As holiday shopping gets underway and travelers take flight, there’s one quest we all share: finding the perfect parking spot.

(Fredericksburg, VA – November 16, 2012) – What do the holidays mean to you? Loving reunions, bountiful feasts, thoughtful gift giving? Or traveling hassles, crowded shopping centers, and long check-out lines? More than likely, it’s the entire package.
This holiday season, more of us will be hitting the road, the airports, and the malls. And the common denominator drivers share is the quest for the perfect parking spot.

Whether we are competing for spaces, worrying about the time left on our meters, or desperately seeking our misplaced vehicles on Level 5, Row LL, Space 97, parking can be a major holiday stress inducer.

“This is forecast to be a higher-than-average driving season, and more drivers on the road means parking spots will be in even greater demand,” says Shawn Conrad, CAE, executive director of the International Parking Institute (IPI), the world’s largest association of parking professionals.

IPI reached out to its members who plan and manage parking at airports, downtown areas, and shopping malls, and compiled this list of suggestions to make holiday parking easier:

1. Give yourself the gift of time. Allow a few extra minutes for parking, especially at airports. When we feel rushed, stress levels rise and we become more accident-prone.
2. Plan ahead. Check ahead to see if your destination offers parking tips on its website. Many cities have high-tech parking options that boost convenience such as pay-by-phone or mobile apps that help locate available spaces.
3. Think green. Cruising around for a close-in parking spot wastes fuel and produces unnecessary carbon emissions that are bad for the environment. Head for a spot further away. Added bonus: Extra exercise this time of year helps walk off holiday treats!
4. Know the stats. According to insurance statistics, one-fourth of all vehicle crashes happen while parking. Studies show that backing in to a parking spot makes exiting safer.
5. Don’t be a Grinch. Show goodwill toward fellow drivers. When waiting for a spot, don’t block others looking for parking spaces. Make sure you take up only one spot and that your neighbors can open their vehicle doors.
6. Pay attention. Whether driving or walking to your car, avoid dangerous distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, checking shopping lists, or anything that prevents you from being aware of what is happening around you.
7. Watch for children. Don’t trust rear view mirrors. Turn and look carefully to be sure children aren’t darting between cars or standing below your line of vision.
8. Avoid temptation. Don’t park illegally or in spots marked for disabled parkers.
9. Be safe. Park in well-lit areas, close your windows, and lock your doors. Hide valuables and packages in your trunk. When returning to your car, have your keys out and ready.
10. Take note. Jot down your parking location so you won’t forget where you parked.

As Conrad says: “There’s no question that the holiday season presents special challenges for drivers. Wherever your plans take you, building in extra time for parking may be the best strategy of all.”

Media Contact:
Helen Sullivan
Hi-res photos available upon request
As holiday shopping gets underway and travelers take flight,
there’s one quest we all share: finding the perfect parking spot.