This post about flying solo with kids is brought to you by The Parking Spot. All opinions are 100% mine.
You may have noticed by my numerous travel posts that we travel a lot. Many times I fly alone with my son – something we’ve been doing since he was about 5 months old. When flying out of a big airport like BWI, there are a lot of things to consider – parking (and if you choose long-term parking you have to take a shuttle), checked bags, carry-on bags, and whether or not to bring a stroller. We usually end up using a stroller at our destination, plus my son tends to be a sightseer when he walks (i.e. he walks slowly), so a stroller is usually a necessity for us. And what about food? We have tons of food allergies, so we always have to bring food with us wherever we go. So how do I do all of it?
Use one large suitcase. I pack one checked bag for my son and I to share.
Bring carry-on bags that have different carry methods. Kind of confusing, but here’s what I mean – I bring three bags. One is a cross-body bag, one is a shoulder bag, and one is a backpack. This way, all can be carried at one time without any conflict. The backpack contains a few toys and our non-perishable food. The shoulder bag contains a laptop and all purse items (wallet, cell phone, etc). The cross-body bag contains all of our perishable food.
Find a carrying method that works best for you. My method is basically the best of the worst. There’s really no easy way to carry a stroller, a 3 year old, a large suitcase, and 3 carry-ons. BUT, I am able to do it with minimal pain involved. My son sits in the umbrella stroller. I put the cross-body bag into the stroller’s small attached mesh storage bag thingy. I put the backpack on the handles of the stroller or on my back, depending on which size back pack I bring. So, I am pushing all of that with one hand. Then with the other hand I pull the suitcase. And on the suitcase handle is the shoulder bag. Are you gasping for breathe just reading this? It’s actually not that bad :)
Then, once I check our suitcase, the cross-body bag stays in the stroller storage, the backpack stays on the stroller (or on my back), and the shoulder bag hangs on the stroller handle. It’s a breeze compared to pushing a stroller with one hand and pulling a suitcase with another!
Parking is key. Where you park can really make or break your travel experience. Parking far away is less expensive, but it means having to lug all of your bags and your child/children through a parking lot and a shuttle ride. The Parking Spot has a great solution. As the leading near-airport parking company in the nation, The Parking Spot provides full service parking. Their lots are spacious, fully-fenced, well lit, and open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Although you have to take a shuttle like you would from a long-term lot, this is how they differ – They offer shuttles every 5-7 minutes, so you’re not left wondering when the next one will show up. You won’t be crammed into a tiny seat with people sitting and standing on all sides. And, you will receive luggage assistance so you can worry about your child while they take care of your luggage. The main thing I don’t like about dealing with long term parking is trying to get my son and all of our bags on and off of the shuttle, especially when it’s usually packed and I can’t take a step without bumping into someone. I love that The Parking Spot solves that problem.
Some other amenities include:
- Earning free parking with The Spot Club.
- A complimentary newspaper & chilled bottled water.
- Covered, open-air and valet parking available (select locations).
- Fast and easy check-in & check-out.
- Fully-fenced lot.
- Airport parking reservations available.
- Car care services, including car washes and oil changes available in some markets.
The Parking Spot is offering a limited-time promotion, Nationwide (at select locations – only excluding Newark and Orlando) – 15% OFF PARKING at The Parking Spot through Labor Day.
What are your travel tips?