Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spend a little time, save a little money

Our huge van at Yosemite National Park prior to arrival in San Francisco

Would most people swap out three hours of their time on vacation to save $220 on parking fees in a big city?

I don't know about others, but I guess I would, because on a roadtrip out west a few years ago that is exactly what I decided to do.

We arrived in San Francisco to set up house in a apartment for about 11 days. I thought I had an agreement to park our huge long-wheel base, high-rise van for $20 a night at a local garage.

The deal had been completed and I plunked down about $220 for the duration of the time we were to be in the city.

The next day I went back by the garage to get something out of my vehicle and they told me they had to charge me $30 a day because of the size of my vehicle.

I had already accepted the fact of paying the $20 a night, but I was a little perturbed because of the change in fee.

I decided to get my vehicle and pursue other options. I paid for one night and they refunded the rest of my money.

What to do? Where to go?

I managed to park my vehicle on the street and then went on the Internet to check out one option I had thought about.

And that was an off-airport parking facility. I checked out their prices and it was about $9 a day.

I drove our  vehicle out to the facility near the airport, checked it in and took their complimentary shuttle bus back to the airport. I plunked down $5 to take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) back downtown and then walked to our apartment.

When it came time to leave the city, I took BART back out to the airport, took the shuttle bus and picked up my vehicle.

With taxes, the bill ran a little more than $100.  I drove back into the city to pick up the wife and all our supplies and we headed out of the city having saved a little bit on our stay.

I figured the two trips out to the airport which took a little more than a couple hours total, was worth the savings.

Its good to save a little here and there and then be able to spend it later on something more interesting.

Next post: Feb. 26, 2013

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