Don’t Forget These Oft-Forgotten Essentials When You Pack

You’re all ready for that vacation or business trip and have checked your list four times, but as you leave your home you still get that nagging feeling that you forgot something, right?  Us folks at Smart Park know the feeling all too well – even though we are in the travel business!

It seems only normal to worry if you forgot your underwear, but it’s usually those little annoying things we forget to throw in our bag that make us imitate Homer Simpson with a “D’oh!”

Let’s look at some essentials you should pack in that first aid or toiletry kit that you may not have thunk of, but will be a lifesaver if needed.

  • Medicated Cream
  • Tylenol or Advil
  • Band-Aids
  • Allergy Meds
  • Scissors or tweezers
  • Contraception
  • Spare Glasses
  • A few days worth of extra meds and vitamins in case your trip gets unexpectedly delayed
  • Dramamine (for those that get queasy)
  • Backup charger
  • And don’t forget some extra clean underwear – your mom would be proud!

You may also want to jot down a list of prescriptions before you go just in case you get separated from them and need to refill.

How to SMART-ly Lighten Your Load When Traveling – Part 2

Here are some more packing – not parking – tips from the editors at Travel & Leisure. After all, we’ve got all your parking needs already covered here at SmartPark!  Pack smarter and park SMART-er!

Pack Socks Inside Shoes

“To save more space in your carry-on bag, try packing your socks inside your shoes. Not only will that save space in your bag, the socks will help your shoes retain their form and prevent the shoes from getting squished in an overpacked bag.” — Mary Robnett, Assistant Photo Editor

Have a Ready-to-go Health Kit

“After going on international adventures and suffering food poisoning, sudden fever, cuts and scrapes, terrible bug bites, and other ailments — and then having to navigate a foreign pharmacy — I’ve learned to always pack a small medical kit. I keep a toiletry bag ready to go stocked with Band-aids, Neosporin, pain relievers, cold medicine, medicine for stomach trouble, itch relief ointment, antibiotics (you can ask your doctor for an emergency prescription before you travel), and ear plugs (life savers on long-haul flights and trains). And if you never have to use it, all the better!” — Karen Chen, Digital Producer

Separate Jewelry With Snack Size Bags

“Buy ‘snack size’ plastic bags for packing necklaces. To prevent tangling, give each one its own bag and fasten the clasp.” — Kathy Roberson, Copy & Research Chief

Check the Hotel Closet

“In the closet of most high-end hotel rooms, you’ll find draw-string fabric bags for laundry and shoes. They’re semi-disposable, but fantastic for packing. Trust me, using them to separate shoes and dirty laundry will totally transform your return-journey packing experience.” — Flora Stubbs, Features Director

Use Dryer Sheets to Stay Fresh

“Put Bounce dryer sheets between items of clothing in your suitcase to keep everything fresh.” — Jesse Ashlock, Executive Editor

Pack Your Favorite Toiletries in Travel-sized Bottles

“Instead of relying on hotel shampoos and soaps, pack your favorite products. Nalgene has a cheap, simple travel kit that allows you to fill a few bottles with your own body wash, shampoo, and other toiletries. It’s TSA-approved, spill-proof, and comes in a translucent carrying bag, so you don’t need to worry about getting through security.” — John Scarpinato, Assistant Editor

Be Prepared for Wet Swimwear

“I always pack a plastic grocery bag — or steal the shower cap from the hotel if I forget — to stash a wet bathing suit in for the return home. That way, we get to enjoy every last second on the beach.” — Jacqueline Gifford, Special Projects Editor

Waterproof Your Bag

“My favorite tip is to waterproof my bag using what I’m already bringing with me. I line my suitcase with water-resistant things: rain boots on the bottom, for example, zip-locked toiletries and makeup bag on the sides, and a rain jacket on top. Voila: instant weather-tight luggage.” — Melanie Lieberman, Associate Digital Editor

