Orlando International Airport (MCO) is pretty popular with traveling families and for a good reason. This is where you’ll likely end up flying into if you’re visiting Walt Disney World. With all of those families with their traveling children, the airport is one of the busiest in the country. How can you make sure you leave it in one piece? Here are seven tips for families traveling through Orlando International Airport, so your family’s traveling experience is as stress-free as possible.
1. Arrive Early
The security lines at MCO are notorious. Yes, solo travelers can get through security pretty quickly, but families…not so much. As parents nudge their usually fussy children through long lines, things can get aggravating and take even longer. For this reason, leave earlier than you normally would in order to catch your flight. This is true even if you do have TSA PreCheck. Your registered flyer status will do little to help you at MCO, the security lines are that extreme.
2. Consider Moving Up the Boarding Line
Unless you have an actual infant, you’re not going to be able to preboard (though a lot of rather rude parents may try to squeeze their way to the front of the line with their obviously toddler-and-above children). If the price is fair, consider upgrading your flight so that you can board earlier and avoid spending a long time in a boarding line with your children. If not, at least try to fly with an airline where you have frequent flyer status so that you can board a little earlier that way.
3. Bring Cash
If you’re driving to and from the airport and using MCO parking, as so many families do, make sure you have some cash on you. There are toll roads leading into and out of the airport area, and you’ll want to be prepared so that you don’t end up with a fine.
4. Eat Ahead of Time
Depending on your terminal, you may not have access to food options that are suitable for everyone (read: kids) once you’re past security. Try to grab lunch ahead of time, so that you don’t end up dealing with fussy, hungry kids, or kids who refuse to eat the options available out of pickiness.
5. Download the Airport App
Definitely download the MCO airport app before your trip. The app comes with handy maps (so you can easily find your way from your long-term Orlando airport parking lot to the airport itself), flight tracking, security line wait times and more. Having this little tool at your disposal can make a big difference!
6. Consider Springing for Better MCO Parking
Orlando airport parking consists of three parking garages, with one that’s a bit further away from the airport. In addition to the three garages, there are two economy parking lots and a valet parking service. If you have several children and all the associated baggage to get from your car to the airport, or vice versa, consider paying the extra cash, you’ll need to park closer to the airport. You might not want to now, but once the time comes, you’ll likely be glad you did.
7. Use Way.com to Book Your Parking
Using Way.com to book your Orlando airport parking can be a huge lifesaver, especially for parents. You can easily pick your MCO parking spot ahead of time, so there’s no searching around in one of the garages or lots when you get to the airport, and you can save some money by searching through available parking spots according to cost. Once you’ve found a parking spot that fits your needs, you can book directly through Way and then you’re all set for your family’s trip.