More tips on flying solo with twin toddlers

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My husband Jon travels for work and I have longed for the day that our boys and I can tag along for a trip. Last week, I got my wish as we took a four day trip to Dallas. The only glitch was that I would have to fly back by myself with the boys as Jon stayed on for his business trip. My boys are 2.75, which is a fairly good age for traveling.  I wasn’t that nervous until the day before the trip when I went into a complete panic, imagining all the things that could go wrong. Despite all my worries, the trip was a smashing success.

When I first booked the trip, I consulted the write-ups on solo travel by Snickollet and Sadia. For the most part, I followed their advice. I thought I would write about what I did differently than they did, and also emphasize some Very Important Tips.

1. iFrogz + video ipods.If you’re going to keep two toddlers entertained on a long flight, this is a good product to have in your arsenal. I limited myself to one carry-on yet was easily able to fit two of these. Not only did the boys watch tv, they also listened to music and looked through pictures I loaded onto them. I wrote a full review of this product here. I spent quite a bit of time reading on the plane while the boys watched Dora.

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2. GoGo Kidz Travelmate. We’ve used these for every flight we’ve ever taken with the boys. The only downside was the number of times I got stopped in the airport to discuss them when I was clearly very busy with two toddlers! Again, I wrote a full review here. Unlike Sadia and Snickollet, I planeside checked the car seats and let the boys sit in the airplane seats.

3. Burning off toddler energy.I had planned to let the boys run around and blow off  steam before getting on the plane. As soon as I let Alex out of the Travelmate, he took off running through the very crowded Dallas airport without looking back. Did I mention that kid is fast?! As I ran through the airport dragging two GoGo Kidz, Nate, and my carry-on, I decided the boys lost walking privileges. If you’ve got a darter, consider this one before experimenting in a crowded place.

4. Keep a positive attitude. Our gate got moved twice. The first time, it got moved six gates away. The second time, it got moved 14 gates away. I decided to take the jetway to save some time and energy. They were incredibly excited to get to ride a car rental shuttle bus, a jetway train AND a plane in one day. As we moved gates the second time, I saw a lot of adults traveling alone with very grumpy faces while the three of us had fun. From the jetway bridge, the boys were able to watch the entire Dallas tarmac with hoards of planes. That ended up being their favorite part of the day.

5. Stay respectful of your fellow travelers.When we got to our seats, I told the boys The Rules. No kicking the seats in front of them. You must stay in your seat. You must wear your seat belt. They happily obliged.  When they started playing with the seat back trays, I told them I would take away their apple juice if they did not stop. When we landed, I knew our flight was a success when the woman in front of us turned around to tell the boys they were very good on the plane.

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12 thoughts on “More tips on flying solo with twin toddlers”

  1. #5 is awesome. I’m glad you were able to keep the boys so well behaved and all have a great time. You are my hero.

    Here is my most important question — how the heck did you get through the airport with 2 kids in those travel mate things plus carry on? I just can’t picture it. Perhaps you need a reenactment with photo. My husband doesn’t want to travel with our car seats, he wants to rent at destination, so any support for traveling with the seats would be appreciated.

  2. Great job!!

    I have the same/similar question as thelfamily, how did you carry all that stuff when you were by yourself? I count one (maybe two) bags for you, two GoGoz…

  3. Logistics:

    * Both kids strapped in GoGo Kidz.
    * One kid being pushed, one being pulled.
    * One big carry-on (SkipHop Double Duo) used messenger-bag style.

    You can also push both GoGo Kidz in front of you but it is less stable this way.

  4. Great ideas for traveling with toddlers.

    Does anyone have any further suggestions for traveling with twin infants? We are flying cross country with ours in April, they will be almost 4 months. Are there any products you guys know of that could really help us?

  5. Here’s how I handled all the stuff!

    Option A (tired/sleepy kids)
    Toddlers strapped in GoGo Kidz, both dragged behind me
    Toddler carryons slung over GoGo Kidz handles
    My carryon, a backpack, on my back

    Option B (energetic/stir-crazy kids)
    Toddlers voice-controlled only, each dragging her own wheely backpack
    GoGo Kids dragged behind me, optionally containing coats
    Backpack on my back

    It was remarkably easy!

  6. M figured out a good trick for pushing both GoGoKidz in front of you. (Man we could not live without those things.)

    They’re wobbly if you’re trying to keep them from running into each other, and you end up with them going opposite directions from one another! So frustrating. Instead, the way to do it is to actually angle them ever so slightly *into* each other. Then they stay almost locked together and it’s a bit easier if you want to keep them both in front.

    Oh, the things you learn… :-)

  7. When traveling with two adults, we generally do what Goddess suggests – one person in charge of kids and one person in charge of bags. Easier to handle baggage claim that way.

    But, with one short mama in charge, I found it easier to wheel one behind. Too much toddler yelling at me that they want to go backwards.

    Sadia – verbal control, you are my hero! There was little verbal control of my kids in the airport because SO MUCH TO SEE!

  8. Great tips. Traveling alone doesn’t have to be daunting. I think we all tend to imagine the worst things possible happening and being stuck so high up in the air with no way of getting out of the situation. I’ve traveled from California to Australia and a few interstate trips as well. You just need to be prepared for anything.

    I wrote an article a while ago for a blog about traveling with twin toddlers: http://www.doubletheadventure.com/2008/10/flying-with-twin-toddlers.html

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