Sunday, January 16, 2011

Prepping for a trip way ahead of time when you're traveling with kids

Later this spring, my family is going for a two week holiday to, of all places, The Canary Islands. It's a big family trip with family from Sweden joining us there. Our flight is going to be a long one, as usual: about 20 hours total travel time spread over three flights: Vancouver to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Madrid, and finally Madrid to Gran Canaria. (I know, sounds like a tough life doesn't it!)

Our well-worn suitcases on a previous trip, with kid-applied stickers  to enable easy recognition at the luggage carousel.

Phoning the airline
This past week, I did what I usually do way ahead of our travel date: I phoned the airline, Lufthansa in this case. I made sure we were all seated together, which we were. It might seem slightly neurotic to call ahead this long before the trip, but I do it for my own peace of mind. A couple of times in the past, even after requesting through the travel agent booking our trip that we be seated together, we were still spread out all over the place. Better safe than sorry, and all that.

This time, the airline was on the ball however. We have the four seats together in the middle for the longest leg to Frankfurt, which is nice because it means access to the aisle from both ends, and easy aisle/bathroom/walk-around access is key when traveling with kids. We did not get a window seat, which is what my daughter usually likes, but hey, you can't have everything

I also asked about the kids' meals, and apparently Lufthansa automatically give children the kids' meals. Which totally makes sense, but does not happen on all airlines. Requesting the kids' meal means the children get their food faster, and that it hopefully has something in it that they will eat (no guarantee on that, which is why I always bring a good snack supply).

Checking VIPs, Very Important Papers
I also checked in my "important papers drawer" to make sure that everyone's passport is valid when we leave. Again, that might sound slightly neurotic to some, but it puts my mind at ease to check. I'm also eying a travel guide for the Canary Islands, and think I will spring for this one: Eyewitness Travel Guides Canary Islands.

And that is pretty much how I usually do my early prep for a trip a couple of months before travel. I know it's old-school to actually call the airline, and that most of the booking particulars can be managed online, but for someone with an overactive worry-wart gene, this helps prevent insomnia and panic attacks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...