Airlines Making it Harder for Families to Fly

Why do some people insist on making life harder for others? Lack of humility, selfishness, greed, egotism, arrogance? All of the above? Is it really asking too much for the folks that run commercial airlines to allow families to sit together on a flight without charging them extra for the “privilege?” The insanity behind the steep fees has even prompted lawmakers to get involved. Last week, New York Senator Charles Schumer went public urging airlines to give flying families a break by eliminating fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars over original ticket prices. “Children need access to … Continue reading

Traveling Families Get the Shaft Again

My 7-year-old was 5 years old for about 18 months… but just when we had to fly from Chicago to Hawaii and back. Hey, my kid’s a peanut, but I know, bad is bad. Like you haven’t ever tried to milk the airlines’ rule that allowed you to board first with children under the age of 5. In some cases it’s a necessity to fudge your kid’s age, especially when you are flying with a brood of rugrats that range from six months to six years. What are you supposed to do then? Leave the six-year-old in the boarding area … Continue reading

Traditional Spring Break

Sun, surf and half-naked college coeds are quintessential elements of spring break. However, if you are traveling solo or have a gaggle of little ones to entertain, you might not want to share sand with a bunch of drunken college kids. If you are looking for spring break destinations that don’t attract the “Girls Gone Wild” crowd, consider the following: Bermuda: The picturesque island is located roughly 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Known for its luxurious pink sand beaches, the popular vacation destination offers families a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Its … Continue reading

Playing it Safe During Spring Break

This morning the Today show ran a piece on college co-eds prepping to go crazy on Spring Break in Cancun, Mexico. The report focused on an American student who was brutally attacked while he lounged poolside at his Mexican hotel. Basically, it raised the issue of spring break, foreign travel and safety. Personally, Mexico is not exactly at the top of my family’s spring break destination list. You know, drug cartels and all. Of course, if you are not careful you can get hurt visiting your local children’s museum, though I doubt the injuries would be caused by masked men … Continue reading

Holiday Travel Lessons

I’ve flown nearly 250,000 miles in my 30 plus years on Earth, many with an infant, toddler, preschooler or elementary-aged child in tow. In that time I’ve had far more challenging moments than pleasurable ones, but I am still alive, so I suppose I should be grateful for that. Most of the commercial flights I’ve taken have occurred during the holidays when the last place on the planet you want to be is an airport. Still, the experiences have provided me with some important lessons, such as: Seating: If you or your child is prone to motion sickness, reserve a … Continue reading

How Not to Travel with Kids This Christmas

I’ve had my share of travel nightmares flying back and forth from Chicago to Hawaii with my daughter. While our mishaps make for funny blogs, I would prefer experiencing incident-free trips. Then again, even the shortest vacations with children can lead to high drama, which is why most parents spend countless hours researching and planning the best ways to avoid meltdowns while on the road or in the air. Believe me; you can not over-prepare when it comes traveling with kids. It’s a lesson parents from North Carolina learned the hard way this week. When Jason and Kathy Fickes of … Continue reading

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The end of daylight savings. Best. Day. Ever! As a parent of a 7-year-old, falling back an hour to standard time is the most wonderful time of the year. Forget about Mother’s Day, Christmas, birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving, when else is the gift of time presented to you on a silver platter? A glorious extra hour to sleep, play, read, wash dishes, fold laundry, sew, attempt to procreate, or do nothing at all, is something you can’t put a price tag on. Think about it; all the complaining we parents do about time flying, how there is never … Continue reading

Relief for Parents Traveling with Kids

There is finally some good news for parents flying commercial airlines with young children. If you are planning to take to the skies during the upcoming holiday season, you will find things a wee bit easier as you make your way through airport security. Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that kids 12 and younger will no longer be forced to remove their shoes at TSA checkpoints. In addition, Napolitano said that children will not have to suffer through pat downs as often, and those, who get selected for the extra screening, will do so at the hands … Continue reading

Parental Guilt at 35,000 Feet

What’s the worst part of taking a commercial flight with young children? According to 1,000 British parents, it’s the looks you get when you walk down the plane’s aisle during the boarding process. A recent survey by Gatwick Airport in London reveals that parents traveling with youngsters experience more stress about how fellow passengers will react to their kids than whether their children make it through the flight without getting sick. One in five of the parents polled say they prefer not to venture out their front door if it means getting dirty looks from others in reaction to their … Continue reading

Finding the Right Seat

I have always preferred window seats on airplanes. While I agree that aisle seats work better if you have a small bladder, like to stroll around or need access to the overhead bin throughout the flight, I’m not a big fan of beverage carts, flight attendants and others smacking into me as they make their way down the plane’s narrow aisles. And then, there’s the dreaded middle seat. Or, purgatory, as I like to refer to it. Does anyone ever request a middle seat? Not likely. According to travel experts, exit rows, aisle or window seats, and seats located near … Continue reading