Guest Author - Kris Bigalk
Involve Twins in Trip Planning
With younger twins, this may just be informing them of where you are going and what you will be doing, and asking them if they have questions. With older twins, consider sitting down with them and a few guide books, and asking them to identify what they would like to check out. When children feel ownership of an experience, they tend to be more cooperative and invested in the trip.
Don't Pack It: Send it or Rent it
Traveling with infant or toddler twins can be daunting. In addition to clothing and toiletries, you have to pack bottles, diapers, car seats, a double stroller, toys, a portable crib...who has room for all that? If you're traveling with older twins, do you really have room in the van for all that ski gear?
The good news is that many large cities offer baby supply rental. You can rent all of the above items, including toys. To find a baby rental business in the city where you're traveling, check out the yellow pages in the city where you'll be staying (see link at the end of the article). If you're traveling to a more rural area, or if the cost of rental just isn't in your budget, consider mailing some of your supplies to your destination, making sure to clear this with the management of the hotel first. The cost of mailing a large box is negligible, and if it will leave more space in your vehicle or save you the cost of additional luggage at the airport, it may be cheaper to use the postal service or UPS.
Well Fed and Entertained Twins = Happy Twins
If traveling by car, bring along nutritious, appealing snacks and beverages (if traveling by air, follow the airline security guidelines, and avoid peanut products). Pack age-appropriate, time consuming activities, such as sticker books, coloring books, word search books, magazines, etc. If you can afford it, consider investing in a portable DVD player for long car trips. Print out lyrics to songs and have a family sing-a-long, or play games like Auto Bingo or I Spy (see link at the end of the article).
Preserve As Much Routine As Possible
Traveling tends to upset a family's schedule. Whether it's a time zone change or a brand new grocery store, a new environment usually means some variations are going to take place. To keep your twins in synch, put them to bed at the same time you usually do (gradually switching them to the new time zone, if necessary); feed them as many of the same foods as possible, at the times they expect; and make sure they have comfort objects, such as favorite blankets or stuffed animals.
Traveling is stressful; traveling with twins can double the tension. By being responsive to your children's needs, you can make great memories and experience all your destination has to offer. Bon Voyage!