Traveling with Twins: How Do I Get All This Through Security, and What About Liquids?

Welcome to TwinGo Carrier's Traveling With Twins Series, where each week we will answer new questions about the logistics of traveling with twins. We'll help you coordinate everything from stroller storage to in-flight baby soothing, and everything in between. Heading on a trip with your twins this summer? Fear not! We've got you covered.

traveling twins on twin blog

Traveling with your twins, triplets, or more can be overwhelming and there’s usually a lot of questions about logistics going through a parent’s mind. Summer is coming and I’m getting lots of questions about flying as people plan summer vacations. It can be very stressful taking babies on a plane and that intensifies when you have more than one child to worry about. Many of these tips are general tips for flying with a baby and some of my adapted tips that are particular to flying with lots of toddlers and babies. We regularly fly domestically and internationally with my now 1-year-old twins and 2.5-year-old singleton. Hopefully these answers will help you understand some of the regulations and choices you have when flying and some extra tips to make it as easy as going to the park for the day.

#5 How do I get all of this through security and what about liquids?

TSA is usually a mystery to most parents on how their policies work especially if you haven’t flown before or with kids. The biggest advice is to have a lot of extra time the first few times you fly. It can take a while if you have a lot of large baby gear that doesn’t fit through the scanner or liquids that need extra screening. After pushing most of these policies to the limit, here’s some of my advice about how we get through security in under 10 minutes with our gear and toddlers:

Step 1: TwinGo: Wear your babies through security. We stop before we get in line and rearrange our stuff and get it ready for security including putting my babies in the TwinGo if they’re not already in it. We use a packing cube for our liquids and take it out at this point. We take everything out of our pockets and put it in a bag (don’t forget about your TwinGo pockets). We wouldn’t survive security without our TwinGo. If you are using a stroller it makes a great luggage cart to get up to security once the kids are out of it.

Step 2: Go through the security line. If my husband is with me he handles all the luggage and I handle the kids and documents. Sometimes I still end up needing to carry or roll a few bags or the stroller.

Step 3: Carry-on screening. When we’re together I take all the kids and my husband handles getting the bags and baby gear handed over to the agents. We send the liquids through first. I warn the TSA agent that we have objects that will need additional screening and that he has permission to search them. I ask if its ok that I continue to grab our bags as they come through. They will often have to call another person over to help with the screening and it can take a few minutes. Since I’m wearing my twins I usually don’t have to worry about them. I find a spot that’s easy to see for my older toddler and tell him to sit and wait. Usually this is in a chair next to the desk where they do the extra screening. He’s usually screaming for a drink so it’s easy for me to watch him while I collect bags and put everything back together. If he’s not cooperating then I take care of him and answer questions. A TSA agent will usually start moving our stuff off the belt to keep it from backing up. This is one of the reasons why if I’m flying alone I only take the diaper bag and potentially one other bag and no stroller.

Here are some other general tips for making security screening more painless with multiples:

  • Sign up for either global entry or TSA Pre-Check. They allow you to keep your shoes on and laptops in your bags. They also allow you to not take out liquids if you only have the allowed amount. At most airports, the Pre-Check line is quite a bit shorter than the regular line. 

  • If you have a medical need or young children you can bring more liquids that the typical TSA allowance. They do need extra screening, as mentioned above. The screening for liquids need goes down if they’re in transparent or sealed bottles. We have issues with anything in the thick plastic bottles (such as pediasure). They can still go through but prepare to need to open it for even more screening. This could lead to a pat down if it sets off the wrong sensor. 
  • For big travel systems that can’t fit through the scanner, you can usually leave the car seat attached and have them hand check the entire system. Ask about this option before you start disassembling the stroller. Having our City Select hand checked with car seats attached saved us about 10 minutes each time when we used it.

  • For parents flying alone with their little ones. You can often take someone who is not flying through security with you to help you to the gate by asking the check in agent for a non-flyer pass. 
    • Pitfall: They can’t help you down the jet bridge; I will address this in the next question.

  • The biggest advice I can give is kindness goes a long way with TSA. They are used to dealing with hurried frustrated travelers. I often read about bad experiences in security, but they’re quicker if you smile and don’t act upset about the extra screening. Almost every agent I’ve had felt bad about “delaying” me with my kids. I politely say we have plenty of time and smile and they relax in most situations and work hard to help you get out of there quickly. My toddlers love the stickers they get from them for being good during security. 

 

Be sure to check out our other Traveling with Twins tips!
Q: Can My Baby Sit on My Lap?
Q: What Should I Do About My Car Seat?
Q: Should I Take My Stroller?
Q: What Should I Bring on the Plane?

 

Aja Harris is a mother of three toddlers and the wife of a US diplomat currently residing in Moscow, Russia. She frequently flies with her 2.5-year-old son and twin 1-year-old daughters around the world and throughout the United States. They have taken their children to over 15 US States and 4 countries via planes, trains, and automobiles. She hopes that this article encourages families to be adventurous and eases the worries of parents getting ready to fly with their little ones for the first time. You can follow the Harris family’s adventures on Facebook at The Wandering Chaos.



Contact Us!