Arguably one of the worst parts of the holidays is fighting the masses of people whose goal is the do the same thing as you: cross state lines to eat pie in another time zone.
If you're traveling out of Denver International Airport - the sixth busiest airport in North America - you might be in for quite a stressful time.
We've put together a list of places to park (if you have decided against the A Line, an Uber or anything else) at DIA. Usually, the best option for parking are the Mt. Elbert and Pikes Peak lots, which we've included information about, but they almost always fill up fast during the holidays.
Location: 61st and Peña Denver, CO 80249 - right off the A Line commuter rail
Price: $4 per day, not including the price of the A Line ticket.
Lowdown: This lot has 800 spaces total, of which 609 are beneath canopies that double as solar electric panels. The lot also has 11 electric vehicle charging stations that are free to use on a first-come, first-serve basis, located at the south and west sides of the lot. Once you hop on the A Line, you are only an 11-minute train ride to DIA (this is the closest stop to the airport)
Pro tip: You'll still have to take the A Line to the airport, which is a $9 ticket each way. You also must prepay for parking with a card.
Pikes Peak and Mount Elbert
Price: $8 per day for uncovered parking
Lowdown: The Mt. Elbert Shuttle Lot is the airport's "overflow" lot and opens when the Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot is full. Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot is the closest shuttle lot to the terminal and Denver International’s most economical lot. Shuttles leave about every 7-10 minutes from shelters
Pro tip: These lots offer free drive-up bag drop and check-in. Also, there's free vehicle assistance available – If you need help locating your vehicle, jump starting a battery, inflating a tire, or help retrieving your keys from a locked vehicle, DIA provides these services free of charge all day and all night. Call (303) 342-4645.
Location: Right off the Jackson Gap exit on Pena - 25200 E 68th Ave.
Price: Uncovered parking with a reservation starts at $6.95 a day.
Lowdown: This is a shuttle lot, which means you'll park there and take a bus to DIA. The shuttles run every 5 to 10 minutes, according to Park DIA's website.
Pro tip: There's almost always a Groupon for this lot that will take about $2 per day off your price of uncovered parking
Location: Right off the 56th Avenue exit - 19901 East 56th Avenue Aurora, CO 80019
Price: Uncovered parking starts at $7.95 a day
Lowdown: The Parking Spot is one of the most recognized off-airport parking areas in the world. You can also reserve a spot online!
Pro tip: Check the website for coupons for DEN. At the time of this writing, there is a 10 percent off coupon available with no minimum stay.
Location: Off the Tower Road exit on Pena - 18000 E 81st Avenue Commerce City, CO 80022
Price: Uncovered parking starts at $10 per day.
Lowdown: Although there are other lots that may be cheaper, you do have a 15-minute "grace period" where you don't have to pay for another day of parking if arrive in that time frame.
Pro tip: There's a coupon on their site that will take $2 per day off your price (covered or uncovered) that doesn't expire until 1/31/2019. Perfect for the holidays! There's also one that will take 30 percent off your entire stay if you park in the uncovered lot. This also expires on 1/31/2019.
Picking someone up from DIA?
Location: The 75th Avenue exit on Pena - 7680 N. Wenatchee St.
Price: Free, but you can't leave your car here overnight
Lowdown: Picking someone up? Even though you might see a line of people pulled over on Pena Blvd, this is illegal and you are subject to a ticket. There is a cell phone lot that is about 3 miles away, but free to park in as you wait for your passenger.
Pro tip: The Final Approach facility is open from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. and has public restrooms and free Wi-Fi.
Location: Downtown Denver - 1701 Wynkoop Street
Price: The cost of gas to get to downtown Denver and to find a safe spot to park while you wait.
Lowdown: If you decide not to even attempt to travel to DIA, you can have the person you're picking up take the A Line to Union Station and pick them up there. It's a $9 ticket for them, but less of a headache for you.
Pro tip: On the backside of the Union Station (at Wewatta and 17th), there is a very tempting lane to pick up your passenger. However, this is an RTD bus stop and there are signs that urge people not to park, load or unload there. You're subject to a ticket if you do so. Your best bet is to find a parking spot in LoDo and have your traveler meet you there.