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Christmas Trip - Part 3 - Traveling with Children

Traveling is always an adventure. Traveling with children, even more so.

Thankfully, our children were amazing travelers. They slept in car and plane rides. They were generally happy. They did not cry like crazy on the plane. The travels were good.

But here are somethings we learned on this trip about traveling with children:

1) Have lots of snacks. I knew this and was pretty well prepared. It made all the difference, especially on the planes.

2) Gate check is awesome, but takes time and is unpredictable. We gate checked a stroller and car seat, which was very nice. But you would think when you are traveling with same airline, things would be pretty consistent from flight to flight. But no. One flight our gate checked items needed a pink tag. On another a green tag. Good grief!

3)Traveling as a family doesn't necessarily mean that people will always be willing to switch seats with you so you can sit together. Most of the time we were able to be next to each other. But on one flight, Wilbert and Joash had the middle and window seat and I was across the aisle in the middle seat with Mataya. When we boarded the plane, the passenger in the aisle seat next to Wilbert's seat was already there. I explained that we were a family and wondered if she would be willing to switch. When she heard that would mean she would have sit in a middle seat, she said, "No." So Mataya and I squished between two other ladies and Wilbert had to sit next to the other woman, who was snoring for most of the flight.

4) Airport bathrooms are really not very child friendly, especially for one who is still afraid of falling into the toilet.

5) Family security lines are the best thing ever!

6) Joash is afraid of airport security and elevators. Joash has always been a little leery of elevators and this trip just solidified that fear. Joash always wanted to be picked up when we went into an elevator, which was a bit challenging with all of the stuff we were carrying through the airport. And I tried really hard to prep him for security, but going through it at 5 in the morning on a empty stomach didn't help him at all. In Halifax on our way out, Joash and Wilbert when through the metal detector together and were randomly selected to go through the scanner. Of course, they are not going to make a 3 year old do the scanner, so Wilbert had to do it, which Joash did not like at all. He just wanted to be with Wilbert and he screamed and cried until Wilbert could pick in up again. I have never seen security people work so quickly to get us through the line. And he got really upset again when he saw the scanning machine in the security line at the Grand Rapids airport. Hopefully next time he flies it will go better.

7) For the most part, people really are kind when they see us traveling with kids. I hope that when I am older and traveling and I see a young family, I will be the older lady who plays peek-a-boo with the baby, picks up the dropped item, holds the baby so the mom can make the big step in the shuttle, or helps get a bag from the overhead bin. Praise the Lord for the kindness of strangers!

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