When my mom first suggested that we make the cross-country trip from San Francisco to Florida to visit her for a week with the twins, I thought the idea of flying with two infants was hilarious. It just seemed like way too much. But after some careful consideration, a little planning, and a pep talk from my seasoned twin mama friends, we booked the tickets and prepared for the journey. These are some of the things that made our trip mostly seamless.
Take one larger bag that you can check to your final destination and use packing cubes to keep everything organized. If you’re going for a longer trip, place an Amazon or Target order with items like diapers, wipes, and formula. If available, borrow or rent portable cribs and other gear at your destination.
Divide and Conquer
Each parent is assigned a baby to be “in charge” of for the travels. We each carried a backpack that had a changing kit, diapers, extra clothes, bottles, formula, water, pacifiers, a blanket, etc. so that we could easily access whatever we needed. This is important because if you have two lap infants, you cannot sit in the same row (only 4 oxygen masks in each row) so you don’t want to be constantly passing things back and forth across the aisle. It also made it easy for us each to change a baby when the time came.
Ask for Help
Pack up the car seats (we put both in this bag) and stroller (used this bag) at the gate after you’ve fed the babies and changed them. Have one parent bring the gear up to the gate ahead of time to get tagged and then very kindly ask the gate agent to bring them down the jet bridge. Both times that wasn’t a problem for us. We also had some really helpful TSA agents who kindly guided us through security and helped us get everything on the scanner belt.
Have a Routine
We did some scenario planning ahead of time so that when we got to the airport, we had an idea of how things would go. I found this helpful for being on the same page with my husband. We talked through how we were going to get through security and then what would happen at the gate. For example, when we got through security (babies in the stroller) we would purchase a bottle of water and make bottles. Then we’d each feed a baby and lay them on a blanket on the floor to stretch out for a little. Then each parent would make a bathroom run for themselves, then a diaper change for their “assigned” baby. While the babies hung out on the floor, one parent would pack up the car seats and stroller and take them up to the gate like I described above. Then we got each baby suited up in the carriers and boarded last (we each just had our diaper backpacks).
Ignore the Commentary
We were very lucky to encounter many kind and generous folks on our cross-country trip from SF to Florida but I was prepared for lots of evil glares. By and large, people in line behind us at security or around us on the plane were understanding and complimentary. Honestly, I think people are just so shocked by the twin factor that they don’t dare make a fuss. Our kiddos slept the whole way on the red eye headed east. These days, everyone had on their noise-canceling headphones and were fast asleep anyway.