OK. I know a few things about search engine optimization, but this isn’t that kind of site. Whether these posts rank for anything in search engines is really beside the point. Except this post.
I did all kinds of searches to try and figure out where an RV might park at the Baltimore airport Amtrak station and got no answers. And then I went there, and continued to get no answers. Then I figured it out myself.
So if you’re looking for information on where to park your RV at BWI, read on for my story. Learn from my very frustrating experience. Feel the joy I felt when I finally discovered the answer.
If you’re just reading this blog because you’re incredulous that I’m still randomly wandering the country, well, you can read on too.
I was staying at a KOA in Maryland while doing some work in Washington DC (more on all of that in a later post) and I needed to head up to Manhattan for a few days. There are certainly no campgrounds or RV parks anywhere near Manhattan and I had no desire to drive the Roadtrek through New York City, even if I could get valet parking at the hotel. I decided to take the Amtrak Acela from Baltimore (BWI is super close to the KOA) and leave the RV parked there while I was gone.
I used to work at Google. In search. I have given training classes on advanced searching techniques. And yet even after pulling out all the tricks, I found nothing on where I might park a 9 foot tall vehicle at the Baltimore airport Amtrak station. I figured there must be some place to park, so I decided to just get there really early. Worst case, I should be able to park in an open airport lot, right?
First, I noticed that while the airport is close-ish, it’s not super close to the Amtrak station. You probably wouldn’t want to park there and walk. It’s probably 2 miles away, and the non-garage lots are even further.
I pulled up to the station to discover two garages: one with an 8′ 2″ height, the other with a 6′ 8″ height. I never in my life paid attention to garage heights before I got the Roadtrek, but 6′ 8″ seems short, right? I pulled into a 15 minute parking space out front and went into the information desk.
“Where do oversize vehicles park?” I inquired. Sweetly. The guy looked at me. “No idea.” And went back to his paperwork. Really? That’s it?
I wandered around in the garage until I found an attendant. Surely he could direct me. “No idea.” Really? Again? No one has ever needed to park here with a tall vehicle of any kind? He thought about it. I could try the rental car lot? But he really didn’t know if they’d let me park there. The only place he thought might work was long term airport parking. It was not close by. Once I parked, I could catch a shuttle to the airport. And from there find a shuttle back to the train station. (With my luggage.)
That seemed really convoluted. Maybe I could get an Uber from the long term lot to the station? I set off looking for this promised long term lot. I couldn’t find it. I went around the airport loop and saw lots of garages and even one sign for long term parking, but it possibly was a mythical dream.
But then. I saw the Park ‘N Fly lot. The Park ‘N Fly lot is wonderfully non-garage like. Your vehicle can be as tall as you want it to be. And they have a shuttle that will take you right to the train station. I didn’t know about that last part. I got on the shuttle that was already going to the airport. He said he’d drop me after but then was worried I was running late. He barreled around corners and gunned it on the straightaways. I made it with plenty of time to spare.
Next time, he said, just tell the parking attendant you’re going to Amtrak, and they’ll have a shuttle take you right there. He handed me a card. Just call us when you get back and we’ll come right over and pick you up. And that’s exactly what happened.
(Dear Park ‘N Fly web site manager: you should really add the whole Amtrak thing to your web site.)
So there you have it. Go right to the BWI Park ‘N Fly, tell them you’re taking Amtrak, and enjoy a seamless experience. For only $7 a day. Just don’t ask for information at the information desk.