I can clearly remember being a first time mom with twins, itching to get back to travel. I read numerous blog posts and recommendations on the must-have items when traveling with kids, but very few mentioned what to do when you have two kids- especially twins. Now that my kids are two-years-old and have been on almost twenty trips, including five countries, I consider myself a bit of an expert in traveling with kids.
Below are my personal must-have items when traveling with my kids:
I believe the most frequent question parents have, especially those of infants and toddlers, is how do I transport my child- through the airport, down the crowded tourist streets, on the train, etc.- in a simple and effective manner?
My go to, especially with twins, is an infant car seat that is compatible with a stroller. This allows you to use the infant car seat in the car, to carry your child by hand, or to lock into the stroller. We took our Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seats and double Baby Jogger City Select Stroller to Puerto Rico, Amsterdam, and Paris.
We loved how easy it was to go from the Uber, to the stroller, and onto the plane without having to physically move our infants. The only downside of the infant car seat/stroller combination is the weight. I will never forget trying to quickly exit the high-speed train from Paris to Amsterdam with two infant car seats occupied by my precious six-month-old twins, a forty pound stroller, and our luggage. The panic, sweat and sheer frustration consumed my body almost to the point of tears. That’s when I noticed that the “locals” were using a very small and compact stroller. At that moment I knew there was a better option- especially since the boys were six-months-old and could sit up on their own.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love our infant car seat and stroller combination. And honestly, that’s the best option for kids that are under six-months-old and cannot sit up on their own.
However, once your kid is able to sit in a stroller seat on his or her own, there are better options- strollers that are light and compact enough to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane.
We personally have the GB Pockit Stroller. We have taken this amazing stroller to Thailand, Costa Rica, the Grand Canyon, on mountain trails, and more. Not only does it fit overhead on a plane, but it’s compact enough to fit under the seat of a tour bus and in the closet of your hotel room. Hands down, this is my number one must-have item when traveling with my kids.
Now my twin parents may be asking if it comes as a double stroller. No, it does not. That’s because it needs to be compact enough to fit overhead on a plane. Therefore, we had to buy two strollers. We initially purchased stroller connectors to only discover that one person can fairly easily push both strollers by themselves.
Car Seats, Baby Carriers, and Alternatives
As stated above, my car seat option for infants is an infant car seat and stroller combination; this is especially true for parents of twins.
Once your kiddos outgrow the infant car seat, make sure you have a lightweight convertible car seat for travel. We personally have the Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat. It is fairly inexpensive, about $60 or so, and weighs about ten pounds. Trust me, you’ll appreciate the lightness when you’re trying to get all your stuff and your kids through the airport.
PRO TIP: If you go to a destination frequently and your budget permits, purchase this inexpensive car seat to stay at that destination. For example, we travel to visit my parents at least twice a year. We purchased two of these car seats to stay at my parent’s home. Thus, two less items for us to carry during our travels home.
I would venture to say the Ergobaby Carrier is a must-have when you have kids in general, but it’s even higher on the list when you travel. I would use it while we were on the plane to keep my baby close to my chest. He would quickly fall asleep- special moments, indeed.
The most memorable moment with my Ergobaby was hiking through El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. The Ergobaby kept my baby safe and secure as I crossed a rocky path over a live stream.
Another option for twin parents is the TwinGo Carrier which allows you to carry both twins tandem or one at a time. I would have loved to have one of these but I had already owned my Ergobaby Carrier.
CARES Child Airplane Travel Harness
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) does not require children to be in a car seat while on the plane. However, they strongly recommend it (faa.gov). Therefore, if you purchase an airplane seat for your kiddo, you most likely will want to use a car seat or some type of alternative while flying.
For kids over the age of one and/or weigh more than twenty-two pounds the CARES Child Airplane Travel Harness is a great alternative to a car seat when flying. It’s very compact, easily fits into a baby bag, and is super easy to install. We personally use this alternative versus a car seat when flying with our boys.
LEARN MY 3 TIPS TO EASE AIR TRAVEL WITH YOUNG KIDS, here.
Snacks and Meals
Portable High Chair
Whether we are traveling or not, the Easy Seat Portable High Chair stayed in the boys’ diaper bag until they were able to securely sit in a chair on their own. We would pull this awesome contraption out any time high chairs weren’t available. Think to yourself, have you ever seen a clean highchair at the airport? Packing this must-have item gives you confidence in knowing that you will always have a safe and secure location for your kid to sit and enjoy his or her meal, even when traveling.
Similar to the Easy Seat Portable High Chair, silicone placemats always stay in my boy’s diaper bag, even until this day. These easy-to-clean and foldable placemats ensure my boys always have a clean surface to eat their meals on. This is a must-have item when traveling with kids.
Nothing is more frustrating than handing your kiddo a cup full of their favorite beverage, only for it to end up all over the floor. This leaves you a mess to clean up and a screaming kid. Now, imagine this occurring on the plane. That is why we always have our Contigo Spill-Proof Kids Water Bottle in tow. Not only do I love them, but the boys love them as well. They carry their “big boy” cups proudly, pushing the magic button to access the straw.
The Munchkin Snack Catcher is a must-have item when traveling with kids. It reduces the potential for a mess- allowing your kiddo to access the snack without spilling it. Trust me, having to clean up a mess while trying to navigate travel with kids is the last thing you want to do.
PRO TIP: On your next trip, try using the Munchkin Snack Catcher to serve a charcuterie-style meal. Add the salami, cheese, crackers, and fruit, and voila! You have a balanced meal that provides a variety of options in one spill-proof container.
Now that my twin two-year-olds are big boys and can carry their own luggage, I purchased the most adorable luggage, the Yodo Zoo 3-Way Kids Suitcase Luggage (medium size). It can be used as a backpack or a roller luggage. The majority of the time the boys are carrying their own luggage, leaving mama and daddy’s hands free to chase them around.
Now of course since I have twins, I have two of these luggages. I use one for their snacks and entertainment and the other for their clothes. For the most part, the luggage can fit all of their clothing and up to four pairs of shoes. The main concern is not to make the luggage heavier than what the boys can carry.
So now you know how I am able to travel with my kids; we don’t travel without these must-have items! It’s all about traveling smarter so you can enjoy more of your travels.