By now you may have heard the story of poor nine-year old Abby Ann Telan from Orlando. She and her family spent a nice weekend in Chicago. She even brought her favorite doll for a hair styling at American Girl Place. Unfortunately, the hairdo probably didn't last. You see, the bag Abby's doll was traveling in was sucked out of the cargo hold of her Delta flight back home, sending her vacation memories from the family scrapbook to the scrap heap before ever reaching a comfortable cruising altitude. While the chances of your prized possessions getting sucked out of an airplane door are pretty slim (I hope), this incident merely represents one of the more creative ways your child's favorite toy or lovey can be lost forever in your travels.
Many children have some object that soothes or comforts them, which means many parents have spent some un-soothing, uncomfortable moments thinking about what happens when that item goes missing. Obviously, the more well-traveled the item, the more likely it is to get lost. Which means, when it comes time to travel, you have three options:
- Leave the lovey home. This clearly solves the problem of losing the lovey. On the other hand, you're now asking your child to endure schedule-scrambling travel to unfamiliar surroundings without his go-to comfort item. Probably not a recipe for smooth sailing.
- Bring the bear, buy a spare. This is the most stress-free option. Your kid has his comfort item, and you're comforted in knowing the item's doppelganger is safely sitting at home. Just don't let your kid see them both at the same time-- it could blow his mind.
- Bring the doll, cross your digits. Some items are one-of-a-kind. Or maybe you just haven't gotten around to buying a spare yet, or maybe your child's lovely is so well-loved any replacement would be an obviously inferior impostor, or maybe. . . You get the idea. You can't always have a backup lovey. Should you decide to travel with it anyway, your kid will have all the comforts of home, and you'll have an extra family member to closely monitor (i.e., not put in a cargo hold). Only you can decide if the risks outweigh the benefits.
On the bright side, American Girl place quickly stepped in and replaced Abby's doll. So, if you're going to lose your child's favorite security item when traveling, try to do it in a creative enough way to attract media attention. It makes finding a replacement so much easier.