Today I flee the oppressive 100 degree heat and parched land of Texas for the cool, 70 degree with a chance of rain land of Canadians. Calgary to be exact.
It will be my first Mommy vacation. The first time I go more than twenty-four hours without seeing my children since they came into this world.
But mostly giddy.
In honor of my trip, here is a Top 10 List cobbled together from my own experiences, twitter, and facebook.
10. Running Out of Gas: While never a fun occurrence, having this happen while you’re loaded up with children makes it even worse.
Worst case: Add in the unfortunate locations of it happening while on the border crossing into Canada on your honeymoon.
Or in the dessert where the nearest gas station runs on a generator and charges twice the going rate. You’re wishing you’d never thought the words “road trip”.
9. Missing The Last Connecting Flight of the Day: For some, this is a mere bump. For others, particularly those traveling with children, it can evolve into Meltdown Central because of the hoops you have to jump through to reclaim your luggage, find a place to stay, and deal with the dashed expectations of children.
Worst case: Delay is weather related so the airlines don’t give you vouchers for your hotel, as they would with mechanical issues.
8. Making an Incorrect Connecting Flight: If you happen to fall asleep on a plane connecting with a destination different from your ticket but no one reserved the seats for the second leg, you will wake up as you land 150 miles from your intended destination.
I should be able to avoid this one, given my inability to sleep very well on planes…
7. Stuck on a Plane. On the Ground: Experienced too many times to count by most of us whether waiting for:
- De-icing fluid and praying they don’t run out
- A de-fueling pump
- A jump start (as you roast because without it not only will the plane not move, but the little vent thingies don’t work)
- Other mechanical issues
- Runway clearance
- The attendants who pretty much said, “I’m sorry we boarded the entire plane but at least three of you have to get off and take another flight because we weigh too much. So you’re going to sit and swelter with the sleeping baby on your lap while it’s 104 outside until some of you crack or miss your connecting flights and are screwed anyway. So what if you have to be at your sister’s wedding tomorrow?”
Yes, I have personal experience with each reason. Can you tell?
6. Airplane Poopapalooza: May this never. Ever. Happen. Again.
Luckily I should be safe without my children for this trip.
Pray for me in two weeks when I travel alone with them…
5. Luggage Disappears or Makes Side Trip: Guaranteed to happen if you packed your favorite shoes or anything of value into the suitcase.
One tweep and his wife took two separate flights from Kansas City to Orlando. He ended up in Philadelphia, his bag at LAX, his spouse in Chicago, and her bag in New York City.
“It was a perfect storm of crap.” – Tweep
Another friend took a direct flight to Boston. Her luggage went to New York.
You can’t make this stuff up.
4. Missing Proof of Age for Child Under Two Years: It doesn’t seem like much, does it? Have a birth certificate to prove your child is in fact under two years.
But what if you didn’t bring it, because your child is say… not yet eight months old and there is no way anyone could think they were remotely close to two?
They sent my dear friend into a panic as she contacted with her pediatrician to fax vaccination records so her son could board a plane.
I’ve been asked once. On a return trip. When my daughter was under a year. They let me fly.
I can be persuasive.
3. Montezuma’s Revenge: If you don’t know what it is, you can check it out at wikipedia.
Worst case: Your children have it too.
2. Your Vehicle is Robbed: There’s nothing like catastrophes where you must contact your insurance company (let’s hope you were insured).
I witnessed this second hand when Bobbi called me, sobbing from a Houston Red Lobster. Her family went in to eat. They came out to find their truck had been cleared out. Not the stereo, but mutiple laptops, cameras, phones…
Oh yeah, it was very profitable for the theif/thieves.
Then again, she got a new laptop. Eventually.
Worst case: They steal the items using your vehicle to transport them – stranding you.
Even worse: About that insurance…. Oops.
1. Your Suitcase Containing 98% of What You Need for Your Trip Never Was Placed Into Your Car: That’s right. It’s at home. Upstairs. Not at the airport for the flight leaving in an hour for you and your two young children.
Please send good vibes my way.
So none of this list happens.
A stay tuned for CG’s Tales From the House of Chaos and mine of Dancing with Canadians.
What did I miss? Please share your travel horror story (whether by boat, plane, train, plane, car, helicopter…) in the comments below.