We took our first international trip with C this past week and it was quite the adventure! This trip wasn't planned, but came about due to a family emergency. We found out on Wednesday that we needed to head to Canada and were on a flight by Friday. This meant that the days in between were quite hectic as we prepped ourselves for the long trip. We had to get plane tickets, travel insurance, a passport for C, our reentry visas for Thailand, prep for work, and of course pack our luggage. It was remarkable how everything got done so quickly and smoothly.
My mom and dad getting some final moments with C before we headed out.
We were quite nervous about traveling with C as the trip from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia takes about 30 hours. Little did we know that this 30 hour trip would actually end up lasting about 80 HOURS! We were nervous about how C would be as a flyer, what to pack for C in the carry ons, and how we were going to survive so many hours with potentially little to no sleep. Thankfully I can report that C was a fabulous flyer, we way overpacked the carry ons with things for C, and we both managed to get some sleep!
Family photo on one of the many flights we took!
We flew with Korean Airlines and left Chiang Mai at midnight, which worked out beautifully as C sleeps well during the night. Our first flight was for 5 hours and C slept for most of it, which meant that Matt and I were also able to get some sleep. Then we had a layover in Korea for a few hours which gave us a chance to stretch our legs while C continued to mostly sleep. After the layover, we got on our second flight which lasted about 13 hours to Toronto. This was a long flight, but C was a trooper. He slept through most of it and when he didn't, he stayed pretty quiet and was happy to just be held. Matt and I both managed to get a few hours of sleep in thankfully.
Such a trooper!
We finally arrived in Toronto at around 8am on Saturday in the midst of a severe snow storm that was affecting flights all over. This meant that there were tons of people in the airport and lines were long everywhere due to the many cancelled flights. When we arrived, we had to wait 6 hours for our next flight with Air Canada. We were really hopeful that our flight would get through as we were desperate to get to our destination. First, our flight out of Toronto became delayed due to the snow storm happening in Nova Scotia and after some time, the airline finally cancelled our flight along with many others. This was heartbreaking as we were quite tired by this point and just wanted to be home. We didn't know what to do, so I asked someone for another option (besides from waiting in the super long lines) with tears in my eyes and they pointed us to a small customer service room. We went in and even though they weren't there to help the general public, the lady decided to help us anyways. We had tears of relief as she went out of her way to get us on another flight later that evening as it was the only flight that wasn't cancelled. We flew out at around 7pm (yes, we were at the airport that WHOLE time) and were about 10 minutes out of Halifax when the pilot came on and said that we couldn't land due to the freezing rain and had to turn around and head back to Toronto. Oh my goodness. We were so sad and so stressed by the news, as were the other 200 passengers.
Hanging out at the airport!
When we landed, a flight attendant came on the overhead to make announcements about how we were all to proceed to get our luggage and reschedule flights and also to make a special announcement for two passengers....US! The customer service lady must have kept an eye on our flight and when she realized that we were heading back, she thoughtfully booked us on the next earliest flight out (Monday night) and got us complimentary rooms at the DoubleTree Hotel near the airport. AMAZING! There were definitely thankful tears that were shed. We landed at around 11pm, picked up the envelope, grabbed our luggage, wrapped C up in an Air Canada blanket as we had no winter clothes, and headed to the hotel.
Snow! The view from our hotel room.
We stayed at the hotel until Monday and decided to head out to the airport early in hopes of getting onto an earlier flight. Again, we had someone help us out and she got us on standby for the earlier flights. Then we proceeded to wait and hope we would get called onto the plane. Well, the cool thing about this is that Matt's brother and his family were coming back from Halifax and their gate was right next to the one we were on standby for! We were able to spend about 15 minutes together when they arrived and before we were called up and added to the earlier flight. It was great! We got on our flight and this time made it all the way to Halifax. What didn't make it was our luggage, but really, we didn't even care as we were just happy to finally be in the right place. After an hour and a half drive, we finally were home in Bridgewater! Our travels were finally done!
Here are some photos from the next morning...
Snow everywhere in Bridgewater!
C & Snow!
...Things to Remember...
- Traveling with an infant is totally doable!
- Don't overpack the carry-ons. We didn't need the 6 extra outfits we packed for C, the 8 burp clothes, or the ridiculous amounts of diapers we had packed. It is important to bring extra items, but make it reasonable! Less is more as we had a fair bit of juggling to do trying to carry everything.
- We packed snacks and they were lifesavers and totally necessary.