Traveling with Twins
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Traveling with Twins
I am a new mom of 3 month old twins and my family lives in New
York. The three of us are flying back for the Thanksgiving
holiday and I am so worried about this flight. Not really sure
how the three of us are going to survive it and I am wondering
if anyone has some good advice to make the trip more
manageable. I purchased two seats and I am planning on holding
one and putting the other in a car seat. I have also requested
the bulkhead but am unsure of whether I will get that. I guess
I will find out when I arrive 3 hours prior to boarding the day
of departure. Thanks for listening-
worried new mom
I've always wanted to have a T-shirt made that says ''Mom of Twins
Flying Solo. Any Help Gratefully Accepted.'' Here's a not-the-best
flight scenario, which happened when my twins were 6 mos old. We sat on
the runway for an hour because of snow and when we finally took off, I
began having really awful abdominal pains (sausages, homemade by my
husband's grandmother and I just KNEW I shouldn't have eaten them). Long
story short, two very nice grandmotherly women held my babies while I
lay curled up in two seats in the back of the plane very close to the
restroom. Every other flight with my twins was an absolute piece of cake
(some sort of karmic thing, I'm sure). Don't be afraid to ask for help
during security checks and don't let the passengers waiting behind you
make you anxious. It's a finite amount of time & it will be fine. Just
keep in mind how lovely it will be to show off those babies to all your
relatives. And avoid sausage before your flight! :-) Mom of Traveling
Request for a bassinet so you can get some rest on your arm. You'll need
to call ahead to reserve it. Won't hurt to call a second time to make
sure your revervation is still there and ask again when you check in.
Not sure which airline you're taking, some have very good services and
the crew member will help you hold the baby so you cau use the bathroom
or make a bottle. Bring extra diaper, water, formula(not sure if you're
nursing) on board.
I have 2 year old twin girls that I have flown with quite a bit. It is
actually much easier to fly with infants than toddlers. Before they get
mobile, they are much more content to sit and hang out. As infants, my
kids usually slept most of the flight so I purchased seats for them and
put them in their car seats. I draped a blanket over them and they
would go right out with the drone of the engines. At the airport, I just
put them in the stroller and hooked the car seats onto the handle. Its
really easy and the few times where it is a bit logistically tough
people always offer to help (getting through security etc.).
Enjoy your trip!
While I haven't travelled with twins, I have travelled alone with my two
children (toddler and infant) extensively. You are going to be just
fine. Your fellow passengers are going to help you out. When you go
through security, some TSA guy is going to help you break down your
stroller and put all of your stuff in the trays. then, you will carry
one baby through the magnatron and some businessman is going to carry
through your next one (he feels guilty because his wife has been home
alone with the kids for four days). Someone else is going to help you
set back up your stroller and reload it at the other end.
A mom travelling with her teenager is going to hold one baby while the
daughter holds the other while you are breaking down the stroller just
before boarding. She will direct her husband to carry your car seat.
Fellow passengers are going to pass by and pick up your bags for you.
Just tell them your row number and the bags will be sitting there when
you get there. That Mom and teenager are probably going to come check
on you during the flight to see if you need one of the babies held for a
while so that you can go to the bathroom. The same random passengers
who got your bags onto the plane are going to get them off of the plane
for you. They will be sitting by the stroller (being reassmebled by the
pilot who really misses his or her kids when on the road). Half of the
plane is going to tell you how amazing you are for doing what you are
My only piece of unsolicited advice...buy one more seat, bring a boppy
and don't sit in the bulkhead.
-love to travel
Am going to be traveling wiith 6 month old twins to Seattle
for the weekend. I am wondering if anyone has a
recommendation for airline? Also take car seats or rent
the car? I rented a car recently, and saw a couple of car
seats lying around the rental booth that looked pretty scary.
Does anyone have recommendations about which car
rental is the most infant friendly? Kids don't like pacifiers,
am trying to time flight so they will be eating (bottles) when
descending. Any other ideas?
Hi there Seattle Traveler
My partner and I just did x-country flights with 7 month old
twins. You didn't say if you're traveling alone or with
Two great resources www.twinslist.org and
www.twinsmagazine.com/vbulletin. I am a big fan of the Twins
Magazine bulletin board; I've gotten great information/advice
about questions just like this.