Bring a Laundry Bag

“Bring a mesh or collapsible laundry bag with you. When you’re traveling to your destination, you can lay it over all your clothes to keep things in place. During your trip it helps keep your clothes off the hotel room floor and on the way home, it helps separate dirty clothes from clean — easy to grab and do your wash after a trip, too!” — Lindsey Campbell, Senior Audience Engagement Editor

How to SMART-ly Lighten Your Suitcase When Traveling

You’ve secured the perfect parking spot at Smart Park JFK or LGA and now you are ready to load up the car.  But don’t those bags seem a little cumbersome and heavy? Thinking you maybe should have packed a little lighter?  After all, you don’t want to be charged even more for a bag that is overweight!  Well, we’ve found some great tips from the editors at Travel & Leisure to lighten your load and pack SMART-er.  Enjoy!

  1. Keep a Packing Checklist

“I keep an ongoing list in my phone of items of my absolute essentials to pack for every trip (charger, cleanser, bathing suit, daily sunscreen, etc.). It makes last-minute packing a lot less stressful because there’s always a checklist for reference.” — Katie Fish, Fashion Market Editor

  1. Use Packing Cubes

“There’s not much that makes me feel like an organized human as much as dividing my belongings into color-coded cubes. It’s so wonderful to know exactly where everything you brought is as soon as you unzip your suitcase. Plus, you can very easily move your packing cubes into the drawers of your hotel dresser and instantly be done unpacking and ready to go.” — Richelle Szypulski, Assistant Digital Editor

  1. Roll, Don’t Fold

“I am a roll-don’t-fold devotee. I also never check a bag, unless I’m taking my snowboard with me. Even then, only the snowboard gets checked, not the suitcase.” — Laura Teusink, Managing Editor

  1. Pack In-flight Essentials in a Separate Pouch

“I have a small zippered pouch that I always put in my carry-on bag — in it I stash all the things that I want to keep with me on a flight (headphones, earplugs, EmergenC, phone, wallet, etc.) so that when I board I can just pull that pouch out, toss it into my seat, and then place my carry-on in the overhead bin, quickly and efficiently.” — Nathan Lump, Editor in Chief

  1. Pack by Outfit

“There’s nothing more annoying than struggling to stuff everything back into your suitcase at the end of a trip only to realize you didn’t even wear half the clothes you brought. That’s why I started strictly packing by outfit — not individual item — and only letting pieces I had a plan for make the cut. I’ll take a skirt only if I know I’m bringing a top and shoes that I would wear with it, and I’ll think about the activities on my itinerary and what I see myself wearing while doing them. I hate checking a bag but love clothes, so being realistic and planning ahead is key.” — Nina Ruggiero, Senior Digital Editor

  1. Keep a Prepacked Dopp Kit

“As my collection of skin-care products continues to expand (I’m not 20 anymore), so has the time required to sort through it all — at the last minute, with my Uber to JFK honking downstairs. I recently started keeping a separate Dopp kit stocked with travel-size duplicates of all my essentials. This means I can just grab my toiletries and go, with no risk of forgetting some crucial cream or spray — plus it gives me an excuse to go nuts on all those cute mini items in line at Sephora.” — CB Owens, Copy & Research Editor

  1. Bring Half of What You Initially Packed

“When I went on my first international trip, I was advised to pack everything I’d like to take with me — and then remove half of it from my suitcase. I find this really helps in terms of figuring out what I actually need for a trip and bringing just the essentials.” — Elizabeth Preske, Digital Editorial Assistant

  1. Choose a Soft-Sided Bag

“Packing in a soft-sided weekender or duffel gives you the flexibility (literally!) to shape your bag to what you’re packing instead of the other way around. My canvas overnighter takes on a different shape depending on what I need it to hold and will squish, even when packed almost beyond its means, into spaces a hard-sided roller bag just won’t go. I hope my current bag will last forever but I’m eyeing this simple weekender from Makr as its eventual replacement.” — Skye Senterfeit, Photo Editor

