Why is travelling so stressful

Saturday 23rd February

And yet it shouldn’t have been.  Not the 16 hours in the car this time, but a simple plane journey.  And yet it ended up, or I allowed it to become, stressful.   Firstly there was the incredible amount of luggage we carried with us.  For myself, just the one small suitcase, but Laura had a large hand luggage bag, a suitcase which was huge and so heavy, and the car seat, which had no hand hold at all and was bulky and heavy and a pushchair.  First obstacle was the check-in.  Of course the suitcase was too heavy, and we had to take things out and redistribute them amongst our two bags.

Then it was my favourite – security.  Empty all you pockets, coats (and I was wearing two, fearing the cold weather) hat, belt and cardigan in the tray.  Laptop must be removed and put in a separate tray.  Credit cards, phones, i-pods, keys, money all removed.  And still I set the alarm off.  Full frisking pat-down, remove your shoes, and they went through separately.  So there you stand in your socks trying to retrieve and replace in the correct pockets all your belongings, rethreading your belt, retying shoe laces, worrying if you have your keys and phone and credit cards.

Then a really long wait; our plane was delayed an hour, but at least because of the baby we were first on the plane.  But how cramped we were.  On your own you don’t seem to mind too much, but with the baby, and our bags, and changing her nappy and feeding her, as well as trying to manage two cups of tea.  At least the flight went quickly.

We had hired a car, and couldn’t see any signs of where to go to pick it up.  Then out in the car park we saw the EuropeCar sign.  Off we trudged, huge suitcase, two smaller bags, baby, pushchair and carseat.  No, this was where you dropped the car off, you collect it back in the airport building.  Another trudge to get the keys, trudge back, and at last we were ready to go.

All in all it took about 10 hours door to door, not so much quicker than by car.  So, a  bit stressful, but at least we were back in France.  Eventually.