It’s always a risk, traveling with infants. Even if you’re desperate for some sun and you’ve found your cheap tickets, the change of routine will inevitably cause some upset and the inherent unreliability of international transport could leave you stranded in an unfamiliar place with a loud, tired child making a difficult situation even worse. With twins, you’re simply multiplying the problem by two. Here are the top tips for happy holidays with twins.
If possible, drive
What’s worse than a screaming baby on an international flight? Two screaming babies on an international flight. The pressurized, low-oxygen cabin of a plane, combined with the unsettling sensation of flying and the painful pressure changes of descent, present an environment which is extremely hostile to babies. The car is better, because you can stop as often as you like, drive with the windows down and mop up any fluids in privacy.
Get the right equipment
Make sure your car is correctly fitted with an approved seat for your baby. Follow the instructions for the baby seat as well as the car manual, which will explain how the relevant airbags function and where the appropriate anchor points are.
Pick the right destination
The sun might be calling you, but remember too much sun isn’t good for young infants. You’ll be spending a lot of time covering bored and overheating twins in several protective layers, rather than soaking up the rays in blissful solitude.
Check and double check the airline’s rules
Twins are relatively uncommon, and some airlines may not cater for them very efficiently. Because safety is paramount on airplanes, some carriers have very restrictive seating requirements for families with twins. Oxygen mask locations mean that you may have to sit separately. Most airlines don’t give a baggage allowance to infants, so make sure you don’t go over your limit or you’re likely to face some ferocious fines.
Pack everything you might need
When there are children in tow, there can’t be any last minute airport purchases. Everything must be neatly stowed in your luggage – hand luggage where possible – in case you’re delayed until after shop closing time, or in case you’re suddenly diverted to a more remote airport. Never assume supplies will be available when you touch down.
Board the plane last
This gives your twins less time to get bored, making the journey more pleasant for you and everybody around you.
Take a buggy each
Don’t take your super-duper expensive twin buggy, because it’ll get damaged or lost. What’s more, big wide strollers don’t work on the relatively narrow pavements of some countries, and they don’t fit through most doors. Single buggies are much more maneuverable. If you’re by yourself, take one backpack baby carrier and one pushchair.
Research your destination
The internet is full of information. Before you go, find out where the most child-friendly restaurants are, whether there are crèches you can drop your twins off at for the day, and which hotels see two tired, confused and noisy babies as “cute” rather than “horrendous”.