When we flew, we bought one extra seat for a carseat and
brought both car seats. We checked one. We rented a mini-van
through National which had the best deal for us. Our trip was
epic: 4 states, 3 airflights, etc. so we really needed both
We used the B.A.B.E.S. taxi service to get to the airport so
that we could use their carseats and not have to deal with
buckling our own in. (Their number is in an archive post on
the BPN site.)
We fed them 4 oz of formula on take-off and landing and had no
problem with the ear pressure.
Best thing we did: bought 30 pairs of ear plugs at the Campus
Store on Euclid and Ridge and passed them out to our row-
neighbors after we boarded. It was amazing what it did to
change people's ''Oh no, I'm sitting in front of 2 babies''
energy. It made both the other passengers and myself relax.
Good luck and happy travels.
Be wary of renting carseats. I believe we rented from
Enterprise. We wanted 2 booster seats for our 4 year old twins
and a forward carseat for our 1 year old. I was a litte wary
myself of this and made sure my husband was very specific! They
said they had it covered. When we get there we were given 3
disgusting, old, not working correctly carseats- 2 forward
facing and one rear facing for an infant (not what we had
arranged for!). Thankfully we had decided to pack our twins
booster seat bases at the last minute, but it still took us
over an hour to rig one of the carseats to accomodate our
youngest son. Not exactly what you want to be doing right
after getting off a 5 hour flight at night time with 3 small
kids. I was furious and would NEVER do it again because you
are stuck- that's all you have to work with unless you throw
the kids in the car illegally and go buy new ones at the
nearest Toys-r-Us or something.
Definately bring your own car seats.
Hopefully they're airline rated so you can take them on board
and the kids will have something a little more comfortable to sit
and hopefully sleep in! Also, now that my kids are older and are
very busy bodies, I sure miss being able to just strap them in
for a fair amount of the ride! I've only rented a car seat once
and it was deffinately mediocre at best. And the rental place
may or may not have ones right there so you might have to wait
extra for some guy to get one from the back. Having your own is
good because you know they're safe, you know how to correctly
install them, and your kids are used to them too.
I have a long trip (apx 20 hours with one plane change) coming
up -- I'll have to travel alone with my 18 month twins. Have no
idea how I'll manage pushing a double stroller and carry two car
seats and our carry-on bags. Has anyone had to deal with similar
circumstances? Suggestions would be welcome.
I have done some trips alone with my 2 girls when they were 1
and barely 3. I would check the luggage at curbside with
skycap and get my boarding pass. It is a struggle to schlep
everything but at that age you really need your stroller and
car seats. I would let one girl walk next to me and put the
carseats in the empty stroller seat. I would then get to the
gate pretty early for 2 reasons. one, to let the girls run
around and get tired and two, because I could pre-board with
assistance. Ususally somneone would take my car seats and then
I could park my stroller at the plane's entrance where it would
be waiting once I got off or you could request to have it at
your final destination gate. I only fly Southwest, so I don't
know how other airlines work. Southwest has always been
accomodating. Even when I didn't buy a seat for my under 2
child, they would let me bring my carseat on board and strap my
daughter into an empty seat (this works best on mid-afternoon
flights that aren't crowded) because a friend who works for an
airline said that it is an unwritten courtesy to give lap
children seats if they are available. I have always found this
my advantage, but I didn't always count on it. Good luck.
My twins are now 5 and can help carry their own stuff, but we
made many plane trips with them when they were younger. I found
the use of a double stroller with big baskets underneath (we used
a Graaco) to be indispensable. We checked it at the gate and
retrieved it just outside the airplane door on arrival. I was
able to stow all the feeding/diapering equipment in it, and
balance their carseats on the canopy, or, when they were babies,
fit the carseats right into the stroller seats with the babies in
the carseats. I really needed the carseats on the plane, both
for safety reasons and because it was so much easier for them to
sleep in them.
