Traveling can be a fantastic adventure, but it can also be an exercise in patience, especially when certain quirky travel habits rear their mischievous heads.
Jumping on a plane with kids brings with it a whole set of challenges.
After a recent trip to France and America with my nine-month-old, I realized flying with a baby is next-level.
There’s the baby bag full of diapers, spare clothes, bottles, toys (so many toys), the stroller, plus your carry-on that has to neatly fit in the overhead bin and at your feet.
With all that aside, then you’re contending with the wild behavior of your fellow passengers.
Here are some of my least favorite things about flying and some useful hints to help you get through it.
1. The post-security repacker
You’ve emptied your bags, taken off your shoes and passed through the metal detector on your way to recollect your bag.
That was the goal before you see it just out of reach behind someone who has decided to repack their bag, right where the bags are coming out. Please. Move. Down!
Parental Tip: Politely ask them to shuffle down the line so you can grab your belongings and get right out of there.
2. The gate gathering enthusiasts
These individuals have an unwavering belief that forming a circle around the boarding gate is the key to getting on the plane faster. It’s always a treat having to shuffle in between them to get to the front of the line.
Parental Tip: Keep your ear out for the priority boarding and get ahead of the crowds.
3. The armrest wrestlers
You finally settle into your seat, and you’re hoping for a peaceful flight.
But then, the person in the neighboring seat decides to stake a claim on the armrest and, by the looks of things, isn’t going to be willing to share.
Parental Tip: Engage your fellow armrest wrestler in a friendly arm-wrestling match; the winner gets the armrest. Just kidding! Try a conversation about sharing or politely request a flight attendant’s assistance.
4. The in-flight distractors
You’re trying to settle your little one, perhaps even trying to get them to doze off before take off, but your neighbour has other ideas.
They wave, play peek-a-boo and coo from their seats, and while they mean well, it’s not exactly what you have in mind.
Parental Tip: Smile and indulge them for a moment before telling them you’d love to get them settled and perhaps suggest a movie they can watch.
5. The premature plane standers
The plane has just touched down, and the seatbelt sign switches off.
But before you can even think about unbuckling, the person in the row ahead is already up, bag in hand, impatiently edging towards the front of the plane.
Do they know that standing and sighing loudly won’t get the doors open any faster?
As a parent, you’ve got kids to wrangle and toys to collect as you check and recheck your row for anything (and everything) that’s fallen from your grasp. Their impatience drives me nuts!
Parental Tip: Let them rush ahead while you calmly gather your belongings. You’ll all meet at the same baggage carousel anyway.
6. The baggage claim blockers
Ah, the baggage claim—where etiquette (and common sense) seem non-existent.
Why do people feel the need to stand right in front, often before the belt has even started moving?
Demerit points are awarded to those who also bring a trolley and place it beside them to make any chance you have to get your bag before it shoots past that little bit harder.
Parental Tip: find a quiet spot away from the crowd and keep your eyes peeled for your bag from afar before heading over to scoop it.
Remember, as parents, we’ve already mastered the art of patience and adaptability, so these quirky travel habits are just minor hurdles on our grand family adventures.
Embrace the chaos, share a chuckle with your fellow travelers, and keep your eyes on the prize: making lasting memories with your loved ones.