You’re in a New York state of mind, and now you’re finally making your way to The City That Never Sleeps – excitement awaits you! Visions of Coney Island hot dogs, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, shopping, Times Square and Broadway plays fill your mind as you plan your trip. You can’t wait! But then your mind wanders to . . . how to get around the Concrete Jungle. You’re planning to drive, and New York parking options are so numerous and varied, it makes your head spin. What to do?

Plan Ahead for New York Parking

The term “know before you go” is wise advice for any trip, especially one that involves driving, and most especially one that involves driving in and around New York City. You have time and cash for your visit, and chances are you’d rather spend more of both exploring and enjoying the sites and food, and less figuring out and paying for parking. You have quite a few options, each with its pros and cons – here’s the low down:

On-Street Parking: In some neighborhoods and on certain holidays, street parking can actually be free! The NYC DOT has info about on-street parking rules, and street signs will confirm whether the space you’re checking out is available, along with any day/time exceptions for things like street cleaning and deliveries. Even if parking isn’t free, most spots are metered by the hour and if you’re only staying in one spot a few hours, you can save money over parking garages. Make sure and download the ParkNYC app, powered by ParkMobile, to find on-street parking spots near you at any time. I mean, who cares if it’s Chinatown or Riverside?

Parking Garages: If you throw a rock, you’ll probably hit a parking garage no matter where you are in the city – there are more than 1,000 of them in Manhattan alone! You can reserve parking at a variety of garages around NYC — just open up the ParkMobile app on your phone or visit and do a quick search for the location you’re looking to go.

Parking outside the city: Some train stations in the New York suburbs offer short-term and long-term parking options, and these options tend to be cheaper and safer than those in the city. It’s also a much less stressful experience, simply parking your car at a train station and then riding the train to and from the city, rather than dealing with city traffic. You could plan your trip to involve actually staying on the outskirts of New York and then taking day trips back and forth (saving money on hotels as well as parking). Just keep in mind that your travel costs will now include train fares, which can quickly eat into any savings by parking outside the city. And if you’re planning to shop, you’ll need to think about how to haul all those shopping bags back to your car

Make Parking a Snap with ParkMobile

With these options and all the pros and cons, how do you decide what to do? It might seem pretty daunting, but that’s where ParkMobile comes in. With the ParkMobile app, you can find all the New York parking options you’ll ever need, with even the option to reserve a spot ahead of time! If there is an hourly rate, you can add more time remotely via the app, rather than having to go all the way back to your car. Pretty handy!

Say, for instance, that you decide to stay outside New York City and take a train into town. Maybe you even spend one evening checking out the local sights right where you’re staying, then journey into New York the rest of the time. If you’re in New Jersey you could reserve a parking spot at the Prudential Center and catch a show. For your day trips into New York City, search for New Jersey in the ParkMobile app and find a spot close to a train stop (for instance, Morgan St. parking in Jersey City). Then just hop the train to NYC and back!

But if you want to stay in the heart of the action, you’ll want to find something in New York City proper. The first thing to do is figure out a specific area you’d like to visit – maybe Times Square. Simply open the ParkMobile app and search for reservation parking options near Times Square. You’ll see all your options nearby, along with rate and parking lot info. Take your pick and make a reservation – easy peasy!

ParkMobile Is Here to Help

You might have some questions before your trip, and ParkMobile wants to answer them! For instance, what if you reserve a spot for longer than you end up needing it? Read #AskParkMobile – Stopping My Parking Session to figure out your options. Since you’ll be taking a car to New York City, you might need to make some stops along the way and ParkMobile can hook you up with the best parking options – see #AskParkMobile – Parking While Traveling. Have fun, drive safely and park happy! The Big Apple awaits.