Part I: PLANNING & PACKING
Part II: THE AIRPORT EXPERIENCE
Part III: YOUR FINAL DESTINATION

This is Part III of a Three Part Series on Traveling By Airplane With Twin Infants. Parts I and II can be found by clicking on the link above.

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So you made it there, congratulations. I know when we arrived intact I half hoped someone would offer me one of those Miss America sashes, some kind of runner-up award for Most Improved Traveler With Twinfants or something. But no, everyone went about their business. And I might have given myself a pat on the back, but there was the issue of using those hands to wrangle a couple kids, luggage, and my sanity.

I now introduce a few things to think about as it relates to your final destination. And keep in mind that this assumes you’ve had your shit together as it relates to the adult packing and planning, because here I only address those kid-related things to consider.

MEALS

Things to consider: making your food, taking your food, purchasing food there?

We’ve been making their baby food since they started eating solids. At one myopic point, I actually wondered how I would transport frozen baby food to the location, or would I purchase fresh food there (we were staying at a friend’s home) and cook at night? And then I remembered my parenting method: Non-Extremist; and in a flash of genius (a flash brought about by friends who slapped me into reality), it occurred to me that I could – holy crap – buy jarred baby food for the three days.

A couple weeks before we left, I fed them some jarred baby food to see if they’d like it. It was heartbreaking to see them eat it up indiscriminately given all the time I had put into making their food up to that point. But guess what – that’s practice for parenting through the teen years, right? Anyway, we packed up jarred baby food in our checked luggage, wrapped it with some of that leftover stretch wrap from our last move and nestled it among our clothing. Oh, sure, I could have pre-shipped frozen food, packed up frozen food (domestic flights only), made fresh food there, or purchased jar food there, but our time was limited and I really didn’t want to spend it at a grocery store. Aunt Susu was kind enough to stop at the grocery store in advance of our trip and picked up some rice cereal and some fresh fruit for us, but for the most part, we served jarred food.

TOILETRIES / MEDS

When we travel away from home, we always take a small bag with the following items: Tylenol, teething tablets, nasal bulb, nail clippers, saline mist, Motrin, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and bath gel.

Because we weren’t about to travel with a bath tub and because where we were going did not have bath tubs available, we simply took a two-foot section of drawer liner leftover from some move. It was enough of a ‘bath mat’ to provide some stability as we bathed them. However, a towel would have been fine, too.

GEAR (aka creatures of comfort, aka comforts of creatures)

How much you take, or rent, or borrow, or beg for, or steal, hinges on where you are staying (a home? A hotel? Other?) The placebo effect on us is likely stronger than the kids’ absolute need for consistency, but we wanted to offer as much consistency as possible. Which mean we needed crib-like sleeping quarters for our kids. They’ve occasionally slept in a pack-n-play, but we didn’t want to risk throwing them (or ourselves) completely off orbit, so we wanted to have the best possible sleeping arrangements for them. Through a suggestion from my local mom’s of multiples club, I found affordable crib rentals through Babysaway.com They aren’t in every city, but holy crap it was totally worth it for the two cribs ($12/day), two high chairs ($6/day), and one exersaucer ($4/day). Prices vary depending on location, but the convenience of someone delivering all that gear and having those comforts of home at our friend’s home was totally worth it.

This might appear to be contrary to my Non-Extremist parenting style, but we also took with us a sound machine (something they are used to, and easily packed), my iPod and a speaker (they’re used to music during the day), and their respective woobies. Our idea was to provide as much consistency as reasonably possible, while staying flexible to the circumstance of our destination.

OUTINGS (Snack & Gear)

Packing for this is not unlike any outing that you would take from home, the only difference is you either need to pack it with you or plan to purchase there. We had a great outing doing the 5K and another outing to the French Quarter. For us, the main things in our Survival Kit were cheerios, water, light jackets, diapers, wipes, and desitin. And we had wheels in the form of their stroller and a baby carrier just in case.

That about wraps it up. I’m sure there are other things to consider, but (a) we’ve traveled by plane exactly once, and (b) if we missed it the first time around, we didn’t miss it badly enough for me to recall for this posting.

I am told that traveling with toddlers is easier (less crap to think about), but harder (they’re more mobile and verbal). So if we ever get on another plane, I’ll write another post with those lessons learned.

Happy Travels!

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