Miss O adores travel. Which makes sense since she spent most of her first year on earth stuck in the HOV lane with Hubs and me. We carpooled to work so it was most convenient that Miss O’s daycare be closer to our offices. Most of our family lived out of state, too, so on holidays and special occasions we drove several hours to visit. We didn’t have plane money yet, so trust me, driving was the only option. For a while there, she spent more time in the car than out of it.
Miss O was 16 months old for her first flight. We went all in and flew to JFK then on to London for a family wedding. She took to it instantly. She got a bit fussy on the way home, but honestly, I think it was more a result of my anxiety about being the lady with the fussy baby more than anything.
Miss O and Hubs recently flew to Florida to meet me for a conference in Orlando and visit Universal Studios for a day. I think that solidified her love of air travel and now any time we mention were going somewhere she enthusiastically asks “In…an…AIRPLANE?!?” I sincerely hope the trip to Orlando for our upcoming Disney trip doesn’t disappoint her.
With eight people traveling, it’s a bit much to manage. We’re planning some things together and some on our own, but we really wanted to spend as much time together as possible. Finding flights wasn’t a problem but finding ones that would work for all of us was a little tricky. We fall just short of a group booking for most airlines, and I’m serving as the family travel planner for this trip, so there’s a lot of calling and texting involved.
First of all, Hubs, Miss O, and I live 45-minutes south of my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and Mister A, my nephew. My mother-in-law and father-in-law live another 15-minutes away from them. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law and father-in-law don’t drive on highways, so my infinitely patient brother-in-law drives them everywhere. That already adds a 30-minute round trip for him anytime they want to join us for anything. The airport would be no different, but it sure does factor in when picking a flight.
If we wanted to travel together it would also mean booking far enough our that we could still get seats on the plane together. Now, I don’t need to sit next to everyone, and I’m definitely gonna plug myself in to some sort of device for music and a book or, more likely with Miss O, a Disney Movie, but it would at least be nice to have a choice of where in the plane we sit. I knew as soon as we decided when we were going to Disney and reserved the hotel, we’d need to get our flights booked ASAP.
I’ll admit right now that I’m a plane snob. I travelled a lot in my previous career and when you start to recognize the flight staff and they recognize you back, you get to be picky about your flights and your seats. I always look on JetBlue first for domestic flights. I’ve never had a bad experience and I just enjoy their service. The plane is clean, the staff is friendly and although they’ve succumbed to charging for checked bags and “even more” services, I don’t think it’s unreasonable considering the current climate for airlines.
Since I’m 5’11”, I usually spring for the extra legroom on a flight longer than two hours, but from Boston, our flight would only be a little over two hours and didn’t seem worth the expense. Hubs was quick to remind me that it’s nicer to have more room with Miss O in tow, so we sprang for it this time. That extra room does make it easier when she gets antsy and needs to stand up without running through the aisles like a mad woman. Honestly, she’s way too shy for that, she can barely ask the flight attendant for some cookies on her own without fading into the seat.
Now, not only do my in-laws not drive on highways, my father-in-law HATES everything about air travel. I was as shocked as anyone when he said he’d go on this trip without driving. Of course, there’s always a catch, isn’t there? He wanted to get a known traveler number so he could get TSA Pre-Check and go through the “less harassment line” at the airport. Fair enough.
The more Hubs and I joked about him spending $85 for one trip, the more we looked into it. We stopped laughing really quick. That $85 gets you five years of less hassle in quite a few airports. Hubs and I are both travelling more for work and since we can finally afford those plane tickets, we might actually take more vacations. We’re already planning on visiting Disney again, so is it really worth considering?
You bet it is. I’m not gonna lie, the thought of a shorter security line was definitely worth the money. It cost under $100 and took less than 30 minutes in total for the privilege of keeping my shoes on, my laptop and iPad in my bag and less hassle in line at the airports. Consider what that’s like when you have a small child with you. HEAVENLY!!
So, yeah, we threw a little extra money at this trip that we weren’t planning on, but we can take the hit. It’ll be worth it if we can spare ourselves any aggravation before we even get to Orlando.
How do you make your travel easier?