Wednesday, August 8, 2012

how to fly {by yourself} with twins

so i'm totally not an expert when it comes to this, but i have done it four times, so i think that makes me legit. i flew twice when the twins were 7 months old and twice again when they were 19 months old.

for starters, packing is one of the most important parts of the trip. so is knowing like all of the airline's policies when it comes to babies on board. {i've had to educate some airline workers because they just get jumbled and confused and unsure when they see me with two babies, two giant car seats and a humungous stroller. for reals. it's annoying.}

1. figure out how many seats you're going to buy. most {if not all} airlines allow children under two to fly free as a lap child. the first time we flew i bought three seats. one for me and one for each of the twins. i mostly wanted to do it that way so i could take both of our infant car seats on board. {you can only do that if your car seat is approved for air travel. the stickers on the side or your car seat manual will let you know that.} the downside to that is that i had to sit in the aisle seat and rrreeeaaaacccchhhh across one baby to tend to the other sitting next to the window {airlines won't let a car seat be in the aisle seat for emergency exit purposes. smart, but annoying with twins}. 7 month-old stella wanted nothing to do with sitting in her car seat, so i held her 90% of the flights. kinda a waste of money. BUT i didn't have to worry about my car seat getting banged up and/or lost in transit.

the most recent trip we made, i bought only two seats total. one for me and one for a twinnie. i knew stella needed to be my lap child and that olivia would do a lot better being strapped into her safe space {car seat}. for the other car seat, i packed it in a heavy duty cardboard box and checked it. airlines can't charge you to check your car seat. they just can't. and it's great because checking a bag nowadays is at least $35. ridiculous. also, each child is allowed a stroller that can be gate checked for free.



 i always fly with our bob duallie revolution {the biggest, most heavy duty stroller ever} and i use bungee cords to really secure the stroller together once it's collapsed at the gate. it still has never been damaged or even shown wear from flying. speaking of damage, the reason i packed the car seat in a heavy cardboard box is because i didn't trust the flimsy red nylon "gate check" drawstring bags people recommend flying with. i bought the twins britax boulevard cs 70 car seats and i'm not about to throw $250 car seats {TIMES TWO!!} into a nylon bag and cross my fingers everything comes out ok on the other end. some people have suggested buying a cheaper car seats to travel with so if they get damaged/lost, it's not that bad. well, my major issue with that is i don't want my girls spending ANY time in less sturdy and safe car seats if i can help it. {my parents live 4 hours away from the airport we fly into, so that's at least 16 hours of freeway time. all that time in crappy car seats? no way.} britax sells a travel car seat bag with wheels and a handle, but it's only reinforced nylon. and it's like $80. {TIMES TWO!!!} it didn't get good reviews on amazon because people said the first time they flew the nylon tore and left their car seat exposed. again - NO.

2. get a gate pass. have your husband/mother/friend/whoever dropped you off at the airport go to the ticket counter with you, have them show their ID and get a gate pass. they get to go all the way to the gate with you like the olden days. it's fabulous. all that help through security....the extra set of hands to catch running toddlers at the's wonderful. if you're taking a stroller through security, every single little thing has to be out of the stroller. EVERYTHING. and you can travel with bottles and/or sippy cups full of liquid, they just test the vapors. and now children under 12 don't have to take their shoes off to go through security - yay!

3. pack new snacks and new toys. and LOTS of wipes. test the toys out a week or two ahead of travel time to see how they interact with them and if they even like them. then hide it and don't let them see it until they're on the plane. same with snacks. my girls don't normally get fruit snacks or skittles, but they were life savers on the plane. the fisher price magnetic sketch thingy was gggrreeeaaaatttt for the plane. mr. potato head was ok, but the throwing of random arms and ears under the seat got old. fast. if you run out of toys, snacks and sanity, it's amazing what entertainment you can find in the airline's emergency landing laminated brochure.

4. pack an extra change of clothes for each twin. or two. we tend to travel during the hottest time of the year, so by the time we make it off the place {usually last}, into the stroller, through the airport to baggage claim, we're all a little sweaty and covered in fruit snack stickyness. while we wait for our bags, that's usually when i change their diapers and clothes. it's also a great little mood changer for them, always positive. new diaper, new clothes, wipes used on their faces, necks and hands just make them happy.


*try not to lose it when the ticketing agent tells you your suitcase is 5 pounds overweight and if you don't take some crap out, they'll charge you $50.

*don't be afraid to just get crap done. see below.

*try to get your babes to suck on something during take off and landing. whether it be nursing, a bottle, a sippy, a pacifier, a finger, candy,'s important for them to be doing that to help relieve pressurization and stuff.

*some people swear by giving their babies benydryl before flying {to encourage drowsiness and sleeping on the plane}, but i've never done that and they both have slept anyways. i try and fly close to their nap times so even a cat nap will keep them happy until another nap on the drive to our destination.

*don't let the stink eyes get to you. most people will be really helpful and kind, but there will always be a few that give you dirty looks or say a not-so-quiet rude comment. just let it roll on off.

*cute outfits go a long way. sounds ridiculous, but it's true. the cuter you look, the more charming two little babies seem. even when they're crying.

*just breathe. and figure that everything will take 10 minutes longer than you expect.

good luck!
if this can help another mama, my work is done!

1 comment:

  1. OMG you are so brave for doing all that all by yourself and pregnant Go super mom!



i love candy, sewing and the power to delete :) have a great day!