Avoiding holiday parking stress

Whilst  still very early in the holiday season, that doesn’t stop some department stores displaying Christmas decorations and nor is it too early for the International Parking Institute to publish a list of tips to help avoid parking stress during the holiday period.

According to a press release on the IPI site, shoppers who circle parking areas on the hunt for that ideal space often ratchet up their stress levels and inevitably spend more time getting to the store. Studies conducted on parking behaviour and psychology indicate that when distant spots are still available, the most effective strategy is to pick a row and then pull into the closest space in that row. ‘Perching,’ the practice of waiting and following someone to their car, is only your best option when there are no spots left.

The IPI Site provided a list of tips for parking throughout the holiday season. Our pick of the most relevant tips include:

Check your parking options before leaving the house. Many retailers and restaurants list parking facilities on their websites. Smartphone users may want to consider downloading the many free mobile apps designed to help identify where you parked or take a picture of the signage showing where you parked your car.

Be aware that shopping centres often change parking and traffic patterns for the holidays. Slow down in parking lots to avoid collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians.

Choose the distant parking spot. The area may be less congested with traffic and the walk to the store or restaurant is good exercise that will burn calories from all those holiday treats!

If you park at a metered spot, note the expiration time and plan to return a few minutes early. New parking technology in many cities now allows you to pay for parking via your phone.

Despite the industry’s best efforts to make parking as smooth as possible during the holiday season, there’s no doubt that parking requires a little extra patience this time of year. Perhaps our next post will help bring a laugh to the situation.

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