It happens all the time: You’re a little late out the door and you hit bad traffic on Interstate 70 on your way to the airport. You barely have enough time to make your flight, but now you’re circling the lots looking for a parking space — the economy lots are full like they always are, you’re going to have to pay $18 a day for a piece of pavement in Garage West, and the last empty spot in all of Colorado was just taken by that Ford Focus that squeezed in ahead of you even though you had your blinker on.

Parking is my least favorite part of traveling. It can be more time-consuming than the security lines, and it’s far more expensive. The last time my wife and I flew to Detroit, we came back to a four-day, $72 exit fee; you can almost fly to Chicago on Frontier for less than it costs to park your SUV in Garage East for five days.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

When parking at the airport becomes more trouble than it’s worth, check out the offsite parking. FASTTRACK Airport Parking’s lot is only a few miles from the airport, and with prices from $6.75 a day — that’s cheaper than DIA’s garages — the parking is a steal. And we’ll make it even cheaper: get one day free when you park for three or more days, only from

When you reserve your space ahead of time you’re guaranteed a place to park. No driving around for hours, no wondering if Pikes Peak Shuttle will have room, and — particularly during the holiday season, when outgoing flights increase by as much as 50 percent — you won’t have to ask St. Christopher, patron saint of travelers, to hold you a space in the overflow lot.

Don’t wait too long. DIA is the sixth-busiest U.S. airport (11th in the world), serving more than 43 million passengers last year alone, and parking reservations are already 60-70 percent higher than last year. The spaces are going quick.

When you pull into the lot, a 24-hour shuttle will meet you at your car, load your luggage and drive you to the terminal. Fast Track Airport Parking is well-lit and fenced, with 24-hour surveillance. Reservations are free, as well as the shuttle service. A three dollar tax and airport access fee is added to each transaction, but the worry-free parking experience is priceless.

For reservations