So we got on a plane. It wasn’t smooth sailing. Our travel agent had forgotten to tell us about some pesky extra paperwork needed for US immigration. Fortunately we arrived at the airport early. The girls behaved impeccably, imitating pussycats on the departure floor while we rushed through pages of forms like a red carpet celebrity signing autographs.

Kids know when they’ve got it good and Mum and Dad are in a panic. There’s the right time for giving them our attention and if we’re all going to roll into a resilient travelling groove next year, we need to anticipate that curve-balls happen. Sometimes trains are missed. Once I even missed a flight out of New York, just two months after 911.

So the surprise explosives screen that they sprung on me at customs (I must’ve had a sweaty brow and nervous disposition after the “paperwork” incident), the enormous queues at the gate with tired limpets in our arms, and mastering the logistics of two desperately hungry children pleading with the stewards for food like panting dogs, were easy, easy, easy.

So What Did We Learn?

  • Have all details on hand and print them off if necessary. Call me old fashioned but when you’re panicking Murphy’s Law says the app will be offline.
  • Arrive early. Three hours for the big flights. It makes more time for duty free and to ease into that pre-flight drink.
  • Have a sense of humour in every case. I reckon travelling the world is an enormous privilege and seeing it go smoothly is not something you can expect as your right. Roll with the punches and take on the adventure as it comes.

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