  1. Always Be Ready to Go

“The more you pack, the easier it gets (or at least, the easier it should get) — so make being ready to travel part of your everyday life. Collect travel-sized toiletries when you have the chance: Get an extra toothpaste when you go to the dentist, ask your hair stylist for shampoo and conditioner samples, and keep all of them organized in a ready-to-grab toiletry bag. Learn which items of clothing work best for travel: They shouldn’t wrinkle easily, they should work for day or evening, and they shouldn’t take up a lot of space in your bag. And always pack less: What didn’t you use on your last trip? Don’t bring it.” — Jessica Plautz, Deputy Digital Editor

Do I Really Need Travel Insurance? Here’s What to Consider

Your friends at SmartPark JFK and LGA are always looking out for your best travel interests, so we thought we’d share these tips regarding travel insurance from the folks at Travel and Leisure.  Travel insurance is a tricky topic with a lot of questions surrounding it, but this article should clear them up.

From Travel & Leisure:

Do I really need travel insurance?

It comes down to one question: “How much can you stand to lose if something prevents you from taking the trip?” asks Dan Skilken, president and CEO of insurance retailer Always cover cruises or package tours. Also consider coverage if you have a long itinerary or are traveling overseas.

What does it usually cover?

Most policies allow you to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason — which can include an injury or illness, a missed connection, or an unpredictable event such as a terror attack. If your trip is derailed for one of those reasons, you’re entitled to a reimbursement for costs that are usually not refundable (like plane tickets).

“Cancel for any reason” policies have broader coverage (though there may be exclusions, so read the fine print) and tend to be more expensive. What most travel insurance doesn’t include is health care abroad.

So will my health insurance cover me overseas?

It depends on your plan. Medicare, and even most private health plans, won’t cover you outside the U.S., so check to see if it has overseas coverage. Many European countries offer universal health care — even for visitors — that may be free or cost a small fee. But you might want to shop for separate travel health insurance. Medex sells supplemental medical plans that pay for physician fees and hospital expenses, and MedjetAssist offers evacuation coverage. Many companies, like Travelex, offer hybrid policies that include both travel and primary health insurance.

Where can I find a good policy?

Travel agencies offer policies that will generally cover you for the duration of your trip, but agents may push for a plan that pays them the highest commission. Most airlines, cruise lines, and tour operators offer optional insurance (also called wholesale policies) that tend to have more exclusions. Before you buy, review one of the websites that specialize in comparing insurance policies, such as Squaremouth, Travel Insurance Review,, and InsureMyTrip. You can also buy direct through one of the travel-insurance companies. The big players are Allianz Global Assistance, CSA Travel Protection, and Travel Guard. Choose a company that is a member of the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA).

What’s it going to cost?

A few factors determine the cost of your insurance: the price and length of the trip, your age, and optional add-ons. A policy typically costs 3 to 5 percent of your trip’s prepaid, nonrefundable costs. A “cancel for any reason” policy can run you 7 to 10 percent of the nonrefundable cost, sometimes more. Some plan provisions are available only if you buy the policy within 14 days of your initial travel purchase. For example, an Allianz policy will cover most preexisting conditions if you buy insurance within the first two weeks. Some policies are more expensive if you’re older or are engaging in risky activity.

Do I have to read the fine print?

Yes. And don’t wait until you have to file a claim. If anything is unclear, call the insurer and ask for explanations in writing. Even if you’ve already clicked “buy,” you can reconsider. All policies have a “free look” period of 10 days.

“If you review your policy after purchasing it and decide it isn’t the right fit, you can cancel it within that period for a full refund,” said Rachael Taft, a spokesperson for Squaremouth.

What should I look for?

Make sure you understand whether the policy you’re buying is appropriate for your situation, advises Megan Freedman, UStiA’s executive director. For instance, if you or a family member has a medical problem that could require a cancellation, confirm that your policy includes a waiver for preexisting conditions (this is the most common reason claims are turned down).

My trip was canceled. Now what?

Typically it takes up to four weeks to process a claim. Expect to first receive an acknowledgment of your claim and then a final decision within one to two months.

