Luxury travel: trip to the Bahamas, or a sailboat cruise....flying first class....having cocktails at 30,000 feet...all inclusive....no, folks traveling with kids have a very different definition for "luxury" travel. For me, luxury is listening to an MP3 player while flying.
I watch all the folks traveling in airports don their ipods, ipads, laptops, kindles, nooks, heck just having a plain ole book or magazine is luxurious. Folks having hands-free phone conversations...with TOTALLY free hands! They have their hands free and no kids, now that's luxury.
For me luxury means something very different. This last trip luxury was in the form of a salted caramel 75% chocolate bar my hubby packed for me to be given at just the right moment. Luxury also can be a play area or a Mcdonalds in the terminal. Did you know that very few airports have areas for kids to play, besides the empty gates? Luxury also comes in the form of happy, listening,well-behaved kids. I noticed an interesting phenomenon recently. When you sit in your airplane seats with kids in tow, people leave you alone and don't make much eye contact. But when your kids are pretty much silent the whole flight, as soon as the plane lands, everyone is your best friend, telling you how awesome your kid/baby is (now that any chance of them being stuck next to a screaming baby or tantruming 5 year old is over).
I fly about 4 times a year. Since Calder was born 5 years ago, I have only been able to fly and listen to an MP3 player once. Listening to U2, or Radiohead while looking out my small oval window to the clouds below me, or at the sunset before me, or looking at cities with their lighted grids, is much more luxurious than hearing jet engines and making sure my 5 year old is not mindlessly kicking the seat in front of him.
Yeah, its hard work keeping everyone happy during traveling. It's a full time job. You bet I'd love a couple of those five dollar cocktails, but I opt for no drink usually, because quite frankly I've nowhere to put it.
But luxury aside, one of the best feelings in the world is to hold my sons hand as the plane takes off: to open his mind and experiences through travel. To pass on my love of travel to a wide eyed(mostly) 5 year old. To see the look on his face when he sees that for once, clouds are underneath, and that sometimes cities look really small. To realize when we are walking to school and look up at an airplane in the sky that there are hundreds of people, hundreds of destinations, hundreds of stories way up there in that little speck.