Sunday, December 16, 2007

Things I Learned About Traveling Alone With Twins

  • Waking toddlers up at 3:30 a.m. to catch a 6:00 flight makes them super cranky.
  • When traveling alone with twins, going through security is the part that sucks the most. The rest of it isn’t exactly fun, but flight attendants will at least be charmed by your babes and will also feel sorry for you, so they’ll help you out. Going through security, you walk alone. TSA agents will not be charmed. You are so not their problem. They will be annoyed, pissed off, even, as you try to deal with car seats, your stroller and wrangle twins who run away in opposite directions the second you put them down. Other passengers won’t be charmed, either. Especially when the airport is packed to the gills, you’ve waited in that check-in line for an hour and everyone, including you, is running late.
  • I have one foot firmly planted in the Combi camp and the other in the Maclaren camp when it comes to side-by-side strollers (I could, and maybe will, write about both of them later), but the Maclaren rocked on this trip. You can loop the straps of one convertible car seat over each handle and just push. It’s cumbersome, but it works really well. I don’t know how else I would have carried both of them with me. They’re huge.
  • Even if you’re running a little late, stopping at the newsstand to pick up a bottle of water for filling up your sippy cups is an excellent idea. It’ll only take a couple of minutes. If you find a concession stand that sells little cartons of milk, that’s even better.
  • Getting seats as close to the front of the plane as you possibly can while still having a row in front of you so you can stash your diaper bag really, really helps.
  • It might be a good idea to skip the pre-boarding and get on the plane last, especially if you are close to the front. This means less time on the plane for the twins. Also, flight attendants will have dealt with everyone else by then and can help you out, because you’re the only one left, and you obviously need to board. If the flight attendants give you a hand getting your crap, and kids, on the plane, it really won’t take you long to set up, especially if you can install a car seat in your sleep.
  • Take a smallish diaper bag, if you can. You will have enough crap to worry about. I carried way less than I usually do, and it was fine. I was even able to spare a couple of diapers for another mom at the gate. I guess I usually carry a lot.
  • Flying when you have a bad head cold makes takeoff and landing excruciatingly painful. I know this has nothing to do with flying with twins, but ow. Owww.
  • If you have purchased three tickets and have a three-seat row to yourself, you will still only be allowed to carry one car seat on board. Regulation: Only one car seat per row, in the window seat. I did not know this.
  • The twin that does not get to sit in that window seat will not be happy about sitting in a regular seat. It will be too big for him, and so will the seat belt. He will hate it, actually, and will scream bloody murder and claw at you in desperation. So you will end up with a 35-pound toddler in your lap and an empty seat next to you.
  • If you then board a larger plane that has a 2-4-2 configuration, however, you will be allowed to put both car seats in the middle of the 4-seat row. If your twins are tired and cranky, they will get comfortable and will sleep through the entire flight. So will you. Life will be so, so good.

1 comment:

Snickollet said...

So glad you made it.

I'm not pleased to learn of that rule governing two carseats in a three-person row. I was banking on putting both babes in their carseats for our flight. Great. At least I can think about this ahead of time, although I'm not sure what can be done about it.

Although I'm glad for you, I don't understand why it's OK for there to be two carseats in a row of four, in the middle, when it's not OK to have a carseat in the middle row of a three-seat row. Huh?

Thinking of you. Got your awesome Christmas card today. So fun. When did you have time?