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The best: the freedom of driving in Chicago. The worst: trying to find affordable parking anywhere close to, say, that meeting downtown or a show at the United Center.

Now it’s easy with ParkWhiz, the app that helps you book the closest and cheapest garage or lot.

It works like this: You enter your destination (an exact address or whole neighborhood), then ParkWhiz gives you choices for places to park. You click the one you want, and the app not only books it for you but also tells you how far it is to walk to your destination. Your credit card is charged, and your phone acts as your key--when you pull in, just scan the digital pass you've received.

Convenience aside, the app can also save you money. Booking through ParkWhiz can cut rates up to 50 percent (for example, downtown rates start at just $5 an hour, less than the price of a meter).

Talk about a game changer.

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