“One of the things that most frequently holds up claims is incomplete documentation,” said Daniel Durazo, a spokesperson for Allianz. And remember, a rejection isn’t necessarily the final word. A brief, polite, written appeal with any new information relevant to your case will be taken seriously and will usually be reviewed by several adjusters at a more senior level. This process can sometimes take as long as the initial claim, so be patient.

Getting to Know LGA – Some Smart Facts

You may travel through our local airports all the time, but we bet there are quite a few basic facts about them you didn’t know. Your friends at SmartPark spend a lot of time driving around the airport, so you can say we are experts on the in’s and out’s. The next time you’re in one of our new air-conditioned shuttles heading to your terminal, you can now show your traveling companions how smart you are by dropping some trivia knowledge about good ole LGA!

Here are some fun fact about LaGuardia:

  • LGA is located just eight miles from midtown Manhattan in the borough of Queens, New York.
  • Since 1947, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has operated LaGuardia under a lease with New York City.
  • The airport sits on 680 acres, has two 7,000 ft main runways and four terminal buildings that house up to 72 aircraft gates.
  • Opened in 1939, LaGuardia Airport was builton the site of the old Gala Amusement Park at a cost of $40 million.
  • Once called the Overseas Terminal, and then the Marine Air Terminal, Terminal A was the original airport terminal building, serving international flights throughout the 1940s. In 1995, the terminal was designated a historic landmark.
  • Terminal B, also known as the Central Terminal Building, opened in 1964 followed by Terminals C and D in 1983 and 1992.
  • In 2016, LaGuardia Airport handled 29.8 million passengers, 369,987 plane movements and 7,586 tons of air cargo.
  • LGA employs 12,341 people.
  • The airport contributes $18.8 billion in economic activity.
  • LGA generates 135,599 total jobs and $6.8 billion in annual wages as salaries.
  • The terminals at LaGuardia Airport are open to the public from 4 am to 11 pm daily.

All information provided courtesy of

Consider These Money Savings Tips for Snagging the Cheapest Flights

So you want to save some money, huh?  Well, fortunately, you made the “Intelligent Choice” for affordable parking rates here at as we offer the most added benefits, free days and reward points!  Now, what about the rest of your trip?

Here a few handy tips for booking air travel that we are happy to share!

Shop Early and Often

Fares can jump by over $200 based on the day you buy your ticket. Airlines fares constantly fluctuate – even within the same day. So when it comes to buying an airline ticket, timing is everything. Start scouting out fares as soon as you know the dates of your trip. Then check regularly to get a feel for the best deals. Get that credit card ready to jump on it when you see a price dip, so you’re not kicking yourself later.

When is the Right Time?

Being a good planner always keeps you a step ahead, so let’s hear it for those folks.  To save some serious dough, know when to book.  Booking too late or early can boost the cost.  Between three weeks and four months in advance is usually the optimal window for the best price.

What’s the Cheapest Day to Fly?

Simple supply and demand rules tell us that the day of the week you fly will result in a large swing in your ticket price. The least expensive are usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while Friday and Sunday are the most expensive – the rest fall somewhere in the middle.

If you’re able to be flexible, play around with some creative planning and tweak the trip a bit. It could leave extra cash for an excursion or spa treatment that wouldn’t fit in your original budget.

No Need to Book a Round Trip with One Airline

Some travel websites offer options to depart and return on different airlines – and that could lead to savings.  Check the rates on several flights from each of the airlines at your favorite airport.  It may also turn out that another airline has more convenient departure or arrival times, or fewer stopovers.  Play out your options.

With just a little extra attention and flexibility, you can turn your vacation into a much better (and cheaper!) experience.  And you can hold your head high and brag to your friends and family about how much money you saved.  But they may already know that since you made the “Intelligent Choice” of parking at SmartPark!

