I’ve posted in the past about flying with twin babies, and then posted again about flying with twin toddlers. I’ve referred back to those posts so many times and shared them with friends and followers who ask for travel tips. This last trip I took with the girls felt different – like there was so much STUFF we no longer needed. It was bittersweet – freeing in a lot of ways but of course a reminder that time is a thief ;). I didn’t bring a stroller, and they even carried their own backpacks…what?!
While it was a lot easier (and we had a lot less STUFF) than traveling with babies, there were still helpful things I did or had with me. Since I’m alone with them, I’ll take all the help I can get to make travel days go more smoothly. Here are some things that worked for me…hope they help you, too!
I stand by these packing tips I posted before, so I’m including them again here!
- Do laundry ahead of time. Packing is SO stressful if you’re trying to laundry at the same time! Catch up on all of your laundry (as much as you can) in the few days before you need to pack.
- Pack for yourself and your kids on separate days. This one sounds silly, but it helps me so much! My brain feels like it’s going to explode if I try to pack for everyone at once, but if I do it on different days I feel so much better.
- Make lists of what you need in your phone a few days before you start packing, and keep adding to it every time you think of something you’ll need as you go about your days. By the time you’re actually packing, you’ll have a clear idea of what you need! This isn’t as important now that the girls are older and don’t need as many specifics, but still helpful to make sure I don’t forget anything crucial like their loveys – I really don’t think Piper could sleep without hers’!!!
- Ship items to destination. I don’t need to ship things like diapers and formula anymore, but it’s still helpful if there are any last minute things specific to the trip that I need on Amazon. Also, depending on where we are going/staying (and if we are staying in a house with a kitchen), I love to do an Instacart order to make sure we have the food we need when we get there.
PACKING LIST FOR THEM
Obviously you’ll want to bring the right amount of clothes, socks, and shoes for the length/location of your trip! Here’s a quick list of the more obvious items:
- Outfits (shirts, pants, rompers, dresses, etc.)
- Underwear (we don’t need diapers/pull-ups anymore, so crazy!)
- Swimsuits if needed
- Hats (sun hats or warm hats, depending on destination!)
- Shampoo, soap, and lotion for bath time
ESSENTIAL SLEEP ITEMS
Since we no longer need cribs, sleep sacks, etc., this has gotten a lot easier! I think the below are still helpful to consider at this age:
- Lovey or comfort item (pacifier, blanket, etc.)
- Sound Machine (I actually forgot ours’ this last time and just used my phone, but really wished I’d had it since I would usually go to bed later and get up earlier than the girls and wanted to be able to use my phone ;).
- Nightlight (We have a big version of the salt lamp I just linked, so I feel like bringing the mini ones make it feel like home. My girls are also OBSESSED with this Tranquil Turtle. They can fall sleep without it, but if we are driving I sometimes bring it!)
- Travel Blackout Shades I didn’t have these with me either, but if your kid still naps at all or if you’re wanting them to sleep in longer I think they’re really helpful.
- Diaper bag / Carry-on Bag – I used to be obsessed with this diaper bag, but now that the girls are bigger I just bring this tote. I love that it has a travel sleeve and love how big it is!
- Suitcases – You definitely want something with 4 wheels so that it rolls/pushes easy with one hand. I prefer hard suitcases, and these days I try to pack for myself and the girls in one large suitcase to check and one carry-on to either carry on or gate- check (see tips and tricks below!)
- Car Seat Bags – (if you’re bringing their big car seats) we have these from J.L. Childress, I prefer the backpack over wheeled one because I already have two things to wheel and a stroller/wagon to push.
- Car seats, booster seats, or travel car seat harness – this last trip, I just brought these harnesses! So much easier to haul. If you happen to be visiting family or someone you know is picking you up from the airport, it might be worth it to just order this cheap booster seat to your destination and have them bring it when they swoop you.
- Travel Stroller or Wagon – I love this stroller so much, it fits down the aisle of the airplane and then folds up in the overhead bin! You can also add the kick board on the back if you have two kids. I also like to use this wagon if I want to gate-check it because it’s super sturdy, easy to pull with one hand through the airport, and fun for the girls. This last trip I didn’t even bring a stroller, because the girls are older. But let me tell you – walking through that huge airport was no joke! They were troopers! If we’d had something planned during the trip like a trip to the zoo, an amusement park, or something like that where we’d be walking all day I definitely would have brought it!
