Yes, I do realize its been forever since I last blogged but I know myself all too well and avoided blogging to lessen the risk on my slipping a big secret. I’m not good at lying, seriously…my kids will probably learn that Santa isn’t real far before their little minds put two and two together on their own. Oh right, back to my secret. I’M HOME! Not like in Germany home, but home, home, in Nebraska! ‘The Good Life’ has welcomed me back with open arms (and Valentino’s, nom nom nom). Now why was it a surprise? Because no one knew I was coming (other than my parents, but I figured it best to tell them because showing up at their door with twins probably wouldn’t have been my brightest idea). To see the shock on everyone’s faces and holding sweet little seamonkey for the first time made the 14 hours of international travel solo with twins well worth the battle.
Traveling with twins by yourself isn’t easy, and it was a task I had to prepare for both mentally and physically. Honestly, it took some convincing on my husband’s part to make me even consider flying alone with twins, and I can’t thank him enough that he did! I’m not going to say it was easy, and believe me, by the end of the trip I was so DONE! What did make it easier though…awesome people who I considered my travel angels who were willing to go out of their way to help me. They could’ve easily passed me by but they didn’t; they took bags, carried babies, and even sat with my kids when mommy needed to use the ladies room. What shocked me was how many of those people were either a multiple themselves, or parents of multiples. I even had the manager of Wendy’s, a mom of twins, who recognized that there was no way I was fitting in the snaking waiting line and came out from behind the counter to take my order and bring me food.
Want to know how I survived 14 hours of traveling alone with twins? Lots of help, and prayers. Okay, but seriously, here’s a list of what I travelled with to make the great journey home:
– Like I said, help from complete strangers. If they came to me offering help and didn’t have ‘Axe Murder’ written across their forehead, then I took all the help they offered.
– Travelmate. This contraption turned the boys’ car seats into rolling seats of fun for them, and turning me into a rolling side show act (that I personally kind of enjoyed). I pushed one boy ahead of me and pulled the other one behind. I can officially mark ‘create a human train’ off of my bucket list.
– Snacks, lots of them. Some new and interesting snacks, and some tried and true ones.
– Quiet book. The last few days before our trip I went to the dollar store and came out with complete random stuff that I turned into a quiet book for the boys to play with on the plane. I used felt for the pages and three-hole-punched them to put them in a binder. I wanted to be able to take the pages out to avoid as much fighting as possible. Also in the binder I put some coloring books and stickers.
– Animal backpack leashes. Yes, I used leashes on my kids while waiting in the terminal, and yes I got some nasty looks but guess what, this mom had piece of mind with her kiddos playing while attached to her ankles and texting hubby and parents from the safety of the luxury airport seating. After a nine hour flight I needed that little bit of time to myself.
– Water bottle. I put my ‘free’ beverages from the airline in the water bottle because let’s face it, those seats are narrow and having a baby (or toddler if you want to be politically correct) on your lap doesn’t offer much room for a tray to come down or avoid the attempted grabs from the one next to you. Spill proof, and sticky baby hands safe.
– I also had one of these fun things that I dug out of my old architecture school supplies for the boys to play with. They had fun twisting it into all sorts of different shapes, and it’s also teething baby friendly.
– iPad, and iPhone. I really really really didn’t want to use them, but that last flight from Detroit to Omaha I broke down and used them to keep the boys from wailing that last 20 minutes in the air.
Here are just some other tips for flying with solo with twins:
– Notify the airline ahead of time that you are flying with twins (one is considered and unaccompanied child), they will have people waiting to help you every step of the way. I had someone there once I checked my bags, at landing, and also helping me through customs. If you request the help you usually get priority when going through the customs line because that attendant assigned to you gets to go through the super special line (typically).
– Request to sit in the bulkhead. That will give you a little more space and even some airlines offer a bassinet that they supply only in that area. For me it was a space to let them down and stretch their legs without running up and down the aisles.
– Ask if there is an open seat! If there is they will give it to you. Thank goodness there was a seat available on my long flight, so I had both boys in their own seats.
– Because there is a chance of an open seat, take both car seats and gate check one if there isn’t. Plus gate checking the car seat instead of checking it right away means its less likely to get damaged and we also got a flying bag for the car seats to protect it from dirt. Also keep in mind that kids are more likely to sleep in their car seats than the lovely plane seat.
– Not that this is for everyone, but I used the travelmates, and then had a large backpack as my carryon. Actually I had that backpack, and then the boys’ backpack diaper bag which I carried on my front (middle-aged mommy turtle (sang to the tune of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)).
– New and interesting things to keep kiddo(s) entertained. Like I mentioned earlier, I made a quiet book, and then didn’t give it to them until on the plane. It was new and exciting and kept them entertained for a decent amount of time.
If you have any other questions about how I managed flying alone for 14 hours with my twins, feel free to ask. I’d be happy to answer questions as I can.
To all of my flying angels, I’m fairly certain you’ll never read this, but if you do…I owe you big. Without you, I may still be stuck in Detroit half out of my mind. Thank you!