Travel Fanboy

Find Cheap Parking with SpotHero

Anyone who lives in or near a large city knows the nightmare of trying to find adequate parking, especially during major events. Chicago, my home city, is notorious for high prices and limited space. Enter SpotHero, a reservation platform for buyers and consumers of those coveted spots.

Reservations with SpotHero offer two major benefits. I have found that the partners usually offer a substantial discount in congested areas. To illustrate, I recently spent two nights in Milwaukee. The hotel I was staying at only had valet service which would have cost $24 a night. I checked SpotHero the day of my departure and found a spot in a lot a mere 500 feet from the hotel for only $14 for the entire weekend. One caveat was that I was not allowed in and out priveledges, but I had no use for my car after I arrived so I didn’t mind. The other perk to using SpotHero is that is can save a significant amount of time. Driving in Chicago or any crowded city is stressful enough, but trying to find a parking spot when trying to make any sort of reservation on time is something that can really ramp up the anxiety. With SpotHero, you’ll be given an address, a specific spot, and detailed directions for when you’re close. I love not having to burn gas or minutes circling a neighborhood hoping someone finally pulled out of a space.

SpotHero does not actually own any facilities or lots, they act as an aggregator and partner to operators and individuals with excess inventory. You can register as a user or a one time guest either on the web or through the SpotHero app.

The reservation process is really simple. First, you enter a city or address and the days and times you need a spot. You’ll then see a map of available spaces and their price. When you click on the corresponding pin, relevant details will pop up, things like whether the spot is in an open lot or garage, if they allow in and out access, and if there is a someone on duty.

Everything is paid for ahead of time and the facility recognizes your car by your license plate and model. I’ve used the app plenty of times and have yet to run into a problem. You can enter and exit at any time during your reservation period, so there is no need to worry if you are running a little late. They also offer free cancelations as long as you cancel up to a minute before the reservation starts. I wish everyone did this.

This probably seems like an overt advertisement for SpotHero, but I assure you that I receive no commissions nor have I gotten any kickbacks. I will admit that I have an extended family member who works on their team, but I don’t get any significant discounts for that or for being a famous travel influencer. I’m just a big fan of saving money and time, of which SpotHero allows me to do both.

For more information, head to or download the ios or Android apps.

Travel Fanboy

Adam is the host of the Travel Fanboy Podcast, editor of, and a super famous travel influencer. He's no expert, just an enthusiast who enjoys having a top-shelf trip at a happy hour price. Formerly of Vegas Fanboy fame.