The joys of traveling with family…

My parents and I are flying to New York today on American for an event we have to attend over the weekend. I’m so used to traveling alone that I forgot how exhausting entertaining it can be to travel with family. As a bit of background, my parents are both German (with thick accents, despite having lived in the US for 30+ years). My dad used to fly for work all the time back in the day when it was actually still fun, and my mom’s primary form of travel is first class award tickets nonstop between Orlando and Frankfurt on Lufthansa.

So it’s rather rare that we travel together, and often quite entertaining. I take pride in my airport etiquette (though admittedly I totally screw up sometimes), so on the ride to the airport I gave them a few “tips.”

Despite my best efforts, it has been an utmost entertaining morning. I had told my parents all about the full body scanners, and had said that if they get selected for them they could opt out if they wanted. I told them to just say “I’ll take the massage, please.”

On the plus side, they listened. On the down side, obviously I wasn’t clear enough. As it turns out we got a lane which only had a metal detector — no full body scanner. I don’t think my dad entirely understood the distinction, because as the TSA agent directs him to walk through the metal detector, he exclaims “I’ll take the massage,” with a big grin on his face. I’m proud of you, dad… kind of!

Then we get on the plane and are taxiing to the runway when my mom says something I hear all the time, oddly enough. As the captain makes the “flight attendants, prepare for takeoff” announcement, my mom asks “what happens to the dogs if we crash? No one knows where they are.” My response was “oddly you didn’t bring that up when you were at work yesterday, which is much more dangerous.”

Like I said, the joys of traveling with family!

Anyone else?

Comments

  1. Bwhahaha, this entire post cracked me up… especially the visual of Dad asking the TSA for a massage.

    …and sweet of mom to think of the dogs. 🙂 Her heart is in the right place.

  2. Very funny! I can relate, especially today. I’m downtown Chicago with my wife and kids. Staying in a hotel with them and downtown in a busy city is much different than the usual layover.

  3. I try not to travel with my family. I love them all but there are always different interests

    As my dad was the family “chief” when we were kids he always wants to do something to amuse himself (and who doesn’t?). Therefore it’s difficult to organize the same activities keeeping everyone happy at the same time.

    Nevertheless I will try to do it again in december. As you put it, entertaining at least…

  4. I fondly recall the one trip I had back to Europe with my parents, many years ago. My dad passed away shortly afterwards and my mom can’t travel anymore.

    I’m happy for you that you are able to still travel with them. They sound like a fun pair, to boot!

  5. I never travel with my parents anymore. Part of the reason I travel is to get away from them!:)

  6. I also enjoy the little amusements that come along with traveling with my parents. My father rarely flies, but when he does, pays no mind to airport etiquette. For example, he set off the metal detector for about 10 different reasons. Also, he had a pocket knife in his glasses case, which he had forgotten about. In addition, my dad is a big man…almost 6’7″ and although he’s not really overweight, he sort of looks like he is wearing a life jacket under his clothing. They kept patting him down, thinking that there had to be something under there. It was pretty funny.

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