Posted in Money Saving Tips

Maximizing Our Valet Parking Cost in Chicago

My husband and I took a quick weekend trip from Michigan to Chicago to visit my son over Mother’s Day weekend. We left on Friday afternoon and encountered rain, long construction delays, and heavy traffic so it took us about 4 hours to make the drive. When we arrived at Hotel Lincoln around 7pm, I was happy to hand the keys over to the Valet rather than wasting time finding parking on our own.

Valet Parking is $68 per night at the Hotel Lincoln with in-and-out privileges. Since our son lives near the hotel he walked over to meet up with us. There is a bus stop across the street from the front door of the hotel, which made it easy for us to use transit to get around. We loaded a $5 day pass onto our Ventra app which gave us 24 hours of unlimited use of both the train and the bus.

On this trip, we were changing hotels for the second night. We had reservations for brunch and a boat tour in different neighborhoods of Chicago. I was trying to come up with a good plan for parking once we checked out at Hotel Lincoln. While I was in the Lobby that morning, I asked the Valet if the car could stay in the lot there after we checked out of the hotel. He confirmed that it could stay in the lot up to midnight without incurring another charge. Perfect. Since we had in-and-out privileges, he pulled up the car so that we could load our bags into it and grab a phone charger that we needed. He then reparked the car and of course, we tipped him well.

We were happy not to have had to waste precious time on this short trip looking for alternate parking and that we did not have to pay another parking fee somewhere else during that day. After a full day of fun activities, we took a bus back to Hotel Lincoln and picked up the car before heading to our second hotel.

I hate having to pay to park when I stay at a hotel, but sometimes it is the best or only choice. I felt like this was a good plan that allowed us to get the most value we could out of the $68 fee that we paid for the Valet service. Since we didn’t have to pick up the car until midnight, we didn’t have to rush through our activities to get back. If we had parked in a lot nearby, we could have saved about $20 but it would have been a hassle finding a space and we would have wasted a lot of valuable time.

I never knew that leaving your car in Valet parking after checkout was an option, but I will be sure to consider it going forward whenever it makes sense to do so.