Jim Gaffigan on traveling with five kids

The challenges of traveling with multiple children are real. Powerwoman and I are reminded of this whenever we leave the house these days with L and R and (now) G in tow. But, really, we’ve got nothing on Jim Gaffigan.

The Gaffigans meet Rapunzel (from "The Jim Gaffigan Show" website).

The Gaffigans meet Rapunzel (from Gaffigan himself).

Yes, THAT Jim Gaffigan. The comedian. The guy who played my favorite role on the television show, “My Boys,” back in the day. The guy who made millions on the “Hot Pockets” skit.

You see, Gaffigan has five kids. And apparently, as we call can watch on his new reality show, “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” he and his wife take them on the road when Gaffigan is touring. Ostensibly to promote the show, Gaffigan opened up to Kelly DiNardo in a recent Q&A for The New York Times about the rigors and realities of traveling with a handful of offspring. If you read nothing else about family travel today, you should read this piece.

Why did I love the story? For starters, it’s funny, just like Gaffigan. Example: “Traveling with 3- and 4-year-old boys is like transferring serial killers from a prison. You have to be constantly aware.”

The piece also offers some really useful tips. Like the part where Gaffigan says he makes his older kids write a single-page diary entry about every city they visit. (I’m *totally* trying that with L.) Or the part where the comedian admits that his kids—like all kids—struggle on international flights.

But my absolute favorite snip from the piece is where Gaffigan defends international family travel. His perspective: “There’s this perception that with international travel it’s not worth it because [kids] don’t get it. I think they do. And I think they see their parents behave differently in different cultures. My kids are pretty good travelers. I think they’re more sturdy because of it, more resilient.”

All told, the piece will take you five minutes to read. Check it out.

Hilarious look at flying with kids

Jamie Kaler and clan at 35,000 feet.

Jamie Kaler and clan at 35,000 feet.

As a family travel advocate, I like to focus on the positives of traveling with kids. The fun parts of road trips. The creative strategies of enduring plane travel. The secret ways to have sex with your partner in a hotel room while the kids sleep.

That said, I certainly can appreciate an honest take on some of the (undeniable) challenges of family travel.

This is why I loved a Babble.com essay by actor/comedian Jamie Kaler that was published earlier this week. The piece, titled, “The one rule you must follow when traveling with toddlers,” offers a hilarious perspective on the inherent insanity of flying with kids. Like Kaler himself, the essay is snarf-your-coffee-and-pee-your-pants funny.

Here’s a fun recap of Kaler’s best one-liners in the piece:

  • On kids in general: “To me, kids are like Vegas. You should have to travel ‘to’ them, and you’re not able to stay for more than three days.”
  • On schlepping a bunch of crap to the airport when you travel with kids: “Getting them to the airport is a disaster: 250 pounds of luggage, and only 5 of those pounds are mine. It’s like I’m a personal valet for the babies from Downton Abbey.”
  • On the hardest part of family travel: “[It] is not just the horror of planes, trains, and automobiles, but the constant fear that your kid is going to get hurt. You see, our house is child-proofed; the world is not. And kids are stupid.”

My personal favorite part of the essay is when Kaler talks about the “inevitable” delay at the gate that seems to make time stand still. He writes: “It feels like that moment in The Matrix when Keanu Reeves is dodging bullets in slow mo. Except that every bullet hits you. And it never ends.”

I loved Kaler on “My Boys” back in the day and have enjoyed his stand-up routines over the years. This piece, though—this piece takes the cake. I dare you to read it and keep a straight face. Once you do, and once you clean up the coffee you snarfed (or you change your underpants), use the comments field to tell me what you think he missed.

%d bloggers like this: