We see them all the time. People wandering, walking zig-zag patterns across the sea of cars. That person has, in the past, been me too. One time, I spent 40 minutes under a blazing Orlando sun in the vast EPCOT Center lot, trying to locate my very ordinary rental. Don't wander the hot parking lot trying to remember where you parked! Here are a few handy tips to lead you back to you car.
Pay Attention to The Row AND SIDE!
I’m starting off with the one that gets our family goofed up most frequently. The way the row numbers are placed, they mark the row of cars, not the lane you drive along or walk down. So even if you did a good job taking note of the row number, it is easy to walk the wrong path because both lanes are adjacent to the correct number. It might be better to take note of both rows, “remember, we’re between rows 36 & 37, on the western side.”
You also can’t say mechanically record that you’re on the right or left side, because those sides reverse coming out from when you were going in. So be careful how you take note of the row and side.
Being a frequent visitor, I also have the benefit or curse that I often park in about the same area. The visits sort of blend together. Many times I’m absolutely certain that I parked right in this one place. But that may have been the day before. I may have forgotten that there was a cluster of people walking and I drove on an extra row this time.
Using Electronic Assistance
Google Maps just announced a feature that allows you to mark your parking position to help you return to the right place. That's great news for some.
There is another way you can use your phone, iPod or any device with a camera. You take a picture of where you parked. The best way to do this at Kings Island is to take the picture with your car in the foreground and either the large Kings Island sign, or the park attractions, in the background. You can also take it in both directions. By comparing the angle of the sign, with the car, it should be easy to figure out where the car is. I love using the orientation of Drop Tower, Windseeker and the Eiffel Tower to help me mark my position. (This also works in the park of you don’t know the map very well.)
Before you laugh at these silly mistakes, remember, we go a lot. We’ve done the car search many times, for many reasons!
Here is one more reason that is helped by the camera hack, you may have forgotten which car you drove to the park. This is one of the problems that is mainly reserved for those who come frequently. We usually travel in our larger family vehicle, the minivan. For others, it may be the SUV. So if you’re used to just walking toward a certain vehicle, it is easy to forget that today, you rode in the other car. If you look at the photo, it may jog your memory of this day’s deviation from the norm.
Got any more?
I’m sure there are more. If you have other Park Hacks that make it simple to go right to your car and never have to do the dreaded search, please tell us about it in the comments below!
Photo credit: Michael Gaida - CC0 Public Domain