So Ty came up with the crazy idea of 2 trips in one for our 10th Annual Christmas International trip. We’re spending a week and a half in the Philippines island hopping, snorkeling, and playing in the sun. Then we spend a week in Japan skiing at their famous resorts outside of Nagano. It was a bit of a mind trip trying to figure out how to pack for two completely different trips. We ended up with 2 ski bags, 2 large suitcases, and 4 carry on suitcases in addition to our backpacks. Thank goodness for airline status so we could check all that for free!
Anyway that’s the plan for the trip, so on the 27th we were scheduled to leave at 4:30am. We decided to leave early in the morning rather than traveling to Seattle the night before and getting a hotel. This would allow us to just schlep the bags to the airport once.
We arranged with the taxi company to pick us up at 2:30am with a van. There’s lots of luggage and we wanted to make sure it all fit. 2:30 rolls around and there’s no taxi… After waiting 10 minutes we call the company and they said they’re still trying to find a van. At this point my head’s exploding because what was the point of calling hours earlier and scheduling this? Also we’re cutting our time close and need to get to the airport.
We called back again 5 minutes later and they still didn’t have a van for us, so we decided not to chance it. We canceled that ride, and loaded up in our truck. The plan was now, we would drive ourselves to the airport and would ask my mom to taxi over later and pick it up. Fingers crossed she’s up for the challenge.
We got to the airport, dropped Ty and the kids off to check in while I drove to the lot. It of course said it was totally full. (More mental freaking out!) I decided to do a quick lap through it, and I’m so glad because I found a spot right away. We got checked in and through security, all was fine. Our plane boarded on time, things started to go smoothly again.
We got into Seattle and had to go pick up our luggage and check in again with Delta. With all the weather and flight issues Seattle’s been having this was the questionable part of our trip. We got our bags, and found our way to the large, but not unmanageable line. Ty assured us we had plenty of time so we weren’t stressing. Standing in line about 20 minutes or so and the staff start calling people for certain flights. Sure enough our flight was one they were pulling people out of line for, so they could check them in immediately. (Ok, slight nervousness, but I’m sure it’s fine.) We finally get in front of a staff member and they tell us we need a special Covid form for the Philippines. Give us the website and tell us they can’t check us in without. So Ty’s frantically trying to fill this form out online. Once he has his done, we realize we all need it. So I’m starting on mine, and then the kids. The check in staff mention something about only having 4 minutes left to check us in for our flight. (Instant mental freak out!) We have probably never filled out an online form as fast as that before. The staff at the counter was amazing, they did everything they could to get us checked in for that flight. I think we were down to the last minute. Ty had to then run our two massive ski bags through the airport to the oversized baggage, and hope they made the cut off for our flight.
After dropping off our bags, we raced to security. The staff again, was so amazing. They have a special system for people who need to be rushed through. We again filled out some online form, and they had us go directly to a security guard, and through security, no lines! This was such a blessing.
Through security and by this point our plane was already boarding. We ran though the terminals, and of course it’s Sea-Tac so we had to take a connecting train. After the train, some more terminal running. The kids were doing so great through all of this, even though they were picking up on our stress and it was hard on them.
We made it to the gate with a minute to spare before they called our section! Thankful is an understatement, also very sweaty. This was our 12 hour flight from Seattle to Incheon, South Korea. The flight was fine, no issues, just long, and during our day time so no one really sleep except for Linc who got about a 3 hour nap.
We finally landed in Incheon, and tucked ourselves into a lounge for the 2 hours we had until our final flight to Manila. By this point it’s been about 24 hours since we woke up. Ty and Linc are doing ok, but all Ryder wants to do is sleep, and I’m so overstimulated and exhausted.
Unfortunately the lounge was really full, and really loud.
Incheon had these fun robots all over. There was one with a kitty face that would take your dirty dished in the lounge. We saw this one that was going around picking up trash on the floor.
We went to our gate a bit before the flight and Ryder immediately flopped out and slept for the 30 minutes or so that we had to wait. Her little body was just done.
The flight to Manila was 4 hours long. It all just felt like a lot at that point. Ryder got on the plane and passed out. Linc slept for about half of it.
Ty had arranged for the hotel to pick us up with a van. So that was wonderful not to stress about how were we getting there with all our stuff. We got through customs just fine. Luggage claim was a different story though. It took forever!!! Our poor kids, and at this point there’s no where for them to go sit, so sure lay down on the filthy luggage carts, just do what you need to, to survive.
It took about an hour for all our suitcases to come out. But again we were thankful that they all showed up, with as tight as that Seattle connection was.
A few moments of stress when we weren’t sure where the hotel van was, and we worried they had left since our luggage took so long. But gloriously we found it and they had no issues with all our luggage. A 15 minute ride to our hotel, and we were so close to being able to sleep! A delay with getting our suitcases up to our room, and missing extra bedding, that normally isn’t a big deal but after being up and traveling for 29 hours feels much harder.
We finally got the kids all cleaned and tucked into beds close to 11:30pm Manila time, which is 6:30am Alaska time. WE DID IT!
These places we travel to are amazing when you get there, but sometimes the journey is just exhausting. Overall, we are so amazed, and thankful nothing actually went wrong. We made all our flights, all our 8 suitcases made it, and no one is sick, all great positives to focus on.