good flight, and good luck

As the August travel craze is approaching, a quick note on traveling the air with mini globetrotters in their first year.
Here’s what worked for us:

1) Sky Cribs

They live in the front wall of the back compartment and are a true life-saver: Baby Bassinets. Some airlines won’t let you reserve them in advance (really, BA?) but most of them do. And, they’re free. Tricky part: The seat next to you will be kept open until the very last second but if the flight is solidly booked, someone might sit next to you – and therefore, kind of under your baby. Still – planes are perfect sound machines, and the fancy little beds with pillows, sheets and blankets actually seem to be quite comfy…

Q&L, snoozing away over the Atlantic.

Random fact that came in handy for us: SAS has the highest weight allowance of all the airlines going to Europe.

2) Airplane Ears
Babies can’t adjust the air pressure by swallowing so they need a boob or bottle during take off and landing to keep their ears from hurting. It works beautifully.

3) Hands-free Babes
If you can, don’t burden yourself with a stroller or car seat in the airport. Especially if you have to switch planes, a baby carrier is the way to go. Easy transfer (and entertainment!) on the plane and, most importantly, two free hands for luggage, passport control and the like.

Smooth Travels, everyone!

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reversecultureshocked, anyone?

I have always been fascinated by the idea of the reverse culture shock – coming home for the first time after moving abroad is supposed to hit you much harder than initially leaving.

So here I was during our recent Berlin visit, all prepared, bracing myself to get freaked out. And yes, I did notice a bunch of otherness – lower conversational noise levels, all sorts of prohibition signs, über-hipsters en masse, reasonable quantities of anything food, (and how is the sky bigger over Chicago?) – but no potential shock material.

Still, the trip left me with a pinch of confusion. Traveling both directions, I had the feeling I was headed home. Which I wasn’t prepared for.