And then some kid is going to puke on you or jar you back to the reality that you have to get your crazy brood and your (insert number of bags here) bags from your hometown to your new town somewhere else in the world. Take a deep breath. You got this. You already did all that I just listed, you can totally make it through the traveling part.
Before we get too far into all of this, start praying now for your move days. Seriously, pray for the check in people, the security people, the porters, the flight attendants and pilots. We've seen God have scales zeroed out at -1 lb and people not charge us for bags and make special provision for us getting on and off the planes. One time we even got free domestic tickets!
And yes, this moving thing is a lot. So much so, we asked my sister and her husband to help us move. They are late twenties, no kids yet, but stable, able bodied adults who can help. It also means that the adults will outnumber the children, which is always a good thing! Tip #1 If you have someone in your life that could help with the move, ASK them!! Seriously!
The logistics for this part of the journey can be a bit intense. How are you getting to the airport? How are you getting all your stuff to the airport? What are you doing with those car seats? Bringing a stroller? A sling or a wrap for baby? Who is carrying the passports? How in the world are the two of you going to corral those kids and all those bags?
I am going to say it again, this is just what we do. If you figure something better out, please tell me!! But at least you have a place to start.
About 5 years ago we moved across the state and some friends of our had us stay at their house the night before we left. At first I didn't think too much of it, but wow, what a difference that made! It meant I didn't have to wash towels and sheets and what not the day of. All that was finished the day before we left. And we did it again before we moved for language school and we are doing it again this weekend. We are blessed enough to have my parents just 20 minutes from the airport. So there is Tip #2 Stay somewhere else the day or two before you leave the country.
So airport. We have asked both sets of parents to help with this. One minivan will take the luggage and the other most of the people. And there will be plenty of bodies to haul those 50 pound bags all over the place. This also means it will be a good time to say that last goodbye.
Once in the airport, especially if you don't have extra help, Pay for a porter!! (that's Tip #3, by the way). The going tip (not to be confused with the other Tips in this post) rate is $1 a bag, maybe $2 if they are really heavy or if he or she helps out in other ways. Budget this into your travel expenses, it is totally worth it!
And kids. So I am sure you have all thought of new small activities and toys for the flights. We have a backpack for each of our kids, and they get to carry it on and off the plane. They also get to pick some of what goes in their backpack, but I add stuff too as a surprise. Keeping them corralled in the airport can be interesting, but we have found a stroller is a big help (remember, our kids are little still). It gives them a safe place to sit, they still want to fall asleep sometimes, so it's a help then too. The stroller also helps you section off a part of the terminal for your family...sit on the floor, it will give you more space. Also, if you can, carry a small, light blanket, to spread out on the floor picnic style, that's great too.
My philosophy with life has always been be prepared so you can be flexiable. That's a good thought for flying internationally as well. Be as prepared as you can, but know that at some point along the way you will probably need to rework the plan.
So, what is your best travel advice?
Want more? Check out these other posts!
Want more MAW? Check these out
Moving Across the World: The Beginning
Moving Across the World: Toys
Moving Across the World: Buying and Acquiring
Moving Across the World: Packing
Moving Across the World: Helpful This and Thats