A plane, a train, a subway car, a taxi, an Uber, a friend’s car, and on our bodies- all the ways we transported our daughters during our first big trip.
Sean had a work trip that required him to go to New York. With me on maternity leave, and one of our plane tickets paid for, we jumped at the opportunity for me and the girls to tag along. The trip was about as comprehensive as it gets – we saw my family, Sean’s family, friends from college, friends from CrossFit, and even some of my grade school soccer friends. All in all, we saw about 50 or 60 people.
How did we plan the travel?
Knowing we would have to navigate New York City, we went with the minimalist approach – we packed a large piece of luggage with everyone’s clothes and checked that at the airport. For carry-ons, we gate checked the car seats and brought a diaper bag and Sean’s backpack with work materials. Finally, we each had an Ergobaby to carry the girls around and allow our hands to be free.
The car seats were needed for Rhode Island and Massachusetts when traveling in cars of friends and family. It was easy to secure them with the seat belts. The Ergobabies were great when taking the subway and getting onto the Amtrak. Having two free hands made all the difference.
What didn’t we pack – our stroller! I know this might sound crazy but we actually didn’t really need it on this trip. With the girls being this young (and, relatively speaking, immobile) coupled with our heavy dependence on public transportation to get around New York and up to the New England area, we knew it would be insanely cumbersome. Double strollers are HUGE… and heavy. It was a very smart decision.
Flying with the girls
Things to know: when you have twins, or two infants in your laps, unless you buy tickets for all three seats in a row it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to sit with your spouse and other child in the same row. Why? Because everyone in a seat needs to be able to have their own oxygen mask (there are only 4 per row) in case of emergencies. So we couldn’t have five people – Sean with Leona in his lap, me with Quincy in my lap, and some poor soul sitting in the window seat because that would be five people. That meant that Sean and I had aisles seats next to each other. This ended up being great because the middle seats for our outbound flight were empty, allowing us to spread out a bit. It also gave us easy access to change diapers – which was helpful when Leona had a blowout (I look over to see Sean walking back to his seat carrying Leona in just a diaper… classic).
To help with the pressure changes, we fed them on takeoff, which worked out well since it was their feeding time, fed them three hours into the flight, and gave them pacifiers on the way down. We did this on all of our flights and miraculously, there wasn’t a peep from either of the girls. Amazing
It was pretty funny when people realized we were traveling with twins (the looks we got were something like Sean’s in the picture below). Many said we were ambitious, but we firmly believe we need to keep on living. Exposing the girls to travel and experiences early will help them throughout life. A woman who we spoke with on the subway gave us good advice, “Keep them mobile.” You’ll feel more comfortable exploring with them if you start early.
1. The pressure changes might make pre-poured bottles leak… fill them only when needed. Keep them in their original containers or mix the water and powder when needed. We mixed our powdered formula for 6 bottles (3 feedings per little lady) before take off and by the time we reached cruising altitude I had a puddle in my diaper bag of at least an ounce of formula that had leaked due to the pressure.
2. When visiting family leave extra room in your luggage for potential gifts. Expect people to gift you things – clothes, toys, soccer balls (love it!)….the generosity is amazing, until you exceed the weight limit for checked luggage.
3. Keep on your baby carrier – TSA said we actually didn’t need to take off our ErgoBaby carriers to bring them through the metal detector. It would have made it much easier if we knew we could immediately put the girls in the carriers upon arrival at the airport.
4. GET GLOBAL ENTRY(guaranteed TSA Pre-Check)- With all of the chaos at airport TSA checkpoints, we were nervous about traveling with the girls. Both Sean and I travel frequently for work and purchased Global Entry a few years ago. With the infants in arms, we can still use the “fast lane” to get through security. It was amazing and worth the investment.
5. Gate check car seat bags seem to be a good investment. When gate checking or through-checking your car seats, they still get tossed around. Protect them with a bag cover and you’ll feel better about putting your child back in one knowing it isn’t completely filthy.
Seeing that this was our first trip, I’m sure we’ll have far more lessons learned over time, hahaha. Any other ideas for traveling with twins/babies?
I agree traveling with them when they are young. Beautiful little girls, wonderful parenting advice to others. The more you do with them the more you love being with them. You learn a lot about yourself as well as what is really important for them. Your blog is wonderful to read. We are with you on your parenthood journey.