We get a practice run next week. We’re taking the family away for two weeks and flying a respectable distance of 8 hours, hoping to get our urban-precious daughters back into the swing of travel. We’re packing our bags and I’m calculating just how many more months I can squeeze out of last summer’s clothing. I’m thinking about currency, travel apps for all our tickets, and we’re packing. We have to consider the silly little things like will we need to take towels – surely stealing from hotels wouldn’t be kosher, and whether will Pete be able to repair the hole in his windsurfing booties (in kiwi, do it yourself tradition) to navigate the Hawaiian surf reefs next week.
We need to cover all scenarios to make it the best possible trip, first aid kits and wind-surfing helmets included, but we also need to remember how to travel and to live a bit more simply. We won’t squeeze our lives into four 20kg bags next year.
We’ll be self-catering for a chunk of the time, so I’m looking forward to exploring the American supermarkets. It will be the first time since we had the children that I won’t be travelling with a stash of pre-prepared meals, baby food and emergency snacks. We’re travelling too far to accommodate all that this time. As is the kiwi way, I’ll have to be on the lookout for GM foods and the supersized versions of everything. But at the same time I hear Hawaii is the land of the beautiful people, a place where the reality stars of California come to play with their spray tans and barely there bikinis. Surely this will be the place to find a daily experience of low carb, organic from the seed, superfoods. We may come back resembling those Californians – without the spray tans or barely-there bikinis of course.
I’m looking forward to getting the kids through airports successfully. 911 changed the world for everyone but especially for travellers. Nothing brings me a greater sense of relief to see those checked in bags sail off on the carousel, before my usual last ditch panic sets in as I wonder if we’re accidentally carrying lethal weapons in our hand luggage.
Bring on the holiday!