travel

‘Tis The Season…Holiday Travel Tips For Twin Parents

toddlers travel on an airplaneThe holiday travel season is upon us. It’s always hectic traveling over the holidays, add some kids to the mix and it is pure insanity. There is so much gear to pack and scheduling to sort out, it can feel like it is not even worth the trouble. Here are some tips to help take the anxiety out of traveling with little ones.

LAP BABIES

  • Book Early! If the babies are traveling as lap infants, you cannot sit in the same row as a family because there are not enough oxygen masks. Book aisle seats next to each other. For international flights look into booking the baby bassinets. They can save you from holding a baby the entire flight.
  • Look into services at your destination where you can rent baby gear. If you are staying with family or friends, have them to ask people they know if there is any baby gear you can borrow during your stay. The less you have to pack, the better! Just remember to pack whatever they use at night or during naps that comforts them. We even brought our twilight turtle on our trips.
  • Check the travel warranty on strollers or car seats. They can get knocked around and you want to make sure you are covered. Some brands offer full refunds if you use their travel bags and something still happens to your gear.
  • In winter months, the week leading up to your trip, add some probiotics to their diet. You can get great pediatric probiotics or if you are breastfeeding, add some to your diet. They really help prevent sickness.
  • Each parent has a diaper bag for their lap baby. This allows you to pack more and throw some of your things in there too. Pack some extra burp clothes, they come in super handy on all our flights.
  • Begin with their feeding schedule. If they are on a 3-hour feeding schedule think about how many times they will need to eat during the duration of the flight. That will help you know what to pack in terms of bottles or snacks. Print out FAA guidelines for carrying on breast milk and formula. You don’t want to lose any pumped milk because an agent doesn’t know how much we can carry on!
  • If you have to park off site and take a bus to the airport, look for a travel service that will drop you right off at the airport. Los Angeles has a great service called Luxe, check your city and see what they offer families. Saves you from having to get two babies and a ton of luggage on a shuttle bus. 
  • Pack a light blanket. Put this on the ground and let the babies play for a bit before loading onto the plane. It allows then to expend some energy before sitting for a long time.
  • Wear the babies through the airport or use a stroller that you can gate check. You just want to make sure your able to have your hands free. Using an Ergo or baby carrier, also helps when you have to walk the aisle in the plane.
  • Don’t be afraid to break the rules. If you have a no TV rule at home or are on a strict feeding schedule, as so many twin parents are, allow the rules to bend a bit. Age appropriate videos are a life saver on a long flight. As is having an extra snack or two. Eating becomes entertainment. Even when my boys were only fed milk, I always did a little extra breastfeed during the light to soothe them.
  • Make sure you have a bottle or pacifier handy for take off and landing. It helps with the pressure in their ears. If take off and landing is not happening during a feed, and your babies don’t use a pacifier, give them a bit of water in a bottle. They just need something to suck while the cabin pressure changes.

TWO AND UP

  • Once they are in their own seats it makes it much easier. I’ve written before about traveling with toddlers. Some tips still apply like borrowing gear from people at your destination, using a car service, and breaking the home rules. I give the boys echinacea and probiotics the week leading up to our trip.
  • Get to the airport early and let them run a bit or watch the planes land. Again, this helps them expend some energy before getting on a plane.
  • Try to find a way to keep them contained until you get through security. An umbrella stroller is a great choice over the double joggers.  Using a ride on suitcase like Trunki is a great way to get them through the airport as well. If you have to bring their car seats, use something like the Go Go Baby Z TravelMate where you can wheel their carseat through their airport while they sit in it.
  • Each child should have their own bag packed with a meal, some snacks and activities. Plus a few surprises that they don’t see until they are mid-air. Still pack a cloth in case any spillage happens.
  • Instead of sitting three in a row while a lucky parent gets an aisle seat alone, try sitting two and two. Each child gets a window and the parent takes the middle seat. Having a window keeps them busy and prevents fighting over who gets it. Plus it is a way for them to get one on one time with a parent.

Happy Travels!

 

 

 

 

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation

summer vacationI was completely taken aback when I realized the other day was the first day of fall. I couldn’t believe that autumn was already here. It’s not that the two major signs weren’t there; September and school. But I still felt like it came fast.

Our summer was filled with swim lessons, beach days, ice cream, late night runs around the yard, all the things summer is supposed to be made up of.  This was also the summer of travel for our family. The boys are already pretty seasoned travelers given their few years on this planet, but this year we were packing in three big trips over the course of the summer.

Destination 1 – Massachusetts

Our summer began with a Cape Cod vacation.  We always try to head to Massachusetts every summer, and thankfully have made it to the Cape each year. To me, Cape Cod epitomizes the American summer vacation, when family and extended family, fill up their cars and head across the bridge to the island.

Our summer vacation began with the annual family 4th of July party where the boys ran endlessly with their cousins and watched their first fireworks. Some were magical and others, one might not exactly call magical, but still a big hit with the under 6 crowd. At the end of the night plans were made for the week ahead.

My parents rented a house and filled it with their grandkids.  Every morning began with the cousins running around outside, imaginations flying. Each day was filled with an activity that you can only be done on the Cape (or at least in my mind). We went clamming, and crabbing, went for ice cream and they had their first gummy worm, checked See a Lighthouse off their bucket list, went to the beach, the marina and fairy hunted in the forest. And of course had our sunset picnic, juice for the kids and wine from a jug for the adults.

summer vacation

the pooping dog
the pooping dog

summer vacation summer vacation summer vacation

Living so far from family, these trips to the Cape mean more every time we go. The boys absolutely love being with their family, cousins who chase them, Uncles who let them eat as many chips as they want, Aunts who plan adventures and more cousins who play whatever they want giving me a break for the much-needed glass of wine. It is these vacations the nostalgia of my childhood gets to be re-lived through my children. I can’t wait to go back.

Destination 2 – Northern California

Our next trip was up North to Kris’s family reunion. What made this trip so special was the boys were meeting for the first time their great-grandmother. Grandma Bobby is their only great-grandparent and we were excited for them to finally meet. She is an extremely important member of our family and it felt emotional when they finally met.

This was a whirlwind week-end, full of less than ideal travel hiccups, but mostly a fun-filled three-day trip. We hadn’t been able to go to the last two reunions because of work and then infant twins, so we were surprised to see how much Kris’s family had grown. It’s hard to keep up when everyone lives far away and has busy lives, but I think the kid count tripled since the last reunion.

The boys had a blast running around the yard with the “bigger” kids, bouncing in the bounce house, making art with their big cousin. And it was so fun for the adults to catch up with each other in person. Plans are already in motion for the next reunion.

summer vacation kidskillcoolness

Destination 3 – Colorado

Our last trip came at the end of the summer to Estes Park, outside Denver, Colorado, for a wedding. This would be the boys first wedding and between the cake, the dancing, more cake and more dancing, they have determined, weddings are where it’s at. The days leading up to the wedding were filled with everything that childhood dreams are made of. The boys had their cousins and an endless supply of family and friends to play with. They played outside in the fresh mountain air, climbing rocks, looking for wild life, dipping their feet into clear mountain streams. At one point Kellan declared he wanted to live in Colorado. I couldn’t blame him, it is heaven for a child.

summer vacation summer vacation summer vacation

So here we are, at the start of fall and as I think back to our summer vacation, and everything we did, it is so clear that the best parts where when we were with family.

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