Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lessons from My Travel Mishap

A woman’s instinct is her strength. I don’t know why for some reason, many of us disregard our instincts.

Airport Terminals in Manila
Yesterday, while in the cab en route to Terminal 3, with my 1 year old son, I fiddled with my cel to SMS my husband and my mom. Mom was on her way to Davao to pick us up. I wanted to keep her updated so she knows we’re on our way. It’s been 3 years since I took a flight alone with a toddler in tow. With kids, trips are fun but need a lot of preparation.

In 2007, I brought my elder son, then 2 years old, with me to visit my mom. We flew via General Santos. At the plane, there was an empty seat beside us so I sat him beside me and moving around wasn’t as difficult as getting all crammed up in a fully occupied 3-seater row. He simply played with the Cebu Pacific inflatable plane I got as his souvenir. This was not his first flight, though. At 4 months, he’s been to Bohol and at 5 months, we’ve taken him to Samar.

In his first flight, my husband and I were hesitant to travel with my eldest because he had VSD, a congenital heart defect. Even with complete vaccinations we were still worried that he might get sick during the trip. But his pedia-cardiologist gave him clearance so long as we strictly follow his scheduled medication. He was taking Lanoxin and a combination of diuretics. Along with his infant bottles and other emergency paraphernalia, his luggage was bigger than ours combined!

Last March, I’ve taken my 2 children to visit mom via Cotabato City. No, it’s not scary for someone who has been going in and out of South Cotabato at least once a year. Last I heard, the massacre site has been gaining popularity among tourists. I’m not sure if I can do the same, I mean stop and take photos.

Getting back to our story, I remember it was such a smooth ride I wanted to take my younger son for my visit this year. I had wanted to get a travel insurance for me and my son because I was scheduled to go to several provinces apart from Davao. I know my sons are different but I guess I expected too much from this trip. In the cab, my 1-year-old son could not help but fiddle with the interiors. So the entire cab ride became a wrestle in trying to keep him to sit still and from crossing over the front seat! I just hoped I don’t drop anything valuable when we alight later, I thought.

As we neared Terminal 3, I sent mom a final message and slipped my cel in my jean pocket. I arranged our luggage into the trolley and carried my son. It’s off season but the line is still long at the entrance. As I was emptying my pocket for the X-ray check I realized I didn’t have my phone anymore. So I asked the guard to have a look at our luggage as I hurriedly ran to try to catch our cab. Well, I knew it was already some minutes and was just hoping (against hope) that I’d still find the cab.

No luck! As we were walking back to the terminal’s entrance, my anxious son suddenly threw up. At first, it was in bearable quantities. I was exhausted from running (I still had my backpack where I kept my laptop and my son on the eezy-lift baby carrier). I had to line up again for the X-ray and locate my other bag. He throws up one more, big time. So I had to change his clothes and clean him up. Good thing I had 2 packs of wet wipes. By the time I reached Cebu Pacific's check-in counter I was denied because I was late already. Sheer luck, huh! I wasn’t able to track time because I was frantic looking for a way to get my cel back and was preoccupied getting my son cleaned up. I could book the next flight but I began to worry that I won’t be able to find my mom in Davao if I didn’t have my cel. I couldn’t call because she was using a new number and I hadn’t memorized it! Who does?

Several lessons learned.
  1. Listen to my instincts rather than say ‘I knew it and should’ve done this or done that…’
  2. Get travel insurance. It would’ve covered me the minute I left the house!
  3. Backup your phonebook now. Check the installation cd that came with your mobile phone and setup your phone's application in your computer. Update your backup every time you get new contacts. And always keep a list of most important numbers with you. You’ll never know when you’ll need the list.
  4. Always put your cel in the bag, not in your pocket where it can slip unknowingly. My husband has lost several mobile phones because he always keep them in his trouser pocket.
  5. Be alert and take care of valuable things when in public transport. Unless the driver is kind enough to return your things, there is no way you can get it back. This is my second time, and I’ve learned enough. (I sure hope so)



ang galing ng timing ni tomas. hahaha...

hi te pia,

actually, when we were on our way out of the airport, he threw up again. ang likot kasi..eh kakainom lang ng milk. buti konti na tao sa T3 nung pauwi na kami.

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