No matter where you park, follow these helpful parking tips!
General Parking Guidelines:
1) Remove valuable items (electronics, money, jewelry, media, anything worth more than $1.) from your vehicle. If not possible, store them in the trunk. At the very least, place them out of sight in the vehicle. Cover them with a piece of clothing.
2) If parking for more than a couple of days in a humid environment, consider purchasing and opening a can of desiccant in the vehicle. Sold at drug and hardware stores. This product will absorb moisture so your vehicle does not smell musty when you return.
3) Make certain that all windows are closed including the sunroof.
4) Turn your lights off!
5) Unplug cell phone chargers and other accessory power supplies.
6) Inflate your tires to recommended pressures.
7) If it's winter, make sure you leave an ice scraper in the vehicle.
8) Consider a hide-a-key on your vehicle. If you lose your keys on a trip, you will still be able to get in.
9) Lock your vehicle and put your keys in a safe place where they will stay for the duration of your trip. Self-park facilities will not keep your keys for you.
10) If you are concerned about dings and dents... walk around your car and make note of existing dings and dents before you part ways. You may discover one that you were not aware of. When you return, walk around your vehicle and again look for dings and dents. Any new ones should be reported before you leave the parking facility. Important: Any vehicle damage needs to be reported BEFORE you leave the parking facility.
11) Remove trash from your car so it doesn't smell when you return.
Choosing a good parking spot requires some careful consideration:
1) Do not park under a tree! It looks inviting, but:
Wind could snap a branch and...broken windshield!
Birds! Need I say more?
Sap! Don't be one!
Leaves, pollen, yuck.
2) Do not squeeze in between two large vehicles! Door DENTS!!!
3) If the surface is paved, don't choose a spot with an obvious low spot if you think it might be raining when you return; or if it's raining when you are parking. Puddles are for poodles!
4) Make sure ALL doors are closed completely and locked.
5) When you check in, the attendant will tell you to wait by or in your vehicle for the shuttle to come and get you. The driver should be expected to take your luggage from your vehicle and load it into the shuttle.
6) If self-parking, lock your vehicle and put your keys in a place they will stay for the duration of the trip. Self-park facilities will not keep your keys for you.
For Valet Parking
Follow general preparations above plus:
1) If you are at all concerned that a driver will put miles on your car... write down the odometer reading or punch it into your smart phone or PDA. Or write the mileage on your claim check. It is highly unlikely that your vehicle will be removed from the parking facility. But, recording the mileage will put your mind at ease when you return.
2) If you find that your radio has been reset upon your return... this probably means that your battery went dead in your absence and your car had to be jump started by the valet driver. A dead or weak battery will usually reset your radio presets.
3) Take your house keys off of your car key ring. Put them in your luggage. If your vehicle came with a Valet key, give only that key to the Valet driver.
4) It's not a bad idea to have a spare vehicle key with you in addition to the key you give to the Valet. The reason is that sometimes, rarely, but it happens, the parking facility will lose your key. If you have a spare, you won't have to wait around until they find it.