Monday, January 30, 2012

Traveling with kids: my to-do list before our next trip

I love lists and I always have a few going at the same time. Here are a few of the top items on me "get-to-it-before-the-next-trip" to-do list.


1. Make some nice luggage tags
I made a couple of good ones last year, but I need more to outfit all my luggage. All I need is a nice, rugged luggage tag (my choice last year were tags with a Canadian flag motif), and then I print out my name and contact information on a piece of paper that I can stick into them. Just to avoid anyone having a hard time reading my hand-writing, if worst comes to worst! I've begun including my email address in the contact information. Not sure if an airline would use it, but hey, it's worth a shot.


2. Find some good stickers for our suitcase(s)
Letting the kids decorate our suitcases with whacky, shiny, shimmery stickers has been a great way to make them easier to recognize on the luggage carousel, but they do tend to fall off after a while. Maybe a sheet of Spongebob stickers will do the trick this year?



3. Get a new suitcase
As I've mentioned before on this blog, my faithful 25 year old Samsonite red oyster-shell finally bit the dust last year. A wheel came off, something's bent, and well... I'm thinking it's time to get a new one. I've been making do with soft-sided luggage, and I don't mind doing that, but I need another hard-sided suitcase.


4. Apply for child's passport
Yup, seems my son's passport is due for renewal which means we'll have to go through the process of having his picture taken (usually the hardest step since he's not allowed to smile or make any kind of facial expression in the photo), filling in all the forms, and then waiting in line at the passport office to turn everything in. This isn't really that tough a process, but paperwork like passports and tax-returns somehow turns on my inner procrastinator...


5. Get a new, smarter phone?
I have a cell-phone. It's old-school. It has no keyboard, no touch-screen, no bells, no whistles. It does work great for phone calls, and I can even text with it (though it requires a lot of button-pushing). Lately, with all the Androids and iPhones and other smart phones in my vicinity, I have begun to consider whether it's time for an upgrade. Then, on our latest trip to Sweden, I saw people using their phones as a boarding pass somehow (I'm obviously to clueless to really understand how you'd do that). This struck me as so handy and clever that I want to be able to do that too. Also: no paper boarding pass! I am worried about costs for browsing the Internet (especially when I'm abroad), and also I would be so much more worried about the phone getting lost or stolen... We'll see what I end up with: same old or some new hotness.


6. Get a new kids' backpack
My son loves his wheeled backpack. He uses it for school and for each and every flight we go on. By now though, it's getting up there in age (almost 4 years of heavy use), and it is starting to fray a bit here and there. It's been a very tough traveler though, so maybe I'll head back to The Children's Place and see if I can find one there. Otherwise I'll be hitting the Internet for a replacement.

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