Been there, done that
Hi, we travel a fair amount with our twins (now 5), and of course
it MUCH easier if there are two adults traveling with them. I
have done a couple of trips with only myself and my two girls,
and it certainly was not easy! I arranged people to drop us off
and pick us up on each end, but you have to deal with everything
between security check-points yourself. I made sure to use the
early boarding time, and was usually the last to get off the
plane too. One of the gate staff or the flight attendents was
always happy to either help bring some of the load of stuff we
needed or to watch one kid while I got the other in place. Check
anything you can, and gate-check the double stroller so you'll
have it when you get off the plane. I got fairly good at piling
that double stroller pretty high with the car seats and carry-on
bags! At 18 months, the kids might be able to do some walking.
When I was with my two alone in an airport with all this stuff
that was the only time I used kid leashes to make sure they
stayed close by. Deffinately a good thing. I also liked (and
used) the idea someone had of putting one of those little paper
airline luggage ID tags on each kid that had their name and what
flights they were on for the day just in case we somehow got
separated. Yes, keep them chewing as the altitude changes ...
one of our kids liked a pacifier, the other a bottle or nursing,
or just sucking on your finger can be good enough.
My husband and I are contemplating a trip to Switzerland
this summer, where we will stay with relatives. We would
love advice on how to manage the airplane trip with our
twin boys. They will be about nine months old by then.
Since I have back problems, we are thinking of using miles
to upgrade to business class, but are concerned that the
airline won't allow us to do this if we bring the babies.
We also need advice on how to bring/acquire all the baby
paraphenalia: carseats, stroller. And we need advice on
how to manage any interludes in airports. We haven't
travelled since Sept. 11.
Has anyone undertaken this kind of trip with a one-to-one
Should we just stay home?
We have travelled by air many times with our twin girls, now
3. The first time was a trip across the county when they
were 7 months old, and it was hell, but worth it. One of us
used a front carrier, one a back carrier, to carry the
babies through the airports, and the one with the front
carrier carried the diaper bag backpack on his back! We
carried their little carseats in our hands (they were still
the small ones with handles), using them for carrying any
''extras'' (hats, purse, etc.). Now we take our old reliable,
Graco Duo Rider stroller to navigate the airport, tucking
the kids in that. It has big baskets in the back for
stuffing the toy and food bags into (no more diapers!) and
we somehow manage to balance their now bigger carseats
(stacked together) on the top. We check the stroller at the
gate (it folds down, snaps shut, and hasn't been damaged so
far), but take the carseats on the plane with us (it's a
safer way for them to ride, and they sleep better with that
support). You can check the carseats, too, though (I think
we did this for one trip -- we had kept the boxes, so we
stuffed them in and taped them up at the last minute, and
then checked the boxes). There is a woman with twins who
belongs to Twins by the Bay who has traveled to Switzerland
several times. If you like, you can e-mail me, and I can
forward your address to her; she may have some additional
advice. Take LOTS of liquids for the long trip!! The air
is murder. Bon voyage!
Go on your trip! And *definitely* use your miles to get
upgraded seats (business class) for your flight. And get a
seat for each of you. It is pricier, but will really be
worth it. The airlines will not turn you down because of
the twins. You can also get a reduced rate for the babies'
seats (athough sometimes it is not much; depends on the
airline). Bring their car seats and strap them in like you
would in the car. We did this on a trip we took last fall
with our then 1-year old to Hawaii and it worked out great.
Granted, Switzerland is a longer flight, but for that
reason you should definitely upgrade your seats. Having the
extra space in business class meant room for her blankie,
toys, snacks, etc., and the people around us seemed
relieved that we had a seat for our girl, instead of trying
to juggle her on our laps for the journey. That
alone will cut down on the tension.
As for the stroller(s), you can check them at the gate, so
you don't have to maneuver them onto the plane, and they
will get them out for you right when you de-plane, so no
waiting then, either.
I also recommend looking at this web page on Babycenter:
it has some great tips.
I traveled to Germany alone with my son when he was nine
months old. I would vote strongly for an airline that has
infant bassinets available and that will confirm there
availability for you. I flew United and they attached in
front of me in the bulkhead seats in the middle row. I had
this on my flight there and appreciated the extra space to
place him and/or toys so I could eat hands-free and have
extra space for entertaining (he managed to stay awake the
entire flight!). They will tell you it only goes to six
months, but mine was huge, with plenty of space for my 17
pound baby. The leg room would have been tight though for
my neighbor, but that seat ended up free at the last
minute (and I had planned on using my carseat there but
was told it would definitely be taken, so I gate-checked
it). Also, try to find an unpopular flight that might have
more space free and sympathetic seat assigners who might
place you and your husband in separate aisle seats in the
middle row with hopes of leaving the middle seats free.
