I used to love traveling.
As kids, we spent many summers or holidays flying to and from Omaha to visit our family. I loved the excitement of an upcoming trip and the anticipation of boarding the plane to somewhere new.
Remember when you could arrive at the airport an hour before your flight, check-in at the counter, walk through a simple metal detector fully dressed and spend the remaining 55 minutes reading a good book until it was time to board?
And remember how you could pack whatever you wanted in a carry-on, as long as it was small enough to fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment? Now, you have to buy a whole set of travel size cosmetics and personal affects to put in a miniscule zip-lock bag and say a prayer that everything will pass inspection and eventually end up where you do.
We’re lucky that Omaha is a relatively easy airport to get in and out of, but before a recent flight out of another airport, my husband and I spent almost 40 minutes waiting to undress and get through security. By the time they checked out our bag and our person (and we put all our clothes back on!), we had 5 minutes until it was time to board.
It’s also not uncommon and frankly a little disconcerting to see Federal Marshals making their way through airports and may even end up on your plane, depending on where you are flying. I’m not altogether sure I like the idea of needing an armed “escort” to get where I am going.
Now add in a couple of kids and the 5,000 things you need to accompany them and you are looking at an extra 15-20 minutes to do the exact same thing. I remember being so upset when we flew with an infant because I couldn’t make a bottle ahead of time. I had to buy a $4 bottle of water once through security and hope that it warmed enough by the time our baby had to eat.
God forbid, if you already suffered anxiety when flying. Now, you most certainly will have to be highly medicated to get on a plane when you consider that a single aircraft was used to bring down two of the world’s tallest buildings. Fortunately, I do not experience such anxiety when I fly… come to think of it, maybe I will now.
It’s almost easier to drive, and strangely it may take less time and money to hit the road instead of the skies. It’s a lot easier to pack, too.
I know it’s so cliché, but I miss the old days.
Amy Grace is married with two sons. She is a stay at home mom. Read her Fridays on momaha.com.