Busy weekends can turn traffic and search for a parking spot into a nightmare. We are often stuck driving around while parking spots seem nearly impossible to find with many cars competing to land very few spaces. The result is often a frustrating drive and wait while our friends, family, or an outstanding restaurant reservation often add fuel to the fire.
Even the most experienced drivers can find themselves feeling frazzled. However, there are a few things that we can do to increase our chances of success. One good place to start is to devise a plan: decide in advance where you would like to park, and then look for signs that will direct you to the area. A great parking strategy can preserve our nerves by preventing us from doing just a random cruise, wait, and search. Optimal approach also includes a backup plan in case your first choice is not available.
To help you avoid future parking frustrations, we have devised a list of 10 top ways to find parking spots during busy weekends:
Utilize apps like Way.com, which offers hourly, monthly, and even event parking searches – think of having a reserved parking sport before your favorite NBA game. By searching and booking in advance, you can often land one of the most coveted parking locations even in the midst of all the weekend rush.
Check out side streets. You may find some hidden gems for parking that are less crowded and cheaper than the main drag. You may wish to drive at least five minutes away from the main street and take a little extra walk. This may be a more ideal situation for you if you have the time and aren’t in too much of a hurry.
Drive around the block a few times to see if any spots open up. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people just cruise up and down the street without bothering to take another lap or two.
Ask a local shop owner or employee where they suggest you park. They often have insider knowledge of the best places to park in the area and may even offer you a discount for shopping at their store.
Park farther away from your destination and walk, bike, or take public transportation the rest of the way. Public transportation can especially be useful if you have a larger crowd of people with you and require multiple parking spots to accommodate them all.
Pay attention to street signs to see if there are any restrictions on parking during certain hours or days. Many times, people get tickets because they park in a loading zone or other restricted area without realizing it. Oftentimes, the restricted signs can also get covered by plants or just look faded; in this instance, be sure to take a photo just in case you receive a ticket and need to appeal.
Look for parking garages or parking lots that may have available spaces. These are often more expensive than street parking but can save you a lot of time and energy if you are running late or just want to avoid the headache altogether. As a bonus, they are far safer than typically just parking on the street.
See if your destination offers valet parking as an option. This is often the most expensive parking option but can be worth it if you are in a bind.
Ask a friend or neighbor if you can park in their driveway or garage while they are away. This is a great option if you know somebody who lives close to your destination and will be gone for an extended period of time, such as on vacation. Some real estate influencers often suggest to even rent monthly spots from friends if you plan on using them often.
Be patient and keep looking. It may seem like all hope is lost, but if you stay calm and keep driving around, eventually a spot will open up. The key is not to get frustrated and just keep at it.
While these tips are by no means foolproof, following them will give you a better chance of success when searching for parking during busy weekends. The most important thing is to remain patient, calm, and never give up!