Prior to flying with our 15 month old boys, we asked around for tips at our twins club and among other twin friends. These are the things that worked the best for us and helped us survive our cross country flights with our very active (and hungry) boys.
Preparing for Traveling
If you’re reading this post, you’re likely in the preparation phase. Having the right gear and supplies can make flying so much more pleasant…or should I say, less painful. Most of the gear you’ll travel with is obvious, and these are some little details to also remember.
Car Seat Bags – This make/model fits all brands and sizes of car seats. It’s a must-have if you don’t want the seats to get dirty or destroyed when you check them. These car seat covers have a handle on them, so it makes it easier to carry them from the curb to the ticket counter where you’ll check them. You can see them in action in the photo at the top of this page.
Car Seat Transporter – We didn’t need to use these on our recent flight, because we checked our car seats. However, they came highly recommended to us for when we do bring the car seats on the plane.
Travel Stroller – We have a really nice double stroller that we use everyday at home. However, it’s not great for traveling because the seats have to be removed from the frame. There’s no time for that when you’re gate checking. Also, gear gets notoriously banged up when it gets checked. We have a cheap double umbrella stroller that we travel with. It folds up easily, has no components to detach, and we don’t worry about it getting banged up.
Extra, Extra Durable Diapers – Since it’s more difficult to change diapers on the road, you want to be equipped with the best of the best to avoid the obvious mess. We found that this brand/style is the absolute best. I’m delighted to say that while deploying them, we have used zero of the backup clothes we packed.
At the Airport
What to check vs. gate check vs. carry on…the big question. With the gear you need at 15 months of age, we did the following:
Car seats (with car seat covers)
2 diaper bags (one containing diapering supplies and the other containing snacks)
Backpack (containing all entertainment supplies)
Small suitcase with backup supplies
Security – The only tip I can offer here is to get TSA PreCheck. This will spare you from having to remove your shoes, take out your devices, take out any liquids, or remove your kids from the Ergo/carrier.
Waiting to Board – This is your chance to fill ’em up, wear ’em out, and clean ’em up. We gave our boys as much food as they wanted, and let them run around the airport like crazy. Stretch your legs, boys!
Feeding Twins While Traveling/Flying
It’s hard for adults to eat healthy while traveling. It’s even harder for kids. I try to make up for the junk food we eat after we land, but while we’re in the air there are pretty much no rules. If it keeps them happy and quiet for a few hours, it’s ok with me.
Ubbi Snack Cups – I like this brand of the snack cups because they have a lid. Munchkin makes this cheaper version without a lid. If you splurge for the one with the lid, you’ll spare all of your belongings from getting covered with a fine layer of Cheerio dust. Look at this happy guy fishing for Cheerios!
Pouches – I really don’t like giving the boys pouches, but at 30,000 feet I’ll hand them out like candy.
Freeze Dried Fruit – Trader Joe’s has great freeze dried bananas, mangoes, and raspberries. mmmmm
Box of Raisins – This provides at least 15 minutes of entertainment while they to get the raisins out of the box.
Bagels – These are particularly helpful if they’re teething.
Entertaining Twins While Flying
Busy bags – I could write an entire post about the best things to put in busy bags…and I will (update: full post on the contents of our busy bags is here). In summary, the best things are new books (our boys LOVED these interactive books), post-it notes/painters tape, the doodle pro trip, anything on a string, foam misting fans, pop toobs, plastic cups, and spoons.
Wubbies – We have a strict ‘Wubbies only live in cribs’ policy in our house. You can read about how it keeps our boys sleeping through the night here. However, there is one exception to this which is that Wubbies also live on airplanes! Because they’re a novelty, the boys are VERY excited to have them and it keeps them happy.
Pacifier Clips – We use these clips for all kinds of toys. Anything that we don’t want to see rolling around on the floor, we put a clip on.
The aisle – This is perhaps our boys favorite activity. They will run up and down the aisle for hours. Upon landing, one passenger said to me “It looks like your family walked all the way from Florida to California.”
Remember, one day you will be one of those peaceful passengers watching movies, eating snacks, and napping. It just won’t be when you’re traveling with twin toddlers.