Where's a safe place to park if the car is loaded with things for school?

<p>We're planning on moving my daughter back into her dorm on Sunday, August 28th. We'll be heading in to NYC on Saturday, 8/27 to spend the day together before we move her in on Sunday. Here's the question: Our minivan will be packed to the rafters with her belongings, so obviously we're concerned about things being stolen while we're out and about on Saturday. We will likely stay in a midtown hotel Saturday night and would park the car in their underground parking garage till Sunday morning. My fear is that while we're walking around NYC, some unscrupulous parking attendants will be stealing items from our car. Obviously we'd take things like her laptop into the hotel with us, but what about her other belongings? Has anyone parked a car packed with belonging in a hotel parking garage and had anything stolen? I'd like to believe it would be ok, but you never know. Thanks.</p>

<p>While you aren't in the car, you can't put any outside luggage inside?</p>


<p>This was my very concern when I was moving S in and out of academic year and summer housing. When moving S in or out of the dorms, I stay at my mom's place across from South St. Seaport to give myself some rest before or after a move into NYC. So while I am at my mom's, my car is full of S's stuff. Either after picking up S' s stuff from NYU dorm or
before dropping his carload of stuff at NYU. Because I have made the moves a 2-day affair, to break up the ordeal for myself (very long drive back and forth from L.I. with predictably heavy traffic if I do everything in one day).</p>

<p>So, I have parked my car in 2 different garages in the financial district. One garage keeps the car doors open after driving the cars to an upper level (only staff have access to the upper levels). I had to ask the attendant to make sure to lock my car doors in this one garage. The other garage locks the cars all the time so I did not say anything. So far, knock on wood, nothing has been taken, despite the fact that my car looked filled to the gill.</p>

<p>Also, I have parked my car numerous times in garages around NYC since hubby and I go in often for shows and concerts. We have left cash (coins, dollar bills - that is hubby, not I), EZ-pass, etc. One time S left a fancy set of headphones and hubby a garmin GPS, though generally I admonish everyone in the family to carry all valuables and electronics when leaving the parked car. Thus far, I have had no problems with missing items.</p>

<p>I am thinking if it is a hotel garage, you may want to speak to the valet or supervisor there and let the person in charge know that you want the car to be kept in a safe place, doors locked as a courtesy to you. Sometimes notifying a person in charge may mean the staff are served notice. Though I would be nervous that it highlights the situation to a staff without scruples. In counterpoint to that, the car is obviously loaded anyway, so I think the best thing is to serve notice to the garage/ valet service manager.</p>

<p>My feeling is that the majority of times, nothing happens. Though, of course, you worry you may be the minority that is targeted every now an then. :(</p>

<p>No certain advice, just the advice to weigh the pros against the cons and doing everything you can to work with hotel garage management. Also, to let you know for the dozens and dozens of times I have parked in NYC, I have had no problems with missing items, including when my car was packed with S's stuff.</p>

<p>If you want, I can give you the location of the parking garage I have used that seems to have honest staff. Multiple times, I have left my car packed with dorm items, including 2 guitars belonging to my S! And I have let the staff know that I do not want my car doors unlocked. They have even commented to each other the doors need to be locked because of all the stuff in the car.</p>

<p>Plus, overnight parking is cheap relative to other places and hotels. $30-35 (including all taxes). You can always have the driver park the car there and then take the subway back to your hotel. This place is very close to many subway lines (Fulton St. stop right near City Hall).</p>

<p>When we did this, we unpacked the car and put most of the items, especially electronics and such, in the hotel room. Of course it wasn't Manhattan, but still...</p>

<p>I really did not have the energy to unpack, though I did ask S to bring in all valuables, especially electronics. He said he was OK with leaving the guitars (ha, if anything had happened, he would have had to pay for new ones with his own $!), though I was nervous.</p>

<p>I would suggest taking out (or hiding) obviously valuable things--there is no reason to tempt anyone--but then again there is no reason to believe that your valuables would be safer in a hotel room. In either case, employees of the hotel or garage would have access to your possessions. However, it is unlikely that a garage attendant is going to jeopardize their job (it is unionized) for the contents of a kid's dorm. </p>