Looking to the Past at LaGuardia to Plan for Future New Terminal

As you may have noticed – and how could you not – there are a “few” construction and traffic issues LaGuardia Airport travelers must deal with when traveling to our SmartPark lot. Unfortunately, this is beyond our control, but we thought it would be helpful to take a look at what the future holds for our guests when they fly out of LGA.  We promise to do all when can to navigate this tricky situation, but please always arrive early so time is on your side.

This below post originally appeared on and was written by LaGuardia Gateway Partners.  It shares the history of the airport and what you can look forward to in the future.

Connecting through Queens at LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B

Queens is, without a doubt, one of the most special places in the world. Connecting Through Queens is a particularly apt theme for Queens Week because this borough is, in many ways, a great connector. As the most ethnically diverse region in the world, Queens is a connector of people, culture and food, and of course, travelers. Queens is also a literal connector in that it is home to both John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports, New York’s major airports.

When LaGuardia Airport was built in the 1930s, it was a symbol of modern travel. New Yorkers even came to Queens to watch planes take off and land. “Crowds Brave Rain to Visit Airport,” read a newspaper headline on opening day, December 2, 1939. LaGuardia was New York State’s first commercial airport, and it forever changed travel to New York City and the region. The airport quickly became one of the busiest airports in the world, and the need for new terminals grew. Central Terminal B was built in the 1960s, replacing the outdated main terminal. Completed just before the World’s Fair, Central Terminal B was yet again an affirmation of New York’s innovative spirit.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the team behind the re-development at Central Terminal B, wants to restore the excitement that LaGuardia Airport has brought to Queens and the region throughout history. Still in use today, Central Terminal B serves nearly 15 million passengers a year, even though it was built for just $8 million. Wear and tear over the years, along with significant advances in air travel in the last few decades have made the need for a new terminal apparent.

Our team is thrilled to make Queens our home as we construct the new best-in-class terminal, featuring a sustainable design with open spaces, leading technology, top-notch concessions, retail and amenities and enhanced customer service. The new LaGuardia Central Terminal B will feature dual pedestrian bridges spanning active aircraft taxi lanes—a first in the world—that connect the terminal to two island concourses. This island and bridge design allows for improved airline circulation and gate flexibility, which will help reduce airport delays. From the western concourse bridge, the Queens view of the Manhattan skyline appears. And while we build, we are also investing million dollars in the existing facility to make necessary upgrades and to enhance the guest experience from curbside to the gate.

For as much benefit that the project brings to travelers, the Central Terminal B redevelopment is, first and foremost, a project to benefit Queens and New York. A $4 billion dollar project, LaGuardia Central Terminal B is the largest public-private partnership in aviation and the largest infrastructure project in New York. It will attract $5.2 billion in regional economic activity, with an expected $1.3 billion in wages generated. The project will also invest and grow our many talented Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE), with the largest MWBE participation goal in the state. Diversity and inclusivity are defining characteristics of Queens and the bedrock on which New York was built, and they are essential to the success of this project.

Additionally, we are building the new terminal without any impact to current operations. That means, instead of shutting down the terminal to build a new one, we’re building over and on top of the current facility in one of the tightest construction footprints in the world. While this approach is complex and challenging from a construction, engineering and operational standpoint, we know it is critical for the airport to remain fully operational for both the benefit of passengers but also for the surrounding community and the borough as a whole.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners earned this project because we presented a plan for LaGuardia Central Terminal B that embodied the spirit of New York, capturing the pioneering attitude of the past while daring to push boundaries into the future. We’re honored to have the opportunity to restore the glamour of travel to Queens and thank you for welcoming us into the neighborhood.

Follow their journey on Twitter @LGACentral

Hey, Bird Brain! Ever Wonder How Birds Effect Air Traffic?

Every once in a while bird-related incidents around JFK and LaGuardia Airport make the nightly news.  But we bet you never imagined the big part birds play in air traffic situations.  Our feathered friends need to be considered on a daily basis to avoid bird strikes. Extensive planning and precautions taken by airport engineering teams are critical in keeping us safe – and is a science within itself.

