Twin Mom Lauren grins and bears it.
"Me + Andy + my sister + 2 babies + 2 car seats + 2 strollers + 3 carry-ons + 4 suitcases just landed in Pensacola. We roll light."
And that, my friend, was my Facebook post upon landing after our first flight with the twins, who at the time were 11 months old.
Twin Mom Ashley's comment summed up our experience pretty well: "Reading that, you just literally gave me a migraine."
The idea of flying with the twins was daunting—even more daunting than a road trip (though only slightly). But we got through it, and you can too.
Here are some tips to make air travel with twins easier:
- Bring help. If you are traveling during the twins' first year, your partner should make the flight with you. Quite simply, you will need more than two hands. If you can enlist a third party to help as well, do so without hesitation.
- Choose your travel time wisely. The middle of the night works well if you have solid sleepers, but this could backfire if they have sensitive ears—and then you might have an entire plane full of passengers giving you dirty looks. If you are traveling during the day, try to fly near nap times in hopes that your twins will fall asleep.
- Pack smartly. Be sure to carry with you all the food and bottles your tots will need for the duration of the flight. Also pack in one of the carry-ons entertainment for the twins—their favorite toys, a portable DVD player, or books—so you can provide them with distractions.
- Arrive at the airport early. The process of checking in, heading through security, and getting settled at the gate will take much longer than you think.
- Purchase inexpensive umbrella strollers for use at the airport. There is no need to lug an expensive double stroller with you. They are difficult to navigate through airport thoroughfares, cumbersome, and heavy.
- Schedule a checkup. If possible, arrange a monthly checkup with your pediatrician prior to the trip. Things to discuss: the travel, your new locale, and any advice the pediatrician might be able to provide.
- Be mindful of time changes. If a time change is involved, do your best to get the twins on the new schedule if your trip will last longer than a few days. You can do so by moving the schedule in forced increments of half an hour or even an hour.
- Ship ahead. Don't be afraid to ship in advance a box or two of items that you won't need during the flight but will need during an extended stay at your destination.
Finally, remember The Twin Source Recipe for Sanity, and double the dose of patience!
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