Vacation season is here. Sunshine, palm trees, and sandy beaches near Grandma’s house are calling your name. Yet for many twin parents, what should be a fun time of catching up with loved ones is riddled with anxiety. Traveling with twin tornadoes is not for the faint of heart. There are several things you can do to make your trip less stressful and dare we say, even relaxing. TwinGo is here to help you make the most of your vacation time. Let’s get started!
One of the best ways you can create an enjoyable vacation experience is to plan. Ben Franklin once said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” While you can’t plan to the last detail, you can certainly set yourself up for success by having a general plan. Spontaneous adventures were a blast before kids, but knowing what to expect on the road with kids will be key.
If you plan to drive, map out your course and potential accommodations. Choose reasonable driving goals for each day before settling into a hotel. Will the hotel be able to provide beds for your chubby cherubs or do you need portable cribs? Perhaps consider packing an easy to access smaller bag of belongings for the night so that you don’t have to struggle with tons of stuff and your tiny tyrants. You may want to ask the hotel to put you in a lower level room so that the risk of disturbing others is minimal. Will breakfast be available, or should you have a plan to get some early morning eats? A busy bag for the car, lots of favorite snacks, and plenty of planned stops for stretching fidgety little legs will keep your road trip on track.
If you plan to fly, get familiar with the airline policies and the airports you are flying in and out of. If you know what kind of bags are permissible, how to get to ground transportation (or even better to have it prearranged), and are ready to jet set with your TwinGo Carrier so you can easily zip through security to your terminal, flying can be a breeze. While you don’t want to get bogged down with too much stuff, arm yourself with snacks and entertainment to keep your twinzies quiet and happy during the flight. Now is not the time to worry about sticking to their feeding schedule.
One of the hardest things about visiting other people is feeling like you are out of your own environment. We as adults can (generally) deal with this, but it is harder for the littles. Bringing familiar items from home can make a new place feel cozy and fun. Thanks to the internet, you can easily ship some of their favorite food items to be ready and waiting for them before you even get there. Familiar bedding and lovies for their pack n plays will have them feeling at home in no time. An Amazon Echo Dot could even be easily brought along so they can enjoy some white noise or favorite tunes when it is time for bed and a Firesticks can enable kids to enjoy their favorite shows in the morning even if Grandma’s TV doesn’t get Daniel Tiger. No black out shades? A little duct tape and some cheap towels can go a long way. Get creative and make it work.
Probably one of the biggest sources of stress on a trip are all the dangers to worry about. Especially if your twins are mobile, you may find yourself having a hard time sleeping as they are always getting into something. Do your best to understand what your accommodations will look like ahead of time and try to prepare accordingly. Bring portable baby proofing supplies like cabinet locks and plug stops, and communicate ahead of time about what will need to be moved or rearranged. Portable high chairs can provide a place to eat and a safe place to park busy babies when things get rough. A $10 pool alarm from Home Depot can be lifesaving. A few key items can save you a lot of stress.
Children are creatures of habit. We know it’s hard to keep your routine on the go, but to the extent that you can provide for meals at normal times and block off naps, your trip will go much smoother. Grandma is probably so excited to see your twinkies and can’t wait to spoil them. Movies all day (because twinzies quietly watching Disney flicks are less likely to destroy things), dessert after every meal, and tons of toys that will not fit in your luggage may pose some problems. While it is best to focus on building up the relationship and giving relatives some space to spoil, setting some limits so that the transition back to real life isn’t so tough is probably best.
Put on those big girl panties and sincerely express your intentions. For example, with sugar you can say “I know you love spoiling the kids with ice cream, but too much sugar messes up their digestion (no thanks constipation) and behavior. Why don’t we pick 2 nights this week after they’ve had a healthy dinner to go out for ice cream?” Be upfront before you get there about how you would like things to go and be willing to compromise where needed.
Sure, you want to see a dozen childhood friends, show your husband some sights you still haven’t gotten around to checking out, and enjoy lots of date nights when Grandma is around to babysit, but how much is too much? Make sure you are realistic about what you and your twins can handle. Skipping nap from time to time can probably fly, but continuously going without needed sleep and off routine is a recipe for epic meltdowns (not to mention adult arguments over the stress of it all). It doesn’t take much to keep the little ones happy, so lower those expectations. They probably just want to swim at Grandma’s pool all day anyway.
If you do have your heart set on getting out more than your twins can tolerate, line up a sitter and give yourself a break. Planning to get much needed childcare can make your trip a true vacation. We’re guessing Grandma knows of a few childcare leads if she can’t handle your tots solo.
A little thoughtful planning and preparation can truly make this a summer of fun with your twinzies!