What follows is a recent look at how birds factor into the thinking of the Port Authority of NY/NJ and what is done to minimize problems. Don’t worry though; we don’t deal with any bird related issues at SmartPark aside from when these creatures answer the call of nature while flying above our lots!

Port Authority Air Traffic Control: Birds of a Different Feather  by PANYNJ PORTfolio

Air traffic controllers orchestrate the movements of airplanes in the air and on airport runways and taxiways to protect passengers and aircraft, while getting travelers to their destinations as efficiently as possible.

But they aren’t the only ones controlling air traffic, human or otherwise.

Flying beneath the radar is an altogether different kind of air traffic controller. This close-knit team, dedicated to reducing the chance of bird strikes, operates not from a control tower but the Port Authority Engineering Department, and comprises James Loudon, principal landscape architect, and three colleagues, Sara Yildirim, Jenifer Horst and Tom Nicklas, who mentored Loudon and works closely as his partner.

A family of geese enjoy an outing on a median strip on Washington St. near the Newport PATH station in Jersey City.

“We do whatever we can to discourage birds because birds cause the greatest threat to aircraft in flight during landings and takeoffs,” says Loudon, who was promoted earlier this year after many years with the landscape team.

“We work on everything together at every facility at the Port Authority,” says Loudon, “it’s that camaraderie that makes us successful.”

When Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed Flight 1549 on the Hudson River after a flock of Canada Geese flew into the engines three minutes after take-off from LaGuardia Airport in January 2009, the incident dramatized the dangers of bird strikes at airports across the country. Sully’s heroic story was further highlighted by a Hollywood movie.

The landscape architecture team aren’t the subjects of blockbuster films and their aviation-related responsibilities are under-publicized. They don’t operate from the tower, but rather from a modest warren of cubicles on the 19th floor of 4 World Trade Center, or in the field across the region.

Nevertheless, they protect against bird strikes by working closely with aviation wildlife biologist, Laura Francoeur, to implement the Port Authority’s wildlife management plan, which includes managing the landscape to reduce the types of trees, shrubs and grasses that birds prefer.

Major airports — such as those operated by the Port Authority — are like Club Meds for birds, featuring large tracts of open land with areas of standing water that attract feathery fliers and create potential hazards to aviation.

Geese, for example, prefer to land on lawns, parking lots and other big open areas. By spacing trees in a grid 50 feet apart, geese can be discouraged from landing in densely wooded areas because they do not roost, Loudon says.

“Large trees are never planted so close together that they create a tree canopy overhead, which would encourage roosting and large populations of flocking birds,” he says.

Loudon and Francoeur follow an advisory by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — which oversees air traffic controllers — that mandates what to plant and what not to plant. For example, trees and shrubs that produce edible seeds or fleshy berries are avoided.

The use of tall fescue seed mix inoculated with Endophyte typically is planted at Kennedy, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia airports to discourage foraging birds. Endophyte is a fungus that grows within the plant itself, which birds find unpalatable and motivates them to find another food source.

Tall fescue grass inoculated with Endophyte is used at the region’s airports to discourage foraging birds.  Endophyte is a fungus that grows within the plant, which birds find unpalatable.

The landscape architects reduce or eliminate altogether the presence of standing fresh water at the airports through design and construction. Major construction to redevelop Terminal A at Newark Liberty created additional storm runoff and potentially more standing water. Working with civil engineers, the landscape architecture team redesigned a peripheral ditch around the site to capture more storm water, which is bordered by plants to dissuade geese from landing and entering the banks.

At low-lying Teterboro Airport, where heavy rains create high water levels in the ponds, the landscape design is a game of bait and switch. A sub-surface storage for water is constructed that the birds can’t see, which is then camouflaged with a foot of soil.

“By limiting the edible delights of birds and the places they gather to feed and reproduce, we can discourage them from visiting the airports, which goes a long way towards protecting the flying public from deadly bird strikes,” says Francoeur.

