We’ve recently taken our first airplane trip as a family of four. Yep, I’m now mum to two boys – currently aged two and a half and also three months. Life as we know it has changed for good but it’s such a wonderful change. A bit challenging at times, but when is life not?
We also took our first trip as a family of four about six weeks ago. Something that actually tested our parental patience differently than expected for the flight out but I’m amazed and proud of how well we handled it.
We decided to join Daddy on a work trip to Switzerland for a few days, leaving on a Sunday and returning Wednesday evening. Three full days in the Swiss sun was going to be great.
Until the extreme thunderstorms in and around Europe delayed our evening flight indefinitely, ultimately cancelling our outbound flight. This was a moment I was pleased by having two adults travelling – I stayed with the boy’s while Daddy went in search of a ticket counter to change our tickets. We had the feeling our flight would be cancelled, so before it actually was (seeing it be delayed from 7pm to 8.30pm to 10.30pm first), he got us rebooked on the next day’s flight and we headed to the hotel in the airport.
Airports are a great place for overly tired and excited boys who love planes. Little Man loved watching them land and take off and kept pointing them out to everyone. Fortunately, no meltdowns either! Distraction is a brilliant thing.
The only issue with the airport was that is was so hot. Britain doesn’t do hot weather well and the airport showed for it – the air conditioning just couldn’t keep up. Fortunately, we were able to keep hydrated and found the massive cooling vents to stand in front while we were waiting for the agent to take us out of the terminal.
Into the hotel, which was thankfully very air conditioned, and a bit of rest before doing it all over again in the morning. Kudos to Daddy who decided not to get us on the 6am flight but on a more sensible 9.20am flight.
We had decided to keep our bags checked through because that way we’d have less to haul to the hotel and back, especially since our stroller was part of that checked bags. (We travel through the airport with just a sling because of ease and timing of waiting for strollers at the gate. Now that Little Man is walking more and more, we have a Trunki for him which he can ride on. What usually happens, though, is we sling him and carry the Trunki.)
Arrival into Switzerland was a breeze and we were waiting for our bags, of which the stroller never arrived. Crap. A now very tired two year old, a hungry two month old, one sling and a couple of suitcases and the prospect of being stroller free for three days. Not cool.
This is where my pride for us as parents comes in because we didn’t lose our cool. We decided to have lunch at a restaurant in the airport where you can watch the planes while one of us dealt with the airline to figure out what to do with the missing stroller.
We ultimately decided to hire a car instead of endure the trains to get to our destination because we knew Little Man would at least sleep on the car on our way. We also were on the hunt for a new stroller, which the airline said would reimburse us because of our hassles and unknown location of our existing stroller.
And lucky we were as we found a replacement we wanted and even better, it was 50% off due to it being a display model! Score!!
We finally made it to the hotel, only about 20 hours after we expected to, but the rest of the trip went brilliantly and it was a great few days away in gorgeous Swiss sun.
Stats for the travel:
Country visited: Switzerland
Age at travel: Little Man – 2 y 4 mo, Mr Hulk – 2 mo
Modes of transportation: airplane and car
Time away: three nights, four full days
Place of stay: hotel