Let’s be real — spending money on parking always feels bad. I mean, you’re basically just paying for your car to exist. When we go to the airport, we usually just have a friend (or an Uber) drop us off at the front gate and skip all the airport parking nonsense. But recently, we found ourselves with no choice but to park.

Earlier this year, we were passing through Washington on the way to Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, which, like many of Alaska’s National Parks, is not connected to the main road system at all. We devised a travel plan that involved leaving our van in Seattle, taking a commercial flight to Juneau, and then flying on a small seaplane to Gustavus, the gateway city to the park. It was a lot to put together.

Photo from an Alaska Seaplanes flights to Glacier Bay National Park
Spoiler alert: We did finally make it to Glacier Bay, but not without paying for parking along the way.

Since this little plan would involve leaving our van in a strange city for a while, we needed a legit parking space, preferably at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. But parking at the airport would cost $32-39, plus taxes and fees, every day we were gone. Since we didn’t have many friends nearby to help, we consulted the friend who’s always there for us: Google.

That’s how we ended up finding Way.com, a website that helps connect people with cheap parking in a bunch of cities across the country.

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Cheap, Third-Party Airport Parking

When we did our first search on Way’s website, we found cheap parking spaces for rent at the Hilton right across the street from the Seattle airport. Convenient, but it seemed kinda sketchy to us. Like, how is some random website selling parking spaces at a hotel they obviously don’t own? Does Hilton even know about this?

So we just called the hotel directly. The person at the front desk told us that Way.com is legit, and the hotel uses it to make a little extra money off the unused spaces in their lots when they’re not fully booked. That made us feel better about leaving our van — our home at the time — in their care.

Way has a mobile app, but you really don’t have to download it to book a parking space (we just used their website). You type in a location, and it displays all the parking options nearby. From there, you can narrow by the dates and times you need parking and use filters for different kinds of parking, like covered or valet (if you’re fancy).

Screenshot of Way.com's airport parking at Sea-Tac

Since you transact directly with Way, either online or through their app, you don’t have to worry about handing off cash or busting out a credit card for anyone at the hotel. They’ll just ask you for the confirmation number and an ID, so you’ll want to have that handy (no need to print anything — a plus when traveling).

The Hilton we parked at only had valet parking, so we left our keys with them. Depending on your specific booking, you should be prepared for that too.

Why We’d Do It Again

In all honesty, using Way.com worked out really nicely for us in Seattle. The hotel we parked at had its own security on premises patrolling the parking lot, which made us feel pretty comfortable leaving our van there a few nights. And it also offered a free shuttle service to and from the airport, so we didn’t have to pay for an Uber to our gate. Altogether, we probably saved 75% compared to just parking at the airport, and it was an easy process that we would use again if we absolutely needed to pay for parking.

Obviously, every parking situation is different, but most of the airport parking options from Way are so close to where you want to be that they’re likely to have a shuttle service like the one we snagged.

Our main point here is that if you ever think you need airport parking, you probably don’t have to literally park at the airport. And you definitely don’t have to pay full price.

— Lauren

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