5 ways tots change your outlook on travel

There was a point in time when I looked at people, who boarded a flight with a toddler, with dread. If they sat down next to me, I prayed to all gods (whom I don’t believe in) to not let the baby cry. Flights were my “catch up on some sleep” havens, and a baby on board just did not bode well for that agenda.

Guess what! Now I’m the person that’s looked upon with dread when I board a flight. For better or for worse, Adi’s made a lot of trips since he was born. All of 5 months now he’s already been on 4 flights and sat through a weekend road trip. With the 5th flight coming up this Sunday, this post was a given!

Adi’s been a pretty decent traveler for a tot (touch wood!). He at least hasn’t cried in flight yet. And I thank my stars every time a successful trip is done.  But traveling with a tot in tow has opened my eyes to a whole new world out there. So I thought I’ll speak to some of the other mums and see how their travel experiences have been. Here are the gems:

  1. Misery loves company – It’s a relief to know you aren’t the only one with a baby. When someone else boards with a kid, you hope that if they kids cry, they cry together. Smugness knows no bounds when your baby sleeps peacefully while the dirty looks are directed at another seat – little joys in life.
  2. The seat is not enough – Whoever thought that one person can travel with an infant on the economy class seat was an idiot! One baby needs at least 3 seats! Imagine trying to contain the squirmy bundle in that little space!!! And what if it needs to be fed! Or walked around! And if you have the window seat! The horror!
  3. One word: POOP – The kids just know when it’s the most inappropriate time to poop. And they go out of their way to do it more often when they are traveling. A friend of mine had to deal with 5 potties in one travel day! And the nightmare of changing diapers in a flight washroom (shudder).
  4. Advise is free for all – “Give him a bottle”, “Try a pacifier”, “His ears must be hurting”, “Make him wear a cap” – advice on how to handle your kid on board is available from all quarters. I’ll exempt the air hostesses ‘coz it’s their job – but everyone else! Please, we are hassled enough!
  5. It’s all about the baby – Forget leisurely strolls through the airport shopping areas, forget your favorite seats, heck! forget your luggage! Traveling with a baby is all about them – you’ll be carrying diaper bags and baby paraphernalia and scurrying around washrooms and feeding rooms. If you manage to not lose something en route – consider it a win!

What are some of your travel stories with a baby in tow?

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