6 Travel Tricks from a Mom of Twinsby WFP Admin added on 13 December 2019, Comments Off on 6 Travel Tricks from a Mom of Twins , posted in Blog
By: Sarah Anne Bowers, WFP alumnus
Let’s talk about traveling with preschoolers. Think for a moment about your ideal plane, car, or train ride with young toddlers. Now throw that idea out the window. Really. Each child is different, no matter how many ideas Pinterest and Instagram offer. Since every child is different, your approach to travel must be adjusted to meet your little one’s specific needs.
That being said, our family recently ventured to Wisconsin on an airplane. This was a new adventure for us and one that we chose to accept with open minds and open arms. I would love to share a few highlights and tricks we learned from our long journey with twins.
Trick #1: If traveling while toilet learning, have a potty seat in the back of the car.
We are in the toilet learning phase with our 2-year-old twins. The day we left for the airport, there was a 2-hour commute from Dupont to SeaTac due to a double accident on I-5, and we were so thankful we had our portable potty with us. We use the Folding Potty Seat from Jool Baby since so many public restrooms do not have tiny toilets.
We also chose to fly with car seats and purchased a Gogo Kidz® Travelmate, which makes your car seat wheelable. The twins loved pushing their car seats through the airport, which expended energy before the flight. We found ours used and it was a LIFESAVER!
Trick #2: Give something to your child to own during travel.
We used their stuffed animals and told the twins to take care of them because they had never flown before. This made traveling special because our children had to care for something, and it kept them engaged throughout the drive, check-in, security, and boarding. Their favorite activity was pushing the elephants in their wheelable car seats through the airport.
Trick #3: Go to the dollar store and get some cheap toys.
I say the Dollar Store, because on the first flight, the twins refused to do anything but have me read 2 books over and over. The books were sing along books. One was Wheels on the Bus and the other was a compilation of nursery rhyme classics. On the return flight, they obsessed over two little blue trucks that looked exactly like the one from the book The Little Blue Truck. You never know what kiddos are going to like once on a plane, so I was glad we didn’t invest a bunch of money on toys that didn’t get used.
Trick #4: Throw your sleep schedule out the window.
If your preschooler has never ridden on a plane, it is extremely stimulating. Our twins were up for 11.5 hours of a 12-hour day. BE PREPARED for this. Expect them not to sleep and make it an adventure. Talk about the how air has bumps or sing preschool songs (this is a must!). We sang Maggie’s Welcome song in the Toddler PM Class, Tick Tock, Wheels on the Bus, The Popcorn Man (and let them jump in their seat), The Hello song from preschool, If You’re Happy and You Know It…all the good ones. The action songs helped them get some of the wiggles out.
If you are traveling with a partner, tag team to make sure you have a sanity break. We were fortunate to have a full row and the aisle seat on the next row, so Seth and I took breaks as to who had the seat with no kiddos. Once one of us reached our tipping point, we switched, and the other had enough energy to keep the twins entertained.
Trick #5: Ask the flight attendant when the Top of Descent happens.
This is the moment before the plane starts descending. We purchased sugar-free suckers to help with ear pressure, or if you are still nursing, it’s a great time to breastfeed your child. The sucking relieves any pressure in your child’s ear, which can be painful. The flight attendants are happy to tell you when this happens. Normally, it’s about 35 minutes before touchdown.
Trick #6: If changing time zones, keep them up (if you can).
We had a 2-hour time change (lost 2 hours), but the twins slept all night because we kept them up for 11.5 hours. Even though they slept in a new location, they were out cold. That being said, bring their own blankets, so they recognize the smell of home. We did bring a diffuser with a sleepy time oil to help aid sleep. Just a few familiar items helped them settle in quickly.
Lastly, expect the unexpected, grab an extra cup of coffee and take it one day at a time. With littles, the word vacation is non-existent. However, you can make the most of it by not putting expectations on your kiddos. As Bob Marley says, “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause every little thing, gonna be alright.” You can do this!