Wednesday, March 16, 2011

5 ways long flights are improved by traveling with kids

My task-masters.
I'm currently fighting off a flu with the help of some strong antibiotics, while preparing for a family trip with the kids over spring break (details to come!), and trying to get a handle on what I need to pack. All this has made me think about how traveling on long-haul flights with kids is such a different experience than doing it without kids. Are the differences all positive? Sure they are! For example:

  1. Reduced risk of blood-clots - I used to be worried that sitting still in my seat on a long flight would be bad for my health. I no longer worry about that, because of all the wonderful exercises my children provide for me. For example the "how can I reach that crayon under my seat" stretch, or the "yes, sure, let's get up and go to the bathroom for the 15th time this hour!" walk.
  2. No more worrying about the food on board - I used to not be very impressed by the food-selection on board, but after helping the kids open their juice containers, wipe up tomato sauce, stop ripping the salt and pepper wrappers open, and helping them get the lids off their food containers without making a mess, I'm usually hungry enough to appreciate whatever was served. 
  3. Increased check-in enjoyment - I used to think that check-in was a pretty ho-hum affair until my children revealed to me that it's a completely fascinating part of travel, what with all the stickers, scales, conveyor belts, and big suitcases jostling for position.
  4. A new perspective on airplane washrooms - I used to think airplane bathrooms were cramped, claustrophobic spaces riddled with disease-causing germs. I still think they're riddled of disease-causing germs, but if I get to go into an airplane washroom by myself, without having to use the change table or assist a toddler, I actually think they're quite roomy.
  5. Saving money in airports - Spending time in airports between flights used to mean wasting money on coffees, snacks, books, newspapers, magazines and whatever else I could get my hands on to pass the time. Now I don't waste any money because I'm too busy finding washrooms, constricting the use of crayons to paper (rather than chairs and tables), and limiting the areas used by my kids for foot-races to somewhere I can still see them.

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