You could also use your extra miles to buy a seat for one
or both of the babies to guarantee use of car seats.
Better for safety reasons too. And you still have to pay
around $100 a piece for them even without seats to cover
fees, so cashing in miles might be worth it. If you have
any flexibility in flight times, try to choose flights
that allow you to get enough sleep the night before, donít
connect, and cover a napping time.
As for the upgrading with twins, I would think it would be
allowable. We used miles to fly first class to Hawaii when
our son was 7 months old and despite a few meanish stares
from fellow first classers, all went well. The extra leg
room is nice as is the lap space, but there is virtually
no chance of using your car seats.
As for stuff, I would skip portacribs and do family bed or
cribs from hotels. Strollers and car seats can be gate-
checked and donít count as baggage. Pack tons of snacks
for you and the twins, extra diapers, changes of clothes,
and toys that can be tied to the seats or bassinets.
Slings would be great for holding fussy babies close who
donít want to spend all their time in strollers while you
wait in lines.United moved me to the first class line when
I checked in with my son and all of our baggage and
equipment, so look desparate when you arrive and maybe you
can avoid a long wait! In general, I found traveling with
an infant much easier than when he was 1-2 years old.
I've flown to Switzerland with two kids (not twins) and
back several times. With two grownups and a good
airline you should be fine! (We did it a couple of times
on TWA with plane changes in St. Louis AND
Paris...that was nasty). United to New York, Paris,
Geneva, wasn't much better! Nine months is as good a
time as any, and better than some.
Before you pack, think for awhile about what you will
actually need --- do you need a stroller or strollers, or
would backpacks be better. Can you rent carseats, or is
it better to pack them in your luggage (I'm assuming
you can't use them on the plane without paying for
seats). Do you need a travel crib? Two? Obviously the
trick is to take the minimum -- but no less than that.
When we were doing this we lived near Geneva, Switz.
and came to the states once or twice a year. My mother
in law arranged to borrow carseats from her friends...
and we bought a booster and left it at her house for
both kids to grow through...plus cousins. she also
borrowed a crib for us the times we needed that, or we
traveled with a porta-crib.
The major secret with flying with babies is to work WITH
their schedule... I tried flying nights thinking they'd
sleep, but they were always ''over'' tired and cranky, so I
learned to start early in the day so they'd be worn out
and over the novelty by naptime. Jetlage is a pain, but
mostly because they don't know what's happen. The
babys tend to adjust to the time change at the rate of
an hour or two per night. When my kids were preschool
age we'd stopped fighting it, and started getting up and
watching Disney movies in the middle of the night, for a
As for feeding, we traveled with formula and bottles,
always took a snack wherever we went... and learned to
accept help from cabin attendants and friendly
passengers. Don't try to eat while holding a baby on
your lap, and plan ahead for what you one the babies to
eat. The good news is NO ONE can kidnap your kid on
I always took a couple of toys -- not more than 3 or 4
and rotated them over the trip. My big hint is to take a
packet of elastic (1/4'') to tie a toy or something too. you
can reel it in, or tie to two seat backs to play with...
I haven't traveled with twins, but I did a lot of traveling
when my baby was small, some of it alone with my 7
year old along. My main advice is to get at least one
extra seat, and if you can afford it, two. Most airlines give
50% discounts for babies under 2. Bring the
carseat(s). Babies sleep so much better in their
carseats,and they are less likely to spend the entire trip
alternating between feeding and wailing. I'd also
recommend getting the Kohlcraft double umbrella
stroller. Try Darla's in El Cerrito or Rockridge Kids. (It's
easy to maneuver with one hand and easy to gate
check, and you can carry the carseat with your other
hand. I just traveled with my kids for the first time since
9-11. You do need to leave lots of time for the security
checks. Believe what they say about getting to the
airport 90 minutes prior for domestic and even earlier
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