Over the past several months, my husband and I visited the Oregon coast for ten days, Boston and Nantucket for six days, and Ohio for five days. We’ve learned two ways to save money when flying to your destination, and I’d like to share them with you.

Our trip to Oregon entailed a very early morning departure from an airport that is over an hour away, and rather than wake up in the wee hours and drive, we decided we’d like to stay close to the airport the evening prior to our departure. We discovered two sites, ParkSleepFly.com and Stay123.com that allow you to book a hotel/motel for a reasonable cost, and leave your car at the hotel (for free) while you are on your trip. We booked a hotel close to the airport that included high-speed Internet, a hot breakfast, and a shuttle that delivered and picked us up from the airport, all under $115. As you can imagine, receiving all those amenities (plus a USA Today!) along with a leisurely departure was a good deal. (Before booking, I actually called a few hotels directly after finding the info at the sites to be sure the lot was secure, the shuttle was on demand, it really was close to the airport, and ended up booking directly with a hotel.)

For our trip to China, we parked at a long-term facility outside of the airport (we used U-Save Airport Parking near the Orlando airport). The charge was $5.95/day, and U-Save has shuttles that deliver and pick you up from the airport. In addition, they have a frequent parking program that is generous and quick. In fact, after our one parking stay for China, our parking on our last trip (5 days in Ohio) was free. Efficient service, quick check-in and check-out, and safe paved lots makes this a deal, too.

So, if you have to fly the friendly skies, consider these two ways to save money.

Jan Cullinane is the co-author of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale, 2007). She gives seminars on the (primarily) non-financial aspects of retirement through her company, "Retirement Living from A to Z."