Traveling with Twins or more children can be stressful and overwhelming. It doesn’t matter if you are flying or driving, both have their challenges but with a bit of planning, organization and a little bit of luck it is completely achievable and even fun! Joanna Navarrete, Twin Love Concierge’s Miami Prenatal Associate, shares here 5 tips to keep your sanity when embarking on a journey with your little ones whether by land, air or even sea.
Assign a time when you will leave the house as this is the best start. It will give you and all adults involved a time-line to work with. When they are smaller and still require a nap, I recommend doing the air travel in the morning. It will give you about 4-6 hours from the time you leave your house, get to the airport, check-in, pass security and settle onboard, so you’re ready for the morning nap when the flight leaves. You don’t want them sleeping before that time as it naturally involves a lot of taking-in-and-out of strollers or carriers which makes for cranky children. If you can check-in the night before, do so, this will save you time at the airport. Other Moms recommend booking the evening flight so that you board an hour or so before bedtime in the hope that the twins will sleep the majority of the flight naturally.
If you are driving, leave when it’s time for their nap that way they’ll sleep for some of the drive. Depending on how far you are going you can break up the drive, after nap it’s a good time to do a rest stop – get something to eat, stretch everyone’s legs and use the restrooms/change the kids. Many rest stops now have a kid’s area. If it’s a drive longer than 8 hours I would suggest resting overnight.
This is my dreaded nemesis every time. But with time, I’ve learned to cut my anxiety as long as I do it about a week out from travel date.
For the little kids start with the basics: diapers (6-8/day), wipes, pjs, blankets, lovies, outfits (2/day), socks and 2 pair of shoes, sweater/sweatshirts and bathing suits just in case. Then a toiletry bag with toothbrush, tooth paste, comb, Tylenol/Motrin/Other, thermometer, any medications they take, Band-Aids, nail clippers, all in one wash (shampoo and wash in one bottle), wash cloths, moisturiser, and if it fits, a rinse cup.
And you can’t forget the essentials for infants: bottles, travel pump/formula (if required), baby food (pouches are less bulky), travel bottle brush and a bottle of detergent, sippy cups (take and toss are great, if they get lost no biggy), sippy cup tethers, pacifiers (if they use them), paci holders, little forks, plastic disposable table covers and disposable bibs. If you have potty-trained kids the disposable toilet covers are great.
Don’t forget the stroller, stroller bag (if checking it), carriers, pack and plays (if you don’t have one at your destination) and the pre-stocked diaper bag! Worse case scenario you forget it, if travelling in the US, there’ll be a pharmacy store nearby. If going on a cruise, they usually have a service allowing you to ship all these items (diapers, wipes, formula, baby food) ahead of time to be waiting for you in your stateroom. Also if you are flying, shipping the bulkier things to your hotel or relatives’ house could help out with baggage weight.
Packing a variety of toys, activities, iPads and more will be your saving grace. Don’t forget to pack their favorite toys to throw in the mix, but buying something new that they’ve never played with will be guaranteed to get them excited and they will be more inclined to play with them longer. Don’t pull all your tricks out of your magic bag at once. Keep the mystery alive. If you have a DVD player in the car, buy a new movie or show they’ve never seen. They’ll be enthralled with watching something they’ve never seen. Anything with music they’ll usually love!
Also do the activities that require more thought and concentration at the beginning. Once their brains have had too much, move on to the toys and, last resort, bring out the iPads. For the car, there are great foldable tables that go over their car seats that they can draw or play on.
Snacks and goodies will be your other go-to in that magic bag of tricks. If you are driving, you can pack a little cooler with fresh snacks such as fruit, veggies, cold fruit pouches, juices, pretzels, popcorn (Pirate’s Booty), granola bars, cracker dippers, cereal bags (travel size), fruit gummy snacks, etc. Avoid the candy with lots of sugar as it may make them too hyper and their sugar crash will be worse for everyone.
Pack sippy cups that are spill-proof, using water at first. If they want juice, that can be later as your back up. You can always dilute it so they are not drinking straight juice. If you are driving, always have a roll of paper towels, wipes and small trash bags for any accidents that may occur.
Regardless of where you are going and how you are traveling, enjoy every minute of it! Take pictures the entire time – even if they just spilled the cereal bag all over themselves. You are building their memories – and yours. One day you’ll look back and remember their glowing faces as they experience new places, not the matching shoes you forgot or the shampoo you left behind, it’s all inconsequential. Be in the present with them and your family. It’s the only thing that matters. Disconnect! You are on vacation for a reason!
About the author
Joanna Navarrete, TLC’s Prepartum Associate and mother to three beautiful children, one girl and a set of fraternal boy/girl twins. Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has lived in Miami for more than 17 years. Joanna is professionally trained in both retail maternity and baby gear. She embraced motherhood by instilling herself in every newborn facet she could find. Between classes, books, blogs and mommy groups interaction she developed a broader sense, which helped her with not only her own family, but others that asked for multiples support. Vetting all types of baby gear, from strollers to pacifiers, she immersed herself in finding practical fashionable functionality. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our Florida services.
Are you expecting Twins? Congratulations and come join our preparing for twins classes nationwide. If you are located in Miami you can join Joanna and Twin Love Concierge at the monthly Expecting Twins Class held at Tutti Bambini.