<p>I would not park in a self-park garage where other's may have access. But otherwise, I feel you will be fine.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone for your comments and advice! My husband booked us at the Marriott Courtyard in Midtown. He spoke to the people there about our concerns and they said that the parking garage was underground and just across the street. We will certainly ask that they lock our car for obvious reasons. We also plan to camoflague valuable items that are too large/cumbersome to bring into the hotel by covering them with blankets (we just bought our daughter a medium size flat screen TV) and other things like her laptop we'll bring into the hotel room. As one of you said, who's to say that the hotel maids are any more honest than the parking garage attendants? Sigh.. I guess all we can do is take reasonable precautions and hope for the best. If we leave suitcases and boxes of dorm things in the car, my husband seems to think that all will be well. Thanks for the offer of the names of parking garages Evolving! I'll let you know if we need them later on. We're coming in from Massachusetts and last year we stayed overnight at my brother's house in Montebello the day before moving our daughter in. As you say, trying to pull that kind of trip off in one day would be folly. Thanks again everyone :)</p>

<p>Haha, this is a good time to remind everyone, esp. Parents who
Worry more about theft than the young ones. Having college insurance
Will cover stolen items. For around $125 a year $5000 of your kids'
valuables are covered wherever the items are lost.</p>

<p>^ That's a good deal.</p>

<p>It is excellent, Vihzel. It covers your laptop, other electronic items and valuables you bring with you to school. The deductible was only $25 for the premium amount of $125 I chose for S with $5000 coverage. I think it was $105 or $115 for $6000 coverage with deductible of $25 for S's freshman year.</p>

<p>I highly recommend insurance not only for the student in NYC but also when the student is studying abroad.</p>

<p>As I mentioned in a previous thread about college insurance, the entire replacement cost of a stolen IPad was covered for S minus $25 deductible. I know I was more at ease knowing S had insurance to cover musical instruments and electronics in the dorm and elsewhere that could be stolen. However, belongings are covered in the insurance policy if items are stolen (not when they are lost for our particular college insurance through CSI).</p>

<p>H and I have parked the car in garages all over the city and never have had a problem. We do take reasonable care to lock any valuables up in the glove compartment that are small, but we have left garmin, ezpass, change, binoculars, cameras, sate.ite radio on the seats and nothing ever has been taken.</p>

<p>Thanks milkandsugar, that helps set my mind at ease! Evolving, thanks for the insurance information. That is definitely food for thought!</p>


<p>I think that extra $125 or so per year is great insurance on our mental health as parents. We feel loss of control over our kids' well being and experiences once outside of our direct supervision at home. Their being away in school and factors having to do with their personality, habits and outside encounters leave us feeling fairly helpless as parents. At least in this area, you know that you do not have to worry if expensive items such as phone, laptop, cameras, equipment, etc. are stolen or destroyed.</p>

<p>The following items are covered:</p>

<p>Computers and laptops
Cell phones
iPhones and other smartphones
iPods, MP3 players and electronics

<p>The students are protected against:</p>

Accidental Damage
Electrical Damage
Water Damage</p>

<p>Really helped this past year, even though S is very responsible and has good habits (ha, I was supposed to keep his Ipad safe while he went out of the country; instead it was stolen while in my possession in NYC the day I was supposed to return the item to S; sheepish look on my face if you can see me) . And it addresses your concern about leaving dorm items in a car parked overnight in a garage perfectly.</p>


<p>By the way, I just noticed that you are booked for the Marriott Courtyard in Midtown. I was at the Marriott in Times Square where a couple of thieves working together got me distracted by one while the other thief swiped my wallet from my handbag in a busy revolving entrance door. So I think you should be careful with petty thieves in busy areas. I have learned since that time to keep my handbag zippered and to hold it tight and in front where I can see it at all times (especially in busy areas).</p>

<p>It was an expensive lesson but it left a deep impression.</p>

<p>That's terrible, evolving. :(</p>

<p>I've learned to always keep my messenger bag in front of me in the subway and to try to keep aware of my sunglasses on my head. I've made a habit of gently hitting my wallet as I walk (natural arm motion), so I know it's there. </p>

<p>Better safe than sorry. :)</p>