May 8, 2009

Pre-Travel Fret!

I am in such a pre-travel fret! Last night I took sleeping pill from 2002 because I was sitting (read: standing) there in our bedroom saying, "Oh! Wait! I should have done a load of laundry this evening! I forgot to try on my pedal pushers! Are my new pink sandals going to arrive in time and why does UPS say they don't recognize the number when Lands' End says they shipped? Which of the ten paperbacks I bought at the library book sale should I bring with me? Oh, dang, I meant to paint my fingernails! I should bake another batch of muffins just to be sure there are enough."

Then I was reassuring myself in a way that wasn't particularly reassuring, thinking, "Even if I totally forgot to pack, and then woke up late and couldn't shower, and had to rush to the airport with nothing but my purse which let's say for the sake of my peace of mind had my boarding pass and ID in it, I could still SURVIVE a 4-day trip. I would just go to a store there and buy a package of underwear and a thing of deodorant and maybe a t-shirt, and everything would be FINE JUST FINE ABSOLUTELY FINE."

*pant pant*

I kind of love this kind of Anticipation Fret. It sure gives chores a little boost in the butt when I can think, "I should wash these clothes so I can TAKE THEM ON MY TRIP!!" and "I should bake muffins for the kids to eat WHILE I'M GONE ON MY TRIP!!!"

I do have one thing I'm genuinely fretting about, and that is the carry-on situation. Southwest says I can have one carry-on and one smaller personal item such as a purse or a laptop. When I was more distant from Flying Time, I casually interpreted this to mean I could have two carry-ons: my "as big as possible carry-on so I don't have to check any bags" carry-on, and my regular "magazines and snacks" carry-on.

Now that I am flying TOMORROW OMG IT'S TOMORROW, I'm worrying that no, they really mean one carry-on and one purse, and my regular carry-on will be my carry-on and so they will make me check my big carry-on.

Surely SOME of you have flown Southwest and can tell me The Scoop. Meanwhile, I will be running around going "OMG OMG OMG OMG" and cycling laundry and sorting paperbacks and digging out another 7-year-old sleeping pill for tonight.

Oh and p.s.: I checked in at the very MINUTE it would let me do it, and I was still number 25! But I'm in A group! Woo!

28 comments:

Bethtastic said...

You're going to have THE BEST TIME!!! WOOOHOOO!!! :D

Yes, you'll be fine with your one big carry-on (aka: your adorable pink suitcase! It will fit in the overhead compartment), and your one personal bag of fun and necessities (aka: a giant "purse" which will fit under the seat in front of you).

I can't wait to see more pictures of your sweet baby Niestle.

Now, what's the decision, aisle or window?

-R- said...

Beth is right about the carryon situation. They are very lenient about the definition of "purse".

Have fun on your trip!

Christina said...

As long as one of your two carry-ons fits under the seat in front of you, you have nothing to worry about! As the other said, the definition of "personal item", such as a purse, is extreeeeeemely loose.

Have a great time!!

Nowheymama said...

It will all be fine. Have fun!

Jennifer said...

im happy you wrote about this because i am completely nervous about my carryon situation next week. i never do carryons minus the big purse so i am worried they will reject me especially since i am flying out of a bigger airport and on an airline (spirit) ive never used. ahh!! good luck and have fun!

Smiling Mama said...

I always like to leave the "If I forgot something absolutely critical I can run to Target" escape in the back of my head. It generally ensures that I don't forget a thing!! (Also, since you are vising family, they could certainly lend you many items you might forget.) As others have said, the "purse" definition is v-e-r-y loose/large.

So so fun!!!

Whimsy said...

Your carry-on instinct was totally right. I fly a lot and this is what people bring on the plane: a bag that is larger than a house but still just barely small enough to fit in the overhead compartment and a bag that is smaller than the first bag but not by much. Ha!

I secretly sort of love the Traveling Fret too. It makes me so much more organized, and seriously isn't packing like the BEST thing? Love it.

Joanne said...

Have fun, I'm so excited for you to meet that baby!

el-e-e said...

Are you leaving today?? I missed the date. Whenever, Happy Travels! :)

Katie said...

You can still bring two carry-ons--both big! If it eases your mind, you can pack all the stuff you want for the flight in the smaller one and if they insist the other one is too big, they can gate check it. It will be waiting for you when you get off the plane!

As my mom says, "Don't worry. You aren't going into enemy territory!" As long as you have your wallet, all will be well!

I am the same way--big time fretter about travelling! But as soon as I'm into it, I wonder why I worried so much...

Mama Bub said...

I love the planning stage of traveling, even all of the worry that comes with it. On our trip to Alaska last summer, I left my entire makeup bag at home and had to try to replace everything at Walgreens in Seattle. It was fine, but that was the only time I've ever had to employ the "buy it when I get there" strategy.

Christina said...

We fly Southwest at least twice a year and I bring one of those smaller rolling suitcases on (the kind that JUST fits in the overhead bin) and a normal backpack that fits in the seat in front of me. I leave my purse separate until we board the plane for convenience, and then cram it in the backpack once boarding.
My boyfriend usually brings a smaller bag, sometimes only toiletry size, and a big backpack that holds his laptop and other stuff. If he has a carry-on to spare, I'll make him bring something on for me (ie: presents during Christmas).
Even during heavy holiday travel I've never had a problem with bringing on 2 carry-ons of this size to Southwest, you'll be fine! :)

Kitchen Vixen said...

