Stellar deals are on the horizon as Black Friday, aka Nov. 24, is drawing near. For those who prefer in-person shopping over e-commerce options or online deal days like Cyber Monday, Black Friday provides a day when consumers can cash in on massive discounts and put a major dent in their holiday shopping to-do lists.
With a smorgasbord of deals being offered at various stores, including Target, Kohl’s and Best Buy, one may think that the shops are the only places that will boast chaotic crowds on Black Friday. However, that’s not the case. While stores will surely be filled with people, parking lots also become an unhinged free-for-all.
Whether you’re heading out to a single store or are embarking on a shopping spree at a mall or shopping center, here are a few tips on how to best navigate parking lots safely on Black Friday.
Practice parking patience
If you’re heading out to any store to partake in Black Friday shopping, the best advice you can follow is to practice patience not only while driving to a store or mall’s parking lot, but once you’re in the lot, as well. According to Zippia, roughly 196.7 million shoppers hit the stores for Black Friday 2022 in the United States. With crowds of this caliber, one can assume parking lots are a madhouse.
When so many people are out and about, those who participate in Black Friday should utilize patience when circling through parking lots looking for a spot. Things are going to be chaotic, and parking spots will be far and few between. But losing your cool won’t make a parking spot magically appear out of thin air. Not only that, but getting riled up before you even enter the store will surely kill your holiday vibe.
To ensure you make the most out of Black Friday shopping, tap into your patient side while parking. After all, it might take you up to an hour just to find a spot in any given parking lot. But once you do, a plethora of savings await you!
Proceed with caution
When crowds are endless and parking spots are scarce, those attempting to partake in Black Friday shopping will likely need to put in time and effort in terms of finding a parking spot at a store, shopping center or mall. Due to the number of people who will likely be shuffling through parking lots nonstop on Black Friday, it’s best to take things slow when navigating the lot in search of a spot.
People tend to weave their way through lots to get back to their car, making it hard to see them when you’re driving through in search of a place to park. Though parking lots may get congested, bringing out some drivers’ road rage, it’s better to drive slowly than to speed through impatiently, putting other drivers and shoppers at risk.
Additionally, those dabbling in Black Friday shopping fun might have small children with them, making it all the more important to proceed through parking lots with the utmost caution.
Park near an exit
While you may be tempted to hold out hope for a parking spot near the door to any given store or mall, this can complicate things once it’s time to leave. To better suit your parking lot escape plan once you’ve completed your Black Friday shopping mission at a store or shopping complex of sorts, park near an exit.
While you may have to trek a ways from your car to the storefront and back on foot, you’ll thank yourself when it’s time to head home — or to the next store on your Black Friday shopping list. After all, why wait in the same parking lot traffic you already endured when you can park near an exit to speed up your departure?
When it comes to surviving the madness of Black Friday, shopping — and parking — smarter is the name of the game.
Also, don’t leave items in plain sight in your parked vehicle. And be sure to lock your doors after you park. If you have a vehicle alarm, use it. And don’t forget that if you are making return trips to your vehicle to drop off items before heading back on foot to another nearby store, thieves might be on the lookout in the parking lot, keeping a watch for people stashing purchases without driving off.