Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Adventures in air travel (a top ten list)

Over the years, I’ve traveled a fair amount for both work and personal reasons. And since I also work in travel industry, I’m hyper-aware of all things airport security, on-time airline performance, and weather delays. I’ll tell you that the best travel involves neither work nor children and instead is just me and my hubby getting away to someplace warm, like Las Vegas or California – both trips we’ve been blessed to be able to take this year. But those ideal situations aside, here is my top ten list (or rather two top five lists) comparing the common flying scenarios I face in my paradoxical life.

Why business travel is better than traveling with a child:
  1. iPod tuned in, rest of the world tuned out (I avoid chatting it up with fellow passengers at all costs)
  2. "Alone" time with just me and a book and the occasional gossip magazine (even if crammed into a middle seat).
  3. Getting to expense my airport food, parking and bag fees
  4. No need to wait for TSA to verify that liquid in the sippy cup is actually milk
  5. No diaper changes…’nuff said

Why traveling with a child is better than business travel:
  1. The “traveling with small children” security line at the airport (where there is one). Bye bye long TSA line! (Just don’t set your baby on the luggage belt no matter how careful and in control you know you are…I thought I was going to get arrested when the TSA started yelling, “Baby on the belt! Baby on the belt!”)
  2. It means we’re going to see people we love, as opposed to business colleagues
  3. Sympathetic strangers willing to befriend you in a time of need (especially if they have ever traveled with children themselves)
  4. I always have snacks in carry on when I need them (even if they were initially intended for my child)
  5. Getting to hold my sleeping child while he naps on the plane
We got lucky on our last flight with a first class upgrade and plenty of leg room for a little one to hang out in on the floor (it seems very dirty now that I write this, but at the time it was a godsend and we had plenty of hand wipes handy).

I’ve actually been very fortunate in my previous baby flying adventures, but I’m sure there are some horror stories in my future. If nothing else, they will make for funny blog posts and another mothering badge earned.

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