Holy Moly, OMG, you're fine!

Here's the thing- if you get to board early enough, you'll be fine w/the luggage situation, it will go above. If you were towards the end of the boarding line (which you're not), and they ran out of room on the plane (not uncommon) (for luggage, not for people. obviously) they would just check it at the gate. When you got off the plane, they give it back to you at the gate, not the baggage terminal.
Make sense?
You'll be fine.

Mimi said...

You're going to have the best time! Just imagine the moment when you are on the plane, all the packing decisions are done, and you are on your way to see your beautiful little niece!

Alice said...

everyone's said it, but as a former airline employee i'll also confirm: as long as your first bag fits in the overhead (and even if it doesn't, they'll just gate check, which means it never even goes to the baggage claim, hooray!) and your second bag can "fit under your seat" (i use quotes because that is often questionable w/some of these "purses") it will be 100% perfectly fine. i've seen people bring a roll-on carryon and a DUFFEL BAG as their "personal item."

Allyson said...

Southwest now reserves a bunch of "A" passes for business travelers, so I think 25 is the first seat actually available. So pat yourself on the back. Oh, and relax!

Melinda said...

I always remind myself that the personal item can be a laptop and that helps me remember it can be bigger than my everyday purse. Have a GREAT TRIP!

The Gori Wife said...

I hate the pre-travel fret! I'm always SURE there's something I'm forgetting and I'm always like "I'm making a laminated what-to-pack list next time so I don't have to FREAK OUT ABOUT THIS ANYMORE" but then I never do. And we fly at least a dozen times a year. Sometimes for international trips that last more than a month. With a kid. That's a lot of stuff to fret about packing!

I think that A1-A15 (maybe more) are always reserved for the Platinum Reward Members (Or whatever it's called. African Baby Elephant Ivory Reward Members, maybe?) so A25 is pretty high up there. I've seen the A group line up before and the whole 1st half is empty, so you might be 1st to board anyway. You know they don't board kids/families until between A & B either, so you even get to trump them!

And 2 carryons can be pretty big. I always take a big rolling one and a full sized backpack. They never question me, but then again I have a kid so they probably know better than to try and take the baby-distractions. I think they're generally loathe to question what is or is not a woman's "purse" anyway, and they're not about to piss off their business travelers by question their computer bags.

Anyway, here are some other tips, wear socks, pref. not white. You'll have to take off your shoes at security. And I'm sure you already know all about the liquid restrictions and how to do that (esp. since you're carrying everything on with you.) You also have to take your computer out of your bag and put it in a separate bin to go through the x-ray. Depending on the airport, they might even have "novice" security lines (google it) so you can take your time and not be rushed. You can go to the bathroom after most people have board but before they start taxi-ing, even for a little while after they close the gates. Look through your seatback pocket and read the SkyMall catalog - it's always the funnest thing about air travel.

And you should order GInger Ale on the plane. It's the only time I ever drink it!

Anonymous said...

Have a fun trip!

Just curious, is the first time that Paul will have been left at home with all the children for an extended period of time, or will your parents help watch the kiddos?

the new girl said...

Oh, have FUN, Swistle.

I hate The Travel Anxiety. Hate. Mine usually burns out by the time I hit the airport. I hope yours does too.

I say bring both bags to the gate and the worst that can happen is that they make you check it plane-side. Which isn't really as bad, really.

Swistle said...

Let's see---I think this IS the first time Paul will be left at home with all five for a longer time than an errand's worth! My parents are going to take care of the kids during the workday, but Paul will have them all weekend.

Kathy said...

A group! Hurrah!

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

When I travel it seems my purse becomes as big as my carry on and there's never been a problem.

If the carry on is too big and you have to check it plane-side it's usually waiting for you as you get off the plane instead of at baggage claim (unless you're flying into a really tiny airport and then the baggage claim is up and running about the time you get into the airport.)

Have a great trip--window or aisle seat!

HHRose said...

Ack. Just left you a very long and witty comment and it didn't show up, for some reason.

The gist: my purse is always packed IN my suitcase and I bring a much larger back with book, water (purchased after security), snacks, sweater, etc.

Very jealous you will get to spend a total of 14 hours by yourself on the plane. ;o)

Omaha Mama said...

The day before we left for our recent trip to Florida-sans-children, I felt like my heart my burst for the fretting. I told my sister that I was just stupid for traveling unmedicated and asked her if she'd drive over with one of her xanax (she's an hour away and I was joking...kind of). It is so much to think of - being without your kids for that long and traveling too. But you will be fine once you are on the plane. Then you can order a beverage that you normally wouldn't order and drink it without sharing and read (or sleep!) without interruption. It will be a beautiful thing! And then on to the visit. Your niece! Woot!
It's just too much. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Jewels said...

Even if they make you check your larger bag at the last minute, it's really not so bad.... Especially since your bag is PINK and would therefore probably STAND OUT on the baggage carousel.

Kim said...

It's already Saturday so you might be in the air at this very moment. I just wanted to say have AWESOME SISTER/BABY TIME!!!

Kelsey said...

I am so excited to hear about your trip! And maybe there will be pictures? Please!

I have been thinking of you all weekend, in a totally non-creepy way of course, and hoping you were having a wonderful time.