Traveling with children represents unique challenges – and when you double the fun with twins, you not only have your hands full of kiddos but also have twice as much gear to take along. The next time you travel with your duo in tow, use these sites, apps, tips, and tricks to make the entire experience easier, less expensive and more enjoyable for everyone.
Websites and Apps to Ease Twin Travel
Picture this: you’re a mom going on vacation with your two young toddlers, so you likely already have a suitcase for yourself, one for the twins, your purse, a diaper bag, your double stroller, two car seats, and potentially other take-alongs like carryon bags for the kids with snacks and games and a pack-n-play to use at your destination. Does reading that list make you want to give up and stay home? That’s enough gear to fill your car, let alone figure out how to wrangle at a busy airport, bus or train station. And if you’re traveling without Dad or another adult to lend a set of hands, the hassle multiples exponentially.
This time, leave a majority of that kiddo equipment at home and just worry about the regular bags you’d normally take on your travels. Instead of dragging everything with you, use these sites and apps to rent what you need at your destination. The money you spend is well worth avoiding extra airport fees, logistical nightmares and the headache of dragging along more than any one person can handle.
goBaby: The AirBnB of Baby Gear
Available on the iTunes app store, goBaby styles itself the AirBnB of baby gear and helps connect those in need with those who have the extra gear to rent out. You’ll be able to save significant cash versus the rental fees you’d pay to car companies for car seats or amusement parks for strollers while getting to pick from much nicer equipment than they typically offer. You also won’t have to worry about whether a car rental agency has enough car seats available for your twins, or whether you can find a double stroller once you arrive at your destination.
Plus, you’ll be able to make a personal connection with the person who owns the equipment to have any of your questions answered ahead of time. You can also find various other baby equipment that will make your stay at your destination much easier without extra hassle, including mini-cribs and more. Best yet: in many cases, you can have the equipment delivered to you wherever you wish, at just a slightly higher cost than the rental – and some of the equipment owners deliver free!
Babies Getaway and BabyQuip: Sites Loaded with Gear
Babies Getaway and BabyQuip both work similar to goBaby, but offer rentals through their websites instead of apps. Babies Getaway serves the entire continental United States and literally lists any possible type of baby, toddler or small child equipment you could possibly imagine. They also offer rental packages to save you money, including a car seat, high chair and crib starting at just $15 per day – that’s lower than you’d pay for a car seat alone at most rental companies, and saves you twice as much money with twins. You can also find bottle warmers, toddler potties, child carriers, and even toys.
BabyQuip styles itself a more upscale offering that can even take your entire itinerary and information about your family and craft custom packages of the equipment you most need – plus some extras you might want as well. With BabyQuip, you work with local franchise directors who stock equipment in their areas. That gives you a direct point of contact wherever you travel who can work to ensure you have exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. More of a concierge service, prices may be a bit higher but quality could be a bit more trustworthy than marketplace services or generic rental outlets.
Pro Tips for Air Travel with Twins
Now that equipment rental is out of the way, use these tips to make your actual travels flow more smoothly.
Understand Air Travel Policies
When you travel with a single baby, most airlines allow you to bring that child along for free when they sit on your lap. That isn’t the case for twins – only one lap child is allowed per adult. That’s great if you’re traveling with another person but would mean buying an extra ticket if you’re not.
Travel policies for loading the airplane will work in your favor for twins, however: airlines and others purposefully load families first when boarding the plane to allow you enough time to get all of your gear on board and your children settled before the masses board behind you.
Process Tickets and Seats Ahead of Time
If you have the opportunity, always choose your seats ahead of time as well, to pick the area you’ll be most comfortable with your twins. Always print your tickets at home ahead of time. That will save you a ton of time at the airport at your time of arrival. Most airlines even allow you to indicate upon check-in whether you’ll be checking bags as well, so that gets preset and the airport is ready for your arrival. Once you get there, use the automated equipment for the fastest processing, drop off your bags and head to security.
Car Travel and Twins
When you’re planning a road trip to reach your destination, these plan-ahead tips can make the whole trip better plus help avoid an accident when you aren’t distracted by your unhappy twins.
Snacks for the Road
The two most prevalent reasons to pause your road trips are bathroom breaks and snack breaks, which never seem to line up with the need for car refueling breaks. Pack some nutritious-yet-easy snacks like pretzel sticks, veggie sticks, fruit slices, or cheese or meat slices to keep little ones happy.
Road Trip Games
Employing classic road trip games make the miles pass faster. You can play some games with no extra helpers or find apps for most of these online. Here are just a few you can try:
- ABC Game: look for signs or licenses plates that progressively begin with each alphabet letter
- I Spy: always a fun time, this game adds a level of challenge when the car is in motion
- Which State: if your road trip is lengthy, grab a pad of paper and challenge yourself and the kids to find license plates from each state
- Would You Rather: Grab a game pack of pre-made questions online or craft your own to pose wacky comparisons to see which one you’d rather do
Best Road Trip and Travel Tip: Plan Ahead!
Like air travel or travel in any other type of public or private transportation, the hours you spend traveling can seem endless for children. To avoid whining and unhappy kids, the best tip you can follow is to plan ahead. Not only should you get your gear situated and enable your travel plans to come off without a hitch, craft a master timeline of activities and stick to it. Children love knowing what is going to happen next, what to anticipate and what to look forward to. Be flexible, but have something always planned, whether it’s a game, a fun pit stop, a discussion, snack time, free play with dough or crayons or simple toys, or just the opportunity to stretch your legs. When there’s always the next step to look forward to, your twins and you alike will be calmer, happier and ready to move on to the next opportunity.