Got a Trip Coming Up?  Four Benefits of SmartPark’s Off-Site Airport Parking

At SmartPark we know you have enough to worry about when preparing for a trip. So, it’s our goal to make parking the most stress-free part of your voyage!  Go ahead and spend your worry on packing your underwear, toothbrush and the right clothes for the weather you may encounter – and know SmartPark has got your back at JFK and LGA!

Here’s some ways parking at an off-site facility like SmartPark can make your traveling experience easier:

  1. Knowledge of Airport

You know what a nightmare it can be navigating around the airport and finding the right terminal.  Lucky for you, we travel these roads everyday and know all the in’s and out’s!  Tell our shuttle driver where you need to be and you’ll be delivered safe and sound to the correct drop-off point.

  1. Convenience

No need to circle any lots or worry about the public parking areas having enough room to accommodate you. Reserve in advance through our website and your spot is secured.  No circling, no waiting, no hassle!

  1. Security

Our secure lots utilize the latest digital surveillance with web-based technology. Guest vehicles never leave the fenced parking area and our staff is on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your protection. Be confident with SmartPark!

  1. Rewards

Every 7th day at SmartPark is always free – but only when you book direct with us! Reward members also earn automatic points for a free day (one day = one point). Earn seven points and get a free day on your next reservation! So by parking for 8 days, the 7th is free – plus you get a free day on your next reservation – or you can bank points for a later trip!

You can’t beat the added benefits of parking with us, so make the SMART choice!

Before Airport Parking, Don’t Forget These Eco-Friendly Driving Tips

At SmartPark we take care of your car while you’re away, but what can you do to help Mother Nature before you pull into our lot?  There’s a bunch of simple guidelines you can follow to save yourself money while doing a part to save your vehicle’s impact on the environment.

It’s no secret that vehicles contribute to pollution, but research says that only 25% of cars and trucks are causing about 90% of the problem. And that’s because of poor maintenance and inefficient driving habits.

So is your car a culprit or is it a mean, clean driving machine?

Packing on the Pounds?

Hauling extra weight can reduce your fuel efficiency. Sure, keep that emergency kit in your trunk but let’s not use it as a permanent storage area.  If it’s not necessary, find a new home for it.

On the outside, roof racks with luggage in them increase wind resistance and can decrease fuel efficiency. If possible, use a rear-mounted cargo box instead of a roof-mounted one. Research shows that at highway speeds, roof-mounted boxes can reduce fuel economy by 6 to 17%.

An Idle Situation

Idling uses more fuel than restarting your car does. It gives off 80% more pollution than when your car is moving and can even generate a ticket in some areas. If you’re staying put for a minute or more, consider turning off your engine.

More and more vehicles are now coming equipped with stop-start systems. This helps a vehicle conserve fuel by automatically shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop. It then restarts once you take your foot off the brake.

Ozone Alerts

Air quality alert days are when ozone becomes concentrated near the ground. This makes the air difficult to breathe and emissions make it worse. Try to gas-up in the later part of the day. High temperatures and low wind can convert vapors into pollutants.

Hey, Speedy Gonzales!

As New Yorkers, we’re all in a rush. But did you know that once you reach 50 mph, you lose fuel efficiency?  And for those at 85 mph, you can safely assume that only gets worse! Ease off a bit without causing an unsafe situation.  Avoid accelerating quickly, don’t ride your brakes and use cruise control when possible.

Tire Pressure and Maintenance

Check your manual or sticker on the inside of your driver side door to see what your tire pressure should be.  Underinflated tires can cause fuel consumption to increase by as much as 3%. Plus, poor inflation is more likely to lead to a blow out and cause an accident.

It’s always ideal to follow a prescribed maintenance schedule from the manufacturer. We want to get you into our lot in the safest and greenest manner possible.  Are you doing your part on a daily basis?

SmartPark JFK and LaGuardia are here to make your parking experience as easy and pleasurable as possible.  With the best prices and most benefits when booking direct with, we invite you to visit our website to make your hassle-free reservation today!