Tip #1: Packing
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to effectively pack for all
4 of us while maintaining some sense of organized as well as not have a ton of luggage to pack around along with the toddlers. I ran across this idea on Amanda's blog, I thought this was genius, I could make sure I have clothes for each toddler each day plus a couple of extra (just in case) outfits and it would all be orderly. This worked wonderfully for us. I packed the twins in one carry on size suitcase, including shoes, diapers and wipes. I packed my hubs and I in one regular size suitcase which I have become really good at doing, I kind of like to think of myself and the packing master! We did check both of our bags so that we would have our hands free to be able to handle both kids without having to worry about bags too. I had also made sure all important documents were within easy reach in my purse so when going through all check points I didn't have to mess around to find them including boarding passes/id's/birth certificates.
|Source (all things simple)|
I had to decide if we wanted to lug our Britax Marathon 70's along for the ride, at first we thought it could be a lot of work to take 2 full size heavy carseats with us but after reading stories like this, I decided it was well worth the time and effort to bring our own carseats, my children's safety is not something I want to take a chance on. I purchased these to protect them on the flight and I loved them, they were easy to carry/roll or to put on your back like a backpack. They also had extra space to put a few more things in there like a stuffed animal or doll or extra diapers, plus since carseats are free to check on most airlines you should take advantage of the extra space. By checking the carseats we had our hands free to handle the twins going through security and to the gate. The carseats were treated well during flight and I had no complaints. Our family had rented minivans for the ride and of course with the Britax easy latch system they were a breeze to install (even at 11 pm in 102 degree weather).
Tip #3: Entertaining your toddler
I had asked on twitter what were some good ideas for entertaining a toddler on the plane. One of my favorite twin mama Erin suggested I get a new toy or something for them to play with. I ran over to Target and picked up travel sized magnadoodle pads! They loved these, I didn't let them see them until after we took off and it occupied them for quite a while. Also I fit everything into the Pottery Barn Kids Preschool size backpack, I first got these and wasn't sure how often I would use them, but we use them A LOT! I actual think that Ava and Landon love that they have a bag of their own to use. We had an iPad and a portable DVD player so that they could watch a movie or a show and snacks for the ride! All in all they did such a great job on the plane ride and I was pleasantly surprised!
Tip #4: Maintaining your sanity
Luckily for us we had family along on the trip to help but I now can safely say I would travel with them on our own for an extended period of time. We maintained their normal schedule as much as we could including we would try to time any car ride that was longer to nap time so they would sleep. We kept bedtime as close as we could to normal and did our normal bath, brush your teeth and pj routine to keep them in check. I'm sure it helped that they were playing hard most of the day and were exhausted by the time bedtime rolled around.
Well I hope maybe some of my tips will help some of you who might be getting ready to travel with small ones this summer, if you have any great tips or something that has worked for you please let me know! I am always looking for better and more efficient ways to travel with toddlers!
Check back for my story about the time I was "that mom" in Vegas with her kids awake at 12:30 am in the lobby of the Palms Hotel...yeah that happened!