Parking garages are huge. Some are so enormous you could lose your entire family for weeks. If you are entering one for the first time they can be quite scary Ė Iím talking for the driver here. And if this is your family vacation, you want to start your day with as few hassles as possible. After all, the goal is fun, not missing personsÖ..that comes at the end of the day.
When arriving at a destination, such as a theme park, keep in mind you arenít the only one on vacation. Also remember that everyone else is probably just as lost and intimidated as you are. The biggest piece of advice is to follow the directions. I know that seems lame but trust me. All the directions are written so an 8th grader can understand, so as long as you follow the arrows and stay within the lines, youíll get to your destination with as few bumps and bruises as possible.
Getting to your destination quicker, while irritating fellow drivers/parkers, is bad Karma. You are going to spend your entire day with these people. Donít let a border-line postal vacationer be pushed over the line by you when you cut in line or pass everyone. Also, make nice with all workers. When you enter, smile and say hello to the parking attendant. If you are taking a tram to your destination, be nice to the ones who tell everyone to step back and not shove. You may need these people to assist you later. If they recall you as being the nice parent who was considerate, the respect will be repaid.
When parking your car, donít stop mid-row. If you are lost, pull overÖ.as in to the side. You donít want to block everyone. They donít need to know you are lost. If you need directions or assistance, ask. Refer to the above paragraph about to making nice with attendants.
Once youíve parked stay close to your car until you are ready to head to your destination. Irritation from those around you rises when you get out of the car, leave the car door open, walk into the next stall, or worse behind your car, and stop oncoming traffic. If you need something out of your purse, look in your purse before you get out of the car. If you need something out of the back of your car, keep yourself and all of your entourage close to the car and fish it out without blocking all the cars behind you. Donít let your kids or others in your group crowd around the end of the car. Itís dangerous and irritating to other drivers if they canít get past you and yours. Finally, when itís time to walk away from the car and head to your destination, stay as close to the parked cars as possible until you can get to a walkway. When you and your group are walking through the parking garage in an area designated for cars to drive, you may just see the one car you are keeping from passing you. Odds are, however, that you are blocking an entire line of cars all waiting for you to decide the direction you need to be going, what you are needing and where everyone is located.
When traveling with large groups remember that all of you are taking up space. Certainly you want to stay together, but ask yourself if you are crowding in on others. When you stop does everyone else stop too and produce a bottleneck? Keep your group together and off to the side. Donít spread out. Lines work for a reason. If you have more than one car behind you trying to get around you, you are the problem, not them. At that point, itís not about you and your fun, itís the fun for everyone.
When considering the big picture, you arenít that important. You mean a great deal to those in your world, there is no denying that. You arenít however, part of the world of strangers. We are a bigger world and we all have to share, get along and be considerate. It only takes one bad apple to mold-out the entire bag. Donít rub your mold off on the strangers around you.
Your world may make concessions for your temper or low blood sugar. The rest of the world, however, is not in tune with whatís up with you and they donít need to be. They are busy making sure those who are important to them are happy and that they are not bothering you. Proper parking garage etiquette is one small way to not bother them.