Our twins are now six months old. By this point they have already been on four flights, we have had a trip to the Lake District, we spent Christmas in Cornwall, have been abroad to Barcelona and have had trips to Essex and Kent as well. We have also got more trips planned for this year and so we know quite a lot about travelling with babies!
When we found out I was pregnant we were so scared that we would have to let our dreams of travelling go and when we found out it was twins we were even more afraid! However, with a lot of hard work and determination it can be done!
So whether you have one baby, twins or babies of different ages here are some tips for how to make travel a reality!
1. Pack lightly!
This was a difficult one for me, I love clothes and make up and beauty products and I want to take it all away with me! But sacrifices must be made and its important to take the bare minimum of stuff – for me that was minimal make up, one skirt and a few changes of tops. I brought face wipes instead of my full cleansing routine as I just figured that a few days with wipes wouldn’t ruin my skin! Toiletries wise, I decant my shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in to smaller containers for extra space.
With babies its almost impossible to pack lightly but what I would say is unless you are going to a third world country you will be able to pick up nappies, wipes and even formula if you use it wherever you go. So just make sure you have enough for the flight and a few extra and grab the rest when you get there. Travel size sterilisers are fantastic, we have one that can just pop in to any microwave but you are also able to get cold water sterilising tablets and that’s something I would probably pick up next time as I was away recently with no access to a microwave!
Sleepsuits are key! I love dressing my girls in all different types of outfits but for the sake of being away and packing lightly they stayed in sleepsuits all day. It was so much easier not to have to get them changed a lot and also just saved on packing! So if you want to make sure your babies are looking fabulous still just make sure you pack their best pjs!
For twins or more than one baby – KOODI travel cot. We originally bought a standard travel cot off Amazon which we used once. When the girls could fit in one cot it would have been okay because we only had to bring one and that kind of travel cot would be great to keep at grandparents’ house. However, as we are planning on doing a lot of travel with the girls we decided to get the pop-up travel cot from Koodi, it is so unbelievably light and so it won’t make your suitcase really heavy. There are positives and negatives to these so I think I am going to do a separate post reviewing them at some point!
When you travel with an infant you are allocated 2 baby items (a car seat/ pram/ travel cot etc.) checked for free. We already had 2 prams and 2 car seats so it was better for us to put our cots in our suitcase. Also standard travel cots are so heavy that they are hard to lug up stairs etc. of apartments!
2. AirBnb or something similar
We have used AirBnb loads and I cannot recommend it enough! When you book your property you can check what amenities they have. For example we wanted to make sure there was a full kitchen as we knew that we would probably need to be able to cook our own stuff, we also needed a microwave for the steriliser and there was also a washing machine which was really good. We didn’t end up using it but it would have been good if there had been an emergency poo explosion type situation!
Also, its important if you are travelling with kids to have a nice space to relax in. The likelihood is that you will be spending quite a lot of time at your accommodation. Especially if, like us, your babies are extremely regimented with their bedtime routine! You want to feel as though you can enjoy being in your own space and also make sure there is a separate room for the babies to sleep and you to sit and watch telly / read/ whatever you want to do. AirBnb is also a lot cheaper than a hotel and you get to meet local people so its win win in my opinion! Make sure you read reviews thoroughly!
3. Compromise is key
You are probably not going to do or see as much as if it was you on your own or just you and your partner. The fact is, babies slow you down. They have needs and a schedule that you have to adhere to. So, make a list of the places and things you DEFINITELY want to do and don’t overload yourself. Remember, if you love the place the chances are you can come back in the future when the kids are a bit older and see it again.
4. Single Prams
If you have twins or more than one baby then its a good idea to get two single prams – borrow or buy second hand! Double buggies are difficult to cart around at the best of times and its just easier to each take one! Also, we have the Bugaboo Donkey and that is one expensive piece of equipment! I have seen the way they chuck those buggies around when putting them in the hold and I do not want my Bugaboo getting ruined- spare parts are damn expensive!! Even if you only have one baby its a good idea to get more of a lightweight buggy so its easier to carry up stairs and what not!
5. Pack your carry-on meticulously!
When we went on the girls’ first flight we made a few mistakes with our carry-on and we ended up getting everything pulled out, whilst trying to carry two babies! It’s a pretty obvious one but definitely good to remember! Getting through security is stressful but there is a separate line for families so take full advantage!
6. Keep to your own time-zone
I guess this applies to travelling within a 3 hour time difference but its probably best to keep the babas on their routine – especially if like us you are only travelling for a few days. We were an hour ahead in Barcelona and we just stayed on English time so us not to disrupt their schedule. As I’ve not done longer haul with the girls just yet I can’t advise on anything other than that!
7. More space!
On a longer haul flight I would probably book an extra seat in between us but more than likely the person next to you will ask to move (LOL). When you get on to the flight ask an attendant if they have any spare seats and they will more than likely look at you and your twins and feel sorry for you!
8. You may not get to sit together
Typically, there are only a certain number of oxygen masks per row – usually just four. This means when travelling with twins they will want to separate you so you all have a mask and also they occasionally have issues with life jackets. They usually wait until the plane is full which is a bit annoying as you can’t get settled but more often than not you will end up getting a row to yourself.
Breastfeeding makes flying so much more simple – just pop them on. No issue at all. It can be a bit awkward thinking about people around you but really nobody can usually see anything so don’t worry too much
10. Don’t let people rush you
You are not holding up the plane! Just take your time – don’t get stressed. I ended up leaving my phone on the plane as I was so stressed and trying to get off the plane quickly. That caused me way more stress in the long run so just don’t do it!
11. Be smart with your travel times
Don’t get a 3am flight because you will not want to get your baby awake at that time! When we travelled to Kent, we fed the girls their bedtime bottle and popped them in their car seats. It made it so much easier as they just slept the entire way down – even though we were exhausted. Long car journeys are uncomfortable and not enjoyable for anyone – its easier to do it when they’re gonna be asleep for a longer period of time! We had to get the girls up at 5am English time when we left Barcelona and that was a bit of a pain because they woke up really early for the next couple of days!
Pretty simple one – use backpacks. Its soo much easier to have your hands free and they are just great for space anyway.
I hope those tips help some people! Travelling with twins is definitely no easy feat and we struggled a bit however it is so worth it. I want to encourage you to do it even if you don’t think you can because you will surprise yourselves! The girls were so fantastic and we can’t wait to do more with them – of course we would like to do some travel of our own from time to time but it is amazing seeing everything through their eyes. Language barriers don’t matter to them and their smiles are able to melt the hearts of anyone! I know each different stage will bring its own challenges but we will not let it stop us.
Let me know if you have any questions!