Let’s be honest, who really wants to think about a day going through the airport with kids? The lengthy process of check-in, security, and getting to your gate while having your little ones in tow can be totally overwhelming. Today we are going to show you how you can turn your family airport experience from a bore into a score, and how to make this stressful day seem a little easier.
This step is key and will most likely set the pace for your entire trip. Giving yourself enough time, even if it is too much time, is much easier than running through the airport with kids and bags in hand. Many airlines recommend being at check-in 2 hours before your departure time, for domestic flights, and 3 hours before international flights. It is also important to remember that most domestic flights start boarding 30 minutes in advance, and international flights can begin the boarding process as early as an hour and a half before takeoff. Provide yourself the peace of mind, and be at your gate on time to minimize stress levels and keep your family excited about the adventures ahead!
Although off-site airport parking may take a bit more time, it is the most affordable option for families parking their vehicles over the course of a vacation. Many parking facilities even have discounts and coupons you can use to save money. Just Google “Airport Parking Discounts”, and a whole list of money saving opportunities will appear. It is also important to choose a parking facility that has fast and reliable shuttle services. Canopy Airport Parking® offers shuttles every 8 minutes, 24/7, and obviously the faster you get your family to the airport, the better.
At check-in, the biggest time saver is making sure you only carry the essentials onboard. Checking bags can be expensive, but with many airlines now charging for carry-on luggage, you might benefit from packing a few big bags rather than multiple small bags. On the bright side, this method will save you essential time when going through security!
Helpful Tip: Keep the things you need to take out of your bag, including liquids in a plastic bag and laptops, in the same bag from the beginning. It saves a whole lot of time instead of trying to go through each bag thinking about what you might have missed. You will also have to fold-up strollers and put carseats through the x-ray, so any preparing you can do is going to help in the long run.
Waiting At The Gate
Now this part, though it may seem easy, can sometimes be the hardest part for kids. After rushing around the airport, it can be difficult to switch gears into “Okay, now sit still.” Wouldn’t you rather have them use up as much energy as possible before your long flight?
We are here to help!
Below we have a list of fun things to do and where you can find them located in the Denver International Airport.
If you have a relatively short waiting time, you may not want to move too far from your gate. In this case, it might be a good idea to download some fun games or videos. And good news, DIA has been offering free Wifi since 2007! This might buy you enough time to catch your breath before your flight. DIA recently added outlets on some of the chairs by the gates, so keep an eye out and power up before your flight.
Now this is a favorite! DIA has an underground train connecting the concourses and terminals. It is a safe and fun pastime for kids if they can’t sit still. If you get lost, interactive touch screen maps can be found outside the train pick-up area, and a countdown will announce when the next train will arrive if you would rather wait and grab a seat. The train is also a convenient way to travel in-between the concourses so you never have to feel like you are settling for the food and entertainment options on your concourse.
Go For A Treat
If you have a bit more time to play with, take your kids out for a quick treat before the big flight. DIA has a variety of options including:
- Jamba Juice – B Gates near Mezzanine, C Gates near Gate C32, Jeppesen Terminal
- TCBY Frozen Yogurt- B Gates Center, C Gates Center
- Ben & Jerry’s – A Gates Center
- Dunkin’ Donuts – A Gates Center
- Kazoo and Company Toy Store – B Gates near Mezzanine
Plan A Scavenger Hunt
Now this is obviously for long layovers, or weather delays as it takes time, but planning a scavenger hunt and using the train to hop between concourses is a great way to keep your kids active and busy! Follow this link to discover a classic scavenger hunt. We are also in the process of creating our own “Canopy at DIA” themed scavenger hunt, so stay tuned! Hopefully some of these tips will help transform your stressful day at the airport into another chapter of the family adventure!
Your family always has a place at Canopy Airport Parking®, Reserve Your Spot Today