Well slap me silly and call me Mama. Traveling with Wilow ain’t no drama!
Checking In – When we arrived at the airport, we received the news that the first leg of our trip to Holland was delayed by 2 hours, which meant that we would miss our connecting flight. Stay calm, mama. Luckily I still have my airline elite status, so I went right up to United’s premier line. Toot toot! Even more lucky was the fact that the ticket agent was in a good mood, despite the discomfort and all-around annoyance growing in the line of passengers who were clearly also missing connections. After an hour of her typing into her computer and making calls, she was able to get us on another set of flights to Amsterdam, still with only 1 layover and even with bulkhead seats. Wahoo! Lesson Learned: Do arrive 2 hours early when traveling abroad with a baby regardless of your travel skills and remember to stay calm. You never know what will happen and need to have extra time built in. Also, people love to help a happy lady with a happy baby.
Airport Security – With Willow in the hip pack, passports in the neck pack, the gear slammed into my new hiking/roughing it backpack, a stroller and a carseat, we headed to the TSA Pre Check. (Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this spectacle.) I am 100% positive that all other people in the line thought I was in the wrong line. Pre Check is for expert travelers and generally used by business men and women. What they didn’t know was that this lady loaded up like a pack mule (nee-haw) with baby gear head to toe used to be a business traveler, too. And while I am sure I added about 3 minutes to the line’s throughput average, we whizzed right on through. I had packed a cooler full of breastmilk, so that was taken out first and handed to the security agen. Then in Pre Check fashion, everything else went through without having to be placed in a separate bin. Baby stayed in the front pack. Shoes stayed on. Sigh. The stroller didn’t fit through the scanner, so instead it went through the wheelchair door and my hands were swiped and tested for bomb remnants. No biggie! Lesson Learned: Pay attention to baby’s head in the hip pack at all times. She got a good bonk as I lifted and loaded all of the crap onto the conveyor belt, which led to the first (and ultimately last) cry of the trip. Boy oh boy, this mama felt soooo bad!!
Take-off and Landing – They say that you must have a bottle ready for take off and landing. But if your tot likes a paci as much as mine does, that is all you will need. She didn’t even seem to notice the plane ascending and later descending. I offered her a bottle, but like she does when she’s not hungry, she would just take some sips and then open her mouth to let it out to instead drench her outfit. Bottle returned to the cooler and paci went back in. Goo goo gaa gaa. The first flight was fast, 30 minutes or so. She played with my water bottle the whole time and I read a magazine. Lesson Learned: Listen to baby, she knows what she needs to be comfortable. Also, be sure to have multiple outfits packed. I really liked being able to keep Willow fresh and tidy over the course of the trip.
Gear List: Stroller, backpack, carseat, magazine, bottles, breastmilk, pacifiers, footie, hip pack, passport holder, water for the mama and water bottle for the baby.
Next Up: Airport Layover, International Flight, Taxi to House Boat