Summertime is the perfect time for the kids and I to explore nearby Boston–hey, we need to do that Freedom Trail someday, right?–but, oy, do I hate driving around looking for parking. So, when a well-traveled friend told me that she’d found a simple-to-use app called SpotHero that helps her line up parking ahead of time, at big discounts, in almost any large US city she finds herself, I was intrigued.

Intrigued, and excited, because with SpotHero, I am ready to hit the road without worrying about where I’m going to leave my car even on the busiest days, or how much money it’s going to cost me. Instead, SpotHero lets me search for and prepay for parking before we even hit the road. And it’s available both online and as a free app for iOS and Android.

Just plug in your destination address in one of 14 cities that SpotHero currently covers and choose your window of time. A map with all nearby parking offers pops up with easy-to-read parking prices displayed. Chose the one you’d like to book, prepay, and your spot will be waiting for you when you arrive.

While I can see why frequent business travelers and commuters would love SpotHero, I think its we parents who are pulling into a busy city with kids, strollers, diaper bags, and our last bit of patience who can really benefit from this service. After all, most commuters don’t have to listen to a little voice whining to be released from their car seat as you drive around looking for an empty parking garage.

Download the free app, SpotHero, for iOS and Android and reserve parking in one of 14 cities, often at a big discount.

Thanks for the tip, Lisa!