You know what they say? The best three things about the teaching profession are June, July, and August! On a teacher’s salary, it is challenging to fly with a family of five, however, we are fortunate to have a pilot in the family (my brother-in-law). Every year, if possible, we try to take advantage of the buddy passes that enable us to fly to destinations otherwise unattainable. The only potential drawback is that we have to travel standby. We have gone to Europe and Florida with the use of buddy passes, and while not predictable, the experiences have offered some measure of adventure to our trip.
We always have a plan. If we need to split up, who is going to go with whom? Are we willing to go to different hubs so that we end up in the same location? Yes, we are! Last year, we were waiting until the very last second to see if we would all make the same flight to Florida. Finally, they called our last name and told us to run down the plank to the plane!!! It got our hearts pumping. We had plan B in place in case plan A didn’t work out, but so far, with our multiple flights and connecting flights to Europe and Florida, we have never once had to split up.
We are preparing to go to Europe again…the loads look really good right now for us to fly together, but maybe we’ll end up with plan B. These experiences are what memories are made of! I feel a little bit guilty honestly, when people I see in the grocery store ask, “What are your summer plans?” And I respond, sheepishly, “Oh, you know, going to Europe!” Then they usually ask, “The whole family?” They must think we struck oil out here on the Baaken Plains. But no…we just try to make it more affordable by sacrificing the predictability.
It is not always a bed of roses, though. One time, we woke up at a very early hour; 3 a.m.-ish, drove 45 minutes to the airport, and discovered that some flights somewhere had been cancelled which caused our flight to be too full for us to travel that day. So we went shopping…at the Mall of America!!! Then we woke up the next day and did the same thing. That time it worked like a charm and we got out. So our advice is to go for the adventure. Try to be cheerful no matter what the circumstances and go with the flow.