What are your best tips for traveling with multiples?
(Best Tips at the end of this novel.)
Traveling with Multiples… My Experiences:
Leave at night or right before naptime!!! We really don’t travel to anywhere but the Big City to visit my family. It’s about a five hour drive so we’ve found that the girls usually end up sleeping most of the way if we leave at bedtime or naptime. When Junie & Mags were babies, we’d feed them bottles and then change their diapers and head out the door. We kept a basket full of soft toys between them or on the floor underneath them and we’d toss them toys when they dropped other ones. Looking back on all the trips we’ve taken, we’ve really come a long way. The first few times, we couldn’t see out the back window. Haha! And we really only go up there for at most four days… we were newbies. Now that we’ve done it a bunch of times, we’ve learned to pack less and we’re better at fitting things in the car, too. We’re lucky that at my parents’ house, they have a crib and a pack n’ play so the girls always had beds to sleep in. At first they shared a bed, but as they got bigger we had to use both the crib and the pn’p. We used to stay in the basement in my old room (all four of us!) but now that my Papa has passed (God rest his soul) we stay in his “wing”. It’s nice, complete with a fabulous bathroom and a kitchenette in the sitting room. It’s so much better than the basement because we can sleep in a different room than the girls and they get much better rest not being able to see us. And with the kitchenette, we have a whole space to spread out the girls’ food/drinks/snacks, etc.
We’ve gotten much better in terms of bringing less stuff with us. But we always bring the girls blankies (they have two each) and a few of their most important “lovies”. Mainly the Mickey Mice (Mice because they each have one) and Glowies (Glo-worms) and they each have a bear that they sleep with… well, they each have about ten or twelve lovies in their beds but we only allow three for vacations. 🙂 OOH – when they were about nine months old we bought a portable DVD player and strung it up in between their seats and played Baby Einstein videos. What a lifesaver! I’m not sure where we’ll put it now that they’re facing forward…
We absolutely try and keep them to some sort of schedule… as close to their usual one as possible. And indispensible items? Dont’ forget to bring plastic bags in the car, lots of extras, for dirty bottles, dirty diapers, trash, etc. It’s amazing how much trash a family of four can accumulate in five hours in a car.
We haven’t taken a trip yet with the three of them. That will be interesting, I’m sure. We plan to drive to Florida to my parents’ new condo some time next year. That’s going to be a wild trip. I’ll be sure to blog about it.
When the big girls were about four months old, my parents flew us out to La Jolla, California to spend a week there with them and my siblings after Christmas. (My Papa – same one who lived with us – bought a condo there in the early 70’s and it’s been my personal favorite vacation place since I can remember.) We were really apprehensive about flying with the girls. A few days before we left, Magnolia developed RSV. We had to bring the nebulizer (?) with us and sure enough, Junie got RSV the day we left. It was pretty awful navigating the airport with twins. We were nervous for all those looks we were sure to get as we boarded the plane. To our delight, the only time either of our babies cried was when Hubby lifted Junie into the baby carrier and smacked her head on the roof of the plane cabin. I don’t think she would have cried but everyone around us gasped loudly “OH!”… and she cried.
I was amazed at how easy it was to fly with babies – we didn’t even have to change a diaper on the plane. And I have no memory of feeding them on the plane… we probably did. I don’t know what it’s like to fly with toddlers – and I doubt we’ll ever find out. Plane tickets are WAY too expensive to be worth the hassle of checking luggage, extra fees, and all those restrictions these days. I’d much rather drive and see the beauty of the USA.
So my best tips?
1. Try not to stress. Crazy things will happen and you will survive.
2. Pack ahead of time so you minimize the chance of forgetting something.
3. If you’re driving, leave just before naptime!!
4. Driving? Invest in a portable DVD player.
5. Flying with Infants? Don’t be afraid to be “those people”. So you brought your kids on a plane… would you bring them on a bus? On a train? Airplanes are public transportation. If the other passengers are really in such a stink about traveling with children on a plan, then they should think about chartering a private plane. You have every right to be there, and it will likely go better than expected. 🙂
6. Bring familiar toys, lovies, blankets, etc from home. Don’t bring everything – just a few.
7. Driving? Bring lots of plastic bags (grocery and ziplocks) for trash, storage, etc.
8. Bring more diapers and wipes than you think you’ll need. Diapers can come in handy for soaking up big spills if you can’t find a paper towel in a hurry… and wipes are indispensible for lots of things.
9. If you’re traveling to visit family, see if a neighbor has a pack n’ play, etc, than you can borrow during your stay. It will save you room in the car or luggage fees, and therefore save you a ton of hassle.
10. Your sense of humor. Don’t forget this one at home! You’ll need it when something goes wrong.
Bon Voyage!!! 🙂