Friday, February 14, 2014

Traveling with kids: short flights and Quito

My girls travel well.

Kesh is an old hand at flying, having taken her first series of flights at 3 months old and traveling to and from the US 2 times per year since then (each trip consists of 4 to 6 flights roundtrip).

Kalah, although she is only 9 months old, already has 9 flights under her belt.

Short flights are the easiest. Especially here in Ecuador. Here, things aren't so formal. Security isn't so intense. And when you're a woman flying alone with 2 kids, people go out of their way to make things easier for you.

When we flew to meet Tesa I committed the ultimate novice traveler error. I mean, the error I committed on my first time ever leaving the US using my passport. I FORGOT OUR IDs AT THE HOUSE!!! How do you even do that?! In fact, I had forgotten my entire wallet at the house! I had no money, no credit cards, no ID cards, so it was EVEN WORSE!

Luckily my husband is a speedy driver, we don't live far from the airport, and the Cuenca airport has only one big room with 3 doors and few passengers. Arturo rushed home to get my wallet and I made it with 1 minute to spare through security and was escorted on to the plan (*phew!*). People were carrying my bags for me telling me to not hurry and it wasn't a big deal that we had plenty of time (HA!). On top of basically being my personal assistants they upgraded me to first class for free! Here mam, no only are you late, overloaded with bags, and have two kids, but we're going to throw in first class seats for you as well!

It is only a 40 minute flight from Cuenca to Quito, but I can see who came out winning in this scenario, and it was not the businessmen sitting around me.

The 40 minute flight from Cuenca to Quito is a piece of cake. Even if your kid pees or throws-up on you, you've pretty much got it in the bag. Anyone can survive 40 minutes of pee or throw-up. Having said that, this flight is typically uneventful for us. We take off, look out the window, they bring the drink cart, we start landing, then we're there. You basically have time to chug your drink before they come around with the garbage sack and the plane starts descending.

On my way to Quito I always pack more than necessary in my carry-on just in case they lose my bag. I shove in at least one full day of day of diapers, a couple of changes of clothes for each of the girls (including a pair of pjs), a full change of clothes for myself (something that could double a pjs is preferable), a few toys, some snacks, bottles of water, and my personal items, such as my wallet (*ahem* yes, my wallet), my phone, and my iPad. Here is my original post on packing for this trip.

Arriving in Quito is easy enough. If I can't seem to get myself organized I am always okay waiting to be the last one off the plane. However, since I was in first class, and had a lot more room, I was able to get the girls organized quickly and be one of the first ones off of the plane.

The new Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito is beautiful and very easy to use.

We waited for our checked bag to be delivered to us then headed out to connect with our hotel transfer.

Our transfer was a bit late, so we sat down at a little cafe right outside of the "arribos nacionales" exit and had coffee and chocolate milk (mama needed some coffee desperately after our early morning flight).

After awesomely spilling my coffee on my clothes, we were off to the hotel for a morning of rest and relaxation before Antesa arrived in the evening from the Galapagos.

The posada we stayed at had a pool and plenty of outdoor space. So we hung out on the grass, dripped our toes in the pool (literally, as the pool was quite cold), and just relaxed. It was a perfect day.

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