WHAT TO BRING ON THE PLANE
Have some tricks up your sleeve. This is an obvious one, but save something for the plane or car ride, like a small new toy, book, activity, or snack you know they’ll love. Here’s what I bring on the plane:
- Tablets – we use these from Amazon, they’re affordable and do everything we need them to. The girls alternate between playing learning games and watching Disney + (we’ve got a bunch downloaded from Disney+, it’s amazing! I always try to make sure and download a few new games and movies before a trip.)
- Headphones – we use these to either plug into the tablets or the plane TV, because now that the girls are bigger they get frustrated if I turn the sound down and I don’t want to bug other passengers!
- Snacks – since the girls are older, I’m not as worried about entertaining them with snacks. I can also usually find something at the airport that they’ll like. But, it’s still really nice to have healthy snacks on the plane! Bring things you know they love from home that will sustain them and are healthy. I try to bring fruit, crackers/chips, and lately they’re so into these little meat sticks which I love because I know they’re getting sustainable protein.
- Activity books – you GUYS. I ordered a couple of Pre-K workbooks online and brought them on the plane…I had NO IDEA how much the girls would like them! They actually did them the entire flight there, didn’t even want to use their tablets or watch movies. The only thing is that it was very involved for ME (I had to read them instructions for each page) so if you have other work you need to get done, beware ;).
- Drawing tablets – these are so cheap on Amazon and light/easy to pack, and my girls are obsessed with them! They’ll spend as long drawing on these as they will playing on their regular tables. They’re a hit with other kids whenever we take them places, too!
- A couple small stuffies or toys – ones that you know will genuinely entertain them! This last trip we brought a few tiny dinosaurs, because I know the girls are super into those right now and will pretend play together with them. I also ended up buying them each a new stuffy at the airport…because they begged. I was reluctant, but they played with them so much during the flight and on the trip it was totally worth the $20!
- Wipes. Always wipes. I don’t care how big these kids get, I think I’ll have wipes with me forever!
TIPS AND TRICKS
These tips from my last post still hold up at this age!
- If your luggage is overweight, shove some items in the car eat bag with your car seats! Do this before you get to the counter to check your baggage, I don’t think this is actually allowed but they don’t know if you do it beforehand ;).
- Ship items that you can ship! I use services like Amazon and Thrive Market to ship diapers, wipes, formula, medicine, etc.
- Minimize what you carry on the plane. I like to keep my carry-on suitcase with me and then ask to gate-check it. Often times if the flight is full they are asking for volunteers to gate-check their carry-on bags for free. This way, I don’t have to wrestle with it on the plane and essentially check it for free.
- Board early when they do “family boarding”. I know some people like to keep their babies off the plane as long as possible, but I would way rather get situated with my carry-ons and get the girls seated comfortable before the plane is too crowded!
- Pack organized. I like to either use packing cubes or pack with the Marie Kondo method, meaning I use her folding technique in my suitcase so that I can see all of the girls’ clothes and my clothes easily. This keeps me so much more organized throughout the trip!!
- Unpack if possible. If there’s a drawer and/or closet available and we are staying for more than a couple of days, I unpack right when we get to our destination. It just takes a few minutes and is SO worth it to stay organized while on your trip! Makes packing to leave so much easier, too!
- Try to time it so that you have your kid eating, drinking, chewing, or sucking on something when you take off and land! I didn’t think I’d have to still do this at this age, but both girls were congested and ended up crying that their ears hurt as we were landing. I felt so bad for them!
- In your little snack pack for the plane, freeze a couple of pouches for a bit to keep everything else cold!
COLD/FLU SEASON AND CORONAVIRUS
I always try to be as careful as I can when traveling, even before Covid times. Of course we wash hands a LOT, use wipes and hand sanitizing spray, especially right before they’re about to eat. If you need to travel, I’d say bring anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down your seats, belts, trays, etc. If our flight is short enough, we avoid the plane bathroom by going at the airport right before and after. I also try to keep us all as hydrated as possible! And take whatever immunity boosters you like – I love these Wellness Formula tablets whenever I travel, as well as this Amazing Grass Immunity Superfood powder. For my girls, I love to spray this in their mouths everyday and give them both elderberry and probiotic gummies.
Hope that’s helpful! I know it can be a lot of work/prep to get somewhere with little ones, but it’s always always worth it!