free parking at hotels in more suburban or rural areas as opposed to hotels in city centers, metropolitan areas or near major tourist attractions.
Convenience of being close to popular areas usually comes at a higher price tag!
As for the major hotel chains, there are a few brands under the Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt umbrellas that more frequently offer complimentary parking:
MARRIOTT: Courtyard, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, Fairfield Inn, Townplace Suites and Aloft
HILTON: Tru, Hampton, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites and Embassy Suites
HYATT: Hyatt Place, Hyatt House and Hyatt Centric
Join A Loyalty Program
Joining a hotel’s loyalty program comes with numerous perks like late checkout, complimentary breakfast and often times complimentary parking as well!
Work With A Travel Agent
Another way to get free parking at hotels is by booking your trip through a travel agency.
Yes, travel agencies do still exist! Though the need for them may seem outdated, travel agents work closely with most major hotel franchises to secure the best nightly rates for your destination and often have access to deals not always available to the general public, including free parking!
Be sure to let your travel agent know free parking is a major need for your stay, so they can negotiate this benefit directly with the hotel for you if there aren’t any deals or special offers available.
Travel agents get paid through commission from the hotel and travel industry directly so most do not charge extra to book through them!
Make A Dining Reservation
If you are planning on taking a day trip to a hotel rather than staying overnight many hotel restaurants will offer parking validation if you dine with them.
Parking validation is most common at table service dining and not quick service, fast-food style restaurants. This can be confirmed with a quick call to the restaurant and is often stated online while booking a dining reservation.
With validation your parking for the day is usually free or at least heavily discounted, while some hotels only offer free or reduced parking for a set amount of hours.
It’s important to note that you will have to actually have a meal at the restaurant rather than just booking a reservation without the intent to actually eat there.
While this is a great way to get free parking for a day trip to a hotel, your parking validation typically won’t work for overnight or multiple night stays. Keep this in mind if you’re eating at a hotel restaurant in hopes of getting your whole weekend’s worth of parking validated – it likely won’t happen!
Package Deals With Free Parking
Many hotels offer package deals on their website that will often include free parking or a hotel credit to offset the parking fee.
Major hotel chains such as Hilton and Marriott have a site dedicated to their special offerings on their webpages.
Be sure to always check the specific hotel website for special offerings first. To find these offers, simply go the hotel website and look for a section or tab that will be titled along the lines of “Special Offer” or “Package Deals” and follow the link to see what offers are available.
On these pages you can search for the best deals currently offered by entering your destination and travel dates.
Remember that specials will vary from hotel to hotel and will depend on your travel dates as well as location, so you’ll find a better deal if you can be flexible with your travel dates and preferred hotel!
Ask At Check-In
As the popular saying goes, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no – same goes for free parking!
When planning your trip, try calling the hotel before checking-in or at the check-in desk and kindly ask for free parking.
It’s not unheard of for a manager to extend a discount or remove the parking rate from your reservation if you simply ask.
Remember to remain courteous and do not get upset or rude if they are not able to do so, being unkind is a quick way to ensure you will end up being charged for parking!
Look For Offsite Parking
Look for other parking lots or garages that will allow you to park for free or at a much lower cost.
This is easy to do in larger cities and metropolitan areas that often have ample parking within walking distance to your hotel. In fact it’s very common for parking garages to be located right next to hotels!
Check to ensure the overnight rate is free or less than the hotel’s parking fee and within your budget.
Have lots of luggage you don’t want to lug from the garage to the hotel? Hotels typically allow you to pull up to the front to drop off your bags with the rest of your party or to leave with bell service while you park your car yourself off site.
Please keep in mind if you do choose to park off site, the hotel will not be responsible for any damage to or stolen items from your car. If this is a concern of yours, you can check to see if the lot/garage offers security.