Friday, May 20, 2016

When your baby is no longer a baby

Every parent has a hard time realizing how fast their children grow up. Moms want their babies to stay little forever, and dads want their children to never leave for college. Unfortunately, they do grow up. And they do it quickly.

How did this happen to me? My baby girl still sleeps in the same crib. She still eats while sitting on her high chair. I still carry her on a baby carrier. She's still in diapers! What changed? The price of her plane ticket changed. Now we need to buy her a plane ticket for in full price. Sigh.

My baby girl turned two last month, in mid April. Until then, we only needed to pay 10% of the full plane ticket price that I'd pay for myself, and she can travel on my lap. Now that she's two, the aviation companies decide that she needs her own seat. I mean, to be real, she probably won't even sit by herself. But it is what it is. I honestly didn't know about this until quite recently. I thought that children pay half price at least until they're 15.

The morning my baby girl turned two
Earlier this year I was hunting for cheap tickets to Paris, to get us three to be in Paris somewhere when the European football championship will be happening this summer in France. These tickets were a birthday present for my husband, so I got them secretly. Not until when I was about to enter the passenger details did I realize that my baby girl was no longer in the infant category. I was getting us tickets for June, so the airlines system recognized her as a "child" who needs her own seat. At full price. I did finalize the payment. Sourly recalling sweet memories when we used to pay just two seats to fly us all.

Okay I kind of exaggerated a little. It was not that bad. But only because the ticket was real cheap. I got us a low-cost carrier ticket to fly from Venice to Paris for like €19 per person (yup Ryan air, what else?) so it was really not the end of the world. But imagine some longer flights, some further distance, some more expensive routes...

I was wishing that it was just Ryan though, but it seems that it's a common policy. I tried tens of other companies and they all want you to pay for the full price for a two-year-old.

The good thing is, other transport methods don't seem to be as mean as the planes. We checked trains. My husband wanted to go to Bordeaux from Paris with TGV, and the French railway allows you to hold your child on your lap until they turn four, free of charge. In the end we decided not to go to Bordeaux and stay the whole time in Paris, but it's good to know.

I didn't check ferries and other waterway means, but I'd guess they also have some longer tolerance for free tickets for babies. I know for sure that cruises do. They allow your child to cruise for free with you until they're 18! Of course if he stays with you in the same room. But he'll get his own bed. Isn't cool? We're going cruising soon, so I know that for sure. Well, not too soon, only in October, but we booked it already. Baby girl will get her own bed in our room, for free. Of course the bed is not all they get, the children get all the foods and access to entertainment as the adults do.

A quote I found on the internet recently, which I loved!
Okay so now we've got the tickets. For Paris I mean. It's now just the anxiety of waiting for the date of departure to finally arrives. And curiosity whether baby girl would actually sit on her own seat in the plane.

Overall, if you have an infant under two, lucky you! Go fly somewhere you've been dreaming of. Now, don't wait until your infant turns two!

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