Do you remember travelling sans kids?
Your experiences may have included wine in a café in Paris, a trek through Annapurna in the Himalayas or backpacking through Europe. Yes, you were footloose and fancy free as you explored your world with nary a worry. Your biggest problem may have included the decision about what wine to drink at said café, or how big a backpack you should take to Nepal and Tibet.
As fabulous as these jaunts were, they are, alas, just distant memories, ones that you try to recall as you throw in another load of laundry. Children have appeared in your life and, as much as you love them, they have changed the way things are done, travelling included.
Paris has given way to Pull-Ups and Annapurna has been replaced by Anbesol. Baby Anbesol. For teething.
The reality of your life now revolves around caring for your kids and coping with the challenges of vacationing with the little ones in tow. To this end, here is a guide for parents that offers clarification about what some of the most commonly used travel terms really mean.
Top 10 Travel Terms For Parents
1) Boarding Pass -- What other passengers on the plane give you once they see you and your three small children in tow (this term is otherwise known as "wide berth").
2) Carry-on -- When you have to lift a screaming child onto an aircraft due to said child's inability to move in the midst of a searing meltdown.
3) Standby -- The stature taken by a parent of a small child who is bracing for takeoff... in more ways than one. Ear plugs are optional.
4) Non-Transferable -- What your kids become when no grandparent, relative or friend will take them for a week so that you and your partner can get an "adult" vacation.
5) Red-Eye -- The colour of your eyes, your partner's eyes and your children's eyes after enduring the screaming, crying and various meltdowns associated with travelling in coach as a family.
6) Single Supplement -- When a single parent -- often dad -- is supplemented for a child in the middle of the night. Child sleeps in the queen sized bed with mom, dad is moved to the guest bed or couch. **NOTE** "Single Supplement" status continues long past your vacation, well into mid-childhood. Dad is often still sleeping on the couch up until the youngest child heads off to university.
7) All Inclusive -- A family of five staying in a single hotel room. Includes meltdowns, frazzled nerves and exorbitant room service costs for a couple of under-cooked burgers, a grilled cheese sandwich and some soggy fries.
8) Layover -- What a parent does to keep their unruly child from taking over the plane's aisles. This usually entails having the parent literally lay over the offending child.
9) Visa -- A must-have for travelling with kids. This item is used to purchase toys, candy and other bribes to keep your children quiet during a long flight or car ride.
10) Blackout Dates -- A strange phenomenon, blackout dates represent a time frame that is inexplicably forgotten in those that are afflicted. Scientists and medical professionals are still searching for the cause of this occurrence, however they have noted that "blackout dates" seem to strangely affect only the parents of small children who have recently returned from a family vacation.