travel with kids.

19 November 2012
My husband's job, and our lifestyle, have required me to often travel on my own, over great distances, with our kids. I started a mental list the other day of adventures that have taken place during those flights and thought I'd share a tiny peek into international travel with kids. I've:
  • ... been seven months pregnant and traveling with a then six year old and four year old, lugging our bags from Bangkok to Hong Kong and then to Seattle (and back again!)
  • ... been internationally rerouted
  • ... arrived 'home' after 18+ hours of consecutive travel to an empty luggage conveyor belt and stood in line (wearing a baby in a sling and two kids begging to sleep) to fill out a claim form that had to be translated (while I waited of course) into a foreign language
  • ... been vomited on by one of my kids (who will remain identity-less for the sake of this post) 15 minutes into the flight from Tokyo to Seattle (super fun!)
  • ... arrived into LAX from Tokyo (still wearing the vomit!) in the middle of the night, with a mountain of luggage, only to realize that there was no shuttle running to take me and the kids to our hotel. 
  • ...  crammed myself and three kids into an airplane bathroom because we were wide awake and hyper while the rest of the plane was sleeping.
  • ... made a connection at the Amsterdam airport, after flying from Munich, in less than fifteen minutes. (For anyone who has spent any time at the Amsterdam airport, you know what an amazing feat that is. And, remember, I was sprinting with a stroller filled with a baby, our bags and dragging two tired kids along with me!)
  • ... slept on the floor of Istanbul's airport, family dog pile style.
  • ... allowed my newly walking son to 'make friends' with the other passengers by passing out lollipops I had stashed in my bag for just such an occasion. Special thanks to the guy in aisle 37, seat C, who generously played too many rounds of peek-a-boo in Russian to count.  
  • ... eaten sushi in Tokyo while sitting near an electronic waterfall at the Tokyo airport and listened to my son compare and contrast 'real' sushi (the order we were consuming in Japan) with the package purchased at Costco on our summer holiday.
  • ... carried a baby, our bags and a stroller down three flights of deserted stairs in Munich in order to hop on a bus that drove us to the plane parked on the tarmac-- with another flight of stairs to get everything up.
  • ... been amazed at the service provided on international airlines. Generally speaking, the staff is beyond friendly, understanding and accommodating towards parents travelling with children. Reverse culture shock sets in when I must travel on a domestic carrier. 
  • ... have quietly revelled in my fortune of having three children who are fantastic (underscore fantastic) adventurers.
Despite any mishaps that occurred, I have spent more hours than I can count laughing about, enjoying and planning out all of the above trips with the kids. And, yes, even with a flight spent covered in vomit, all of the work was worth it.

For in-air entertainment ideas with your kids, take a look at my "travel.kids." board on pinterest.

4 comments:

Chris said...

Super post! Been in Amsterdam airport; I am impressed!

Claire said...

ANYONE who can fly with a child impresses me. You've just entered goddess status in my head!

Livar Zindeco said...

just loved your post!

Anne said...

I love this Shelby! I too have travelled many miles with my children and I wish there were more resources for parents. You are a great resource and I hope to see more of